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Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy, #1)
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Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,533 Ratings  ·  259 Reviews
Curiosity just might be the death of Mrs. Murphy--and her human companion, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen. Small towns are like families: Everyone lives very close together. . .and everyone keeps secrets. Crozet, Virginia, is a typical small town-until its secrets explode into murder. Crozet's thirty-something post-mistress, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, has a tiger cat (Mrs ...more
Paperback, 284 pages
Published October 1st 1991 by Bantam (first published 1990)
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Deborah Freeman Taylor This book is appropriate for the YA crowd + adults who want only light reading. One problem, which unfortunately is common in YA however, is the use…moreThis book is appropriate for the YA crowd + adults who want only light reading. One problem, which unfortunately is common in YA however, is the use of profanity. It really doesn't add anything to the story or character development.(less)
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34th out of 669 books — 1,789 voters
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4th out of 100 books — 47 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 25, 2012 Stephen rated it liked it
I picked this book out on a whim...didn't know what to expect at all. Virginia Beach Public Library had it as one of the Staff Picks on their e-book collections, so I thought, why not?
Most of the books in this series take place in Crozet, Virginia (which also intrigued me, since I go by Crozet every time I go see my family in Ohio and West Virginia). This first book in the series I found a little crude at first (a lot of unnecessary swearing), but it gets better throughout the story. Another th
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
I really wanted to love this one because of the Corgi dog in the story. However sadly I did not. I am not a huge fan of cat's so I really didn't care too much for Mrs. Murphy. Although I do have to admit the interactions between the animals were so cute! There were several things however that I didn't like about the book:

1. The very first thing that was very annoying to me in the beginning was all the characters thrown in the first chapters so soon. It was kind of hard for me to keep up with who
Paul Lunger
Apr 06, 2012 Paul Lunger rated it really liked it
If only this series could have kept up along the way it began is the main thought I had while reading the initial book in the Mrs. Murphy series - "Wish You Were Here". The story introduces us to the world of Crozet, Virginia our animal friends & even provides us with a background on the founder of the town which is a very nice touch. When the first crime to affect the town in nearly 2 decades happen, the citizens get a tad concerned & our cast of characters very carefully spring into ac ...more
Book Concierge

Two gruesome murders / mutilations have the residents of Crozet, Virginia in a tizzy. Postmistress Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen has the only clue – a day or two before they were killed, each of the victims received a postcard of a famous cemetery or tomb with a “Wish you were here” inscription. This book introduces the Mrs Murphy mystery series. Mrs Murphy is a tiger cat, whose “mommy” is Harry. Along with her Welsh corgi companion, Tee Tucker, the animals help Harry find the killer.

Aug 30, 2012 Cassandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
01. Schade, dass du nicht tot bist
o2. Ruhe in Fetzen
03. Mord in Monticello
04. Virus im Netz
05. Herz Dame sticht
06. Tödliches Beileid
07. Die Katze riecht Lunte
08. Rache auf leisen Pfoten
09. Mord auf Rezept
10. Die Katze lässt das Mausen nicht
11. Maus im Aus
12. Die Katze im Sack
13. Da beißt die Maus keinen Faden ab
14. Die kluge Katze baut vor
15. Eine Maus kommt selten allein
16. Mit Speck fängt man Mäuse
17. Die Weihnachtskatze
18. Die Geburtstagskatze
19. Hiss of Death
20. The Big Cat Nap
May 05, 2009 Samantha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: cat/dog lovers, mystery lovers
Recommended to Samantha by: Judy Ward
I absolutely love this series of books. I started the series with the first book "Wish You Were Here" in week 39 of my pregnancy. I needed something light and fluffy and fun to read and, most importantly, something that would be easy to pick back up were I to suddenly 'calve.' (Love you Judy!) Wish You Were Here takes place is beautiful, tranquil Crozet, VA (not too terribly far from where I am typing this review) who's tranquility is shattered by a string of murders. The Postmistress (and Smith ...more
Apr 05, 2013 Rebecca rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013
These books clearly have a number of devoted followers, but I barely made it through this first one. This is largely due to expectations of tone - when a cat and dog are trying to solve crimes, I would expect a fairly light read. However, I found most of this book pretty depressing. The characters are largely unlikeable, the main character's divorce drags down both the speed of the narrative and the overall mood, and the animals spend most of the time philosophizing about the horrors of the huma ...more
Feb 15, 2010 Tabitha rated it it was ok
Disappointed....I like this series but didn't enjoy the first book as much as others. Comparatively, the author lacked the twists and character development that were present in books 2 and 3. The story does give some character background not present later but the needed background and depth of character is contained without boredom to the reader in the books that follow. As far as the mystery went, I was able to figure out the culprit early in the reading. I recommend this series...but would sug ...more
I finally got around to reading this book, it's been in my TBR pile for a while and I'm not quite sure where to start - I think this is actually a fairly decent start to a series. I loved the animal characters but the human ones took a while to get used to. For a cozy it wasn't as light-hearted or well cozy as I'd expected (it wasn't dark). The mystery was fairly easy to figure out and I managed it less than halfway through the book. It could have used more descriptions (I still don't really kno ...more
Apr 08, 2011 Kelly rated it liked it
This was my first mystery book by Rita Mae Brown; I read Rubyfruit Jungle in college which is a rather different kind of novel indeed. I loved this mystery novel! I'm sure it has a lot to do with my own love of cats, but I adore the sassy, snooty Mrs. Murphy and her silly dog friend Tucker. The heroine of the book, Harry Haristeen, is a wonderfully strong and courageous female character without the toughness and (lonely) independence of female characters like Warshawski, Millhone, or Plum. Don't ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Chelsea rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I decided to read this book based mainly on the fact that the main character owned a welsh corgi. I own a corgi, so of course I had to look into the story. I was a bit disappointed though. The characters did not seem well developed to me, and what is with all of their names being so odd..(boomboom craycroft, anyone?) The "mystery" was not very mysterious. It was an extremely quick read, and i still plan to try and read the next couple books in the series, as i have heard they are a bit better th ...more
Dec 22, 2014 Debbie rated it really liked it
This is a great series if you like animals involved with the story. Mrs Murphy and Tee Tucker are great. Pewter is fun to, I think her sister might live at my house.
Mar 13, 2014 Gloria rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is the first book in the "Mrs. Murphy" series. It is not exactly what I thought it was going to be. I was expecting a cozy mystery featuring a cat, Mrs. Murphy. Mostly this is true. A small town in Virginia has first one then two murders on their hands. There are two sets of characters: people and animals. The animals have conversations just as people do and are critical to solving the crime. While it is 98% a cozy mystery, there is some bite to this book with regular cuss words sprinkled t ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Apr 27, 2016 Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Murder, She Wrote
Ms Brown's "Sneaky Pie" series was my first real encounter with modern formula fiction, which took root in the 80s and is now taking over many branches of the book market, rather like kudzu. I enjoyed this book rather more when it first came out; I was younger, and perhaps less exigent. Also I hadn't read the author's memoir, "Animal Magnetism." While reading that book did give me a bit more insight into a few scenes in this one (such as the drunken catfight on the pontoon, and perhaps the reaso ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine Thompson
Apr 16, 2015 Catherine Thompson rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, mystery
Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen is the postmistress of the small Virginia town of Crozet. Crozet is one of those towns where everybody knows everybody, and everybody's business. A quiet town, where the most important events are births, funerals, and weddings. But sometimes, small-town life can be murder...

Kelly Craycroft, the local construction magnate, is found ground to hamburger in one of his own cement mixers. No one in town can believe that anyone had a murderous grudge against Kelly; he was a
Mary Minor Haristeen, Harry to her friends, trotted along the railroad track.

The town of Crozet, VA is much like other sleepy, Southern small towns. Everyone know everyone's business and nothing much ever happens. Suddenly, though, citizens are turning up gruesomely murdered. The town's postmaster Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen remembers that each of the victims received mysterious postcards before turning up dead and takes upon herself to solve the murders along with her furry friends Mrs. Murp
Molly Cline
Jul 23, 2015 Molly Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good mystery. The label from the library said suspense but I didn't really find it that at all but more mystery. If you enjoy animals-are an animal lover then you will really enjoy how the author(s) incorporated the main characters dog and cat as main characters. The humans talk and work together and so does the animals within the story. When the humans aren't 'doing the job' then the animals kick in and work together to try and solve the crime before their beloved human gets h ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Rena rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
A fun ride!
Jul 12, 2015 TONY rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the first book for the newness. I felt connected to the animals but not the humans. I will post reviews for future books in the series but the stars will not stay as high. Rita Mae Brown uses this series as her personal soap box to stand and not evenly casually tell us her views political and otherwise.
Her book wants me to vist Virginia to see the elegance of horse raising and the social snubbing of the good ole "old money" peoples in action.
I gave up on her latest books because it was m
Laurel Bradshaw
Reread on audio.

Not a review. These notes are for my own reference and may contain spoilers!

Crozet, Virginia. Summertime. It is hot.
Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen is in the process of divorcing veterinarian Fair Haristeen.
Mrs. Murphy - tiger-striped cat
Tee Tucker - corgi, a gift from Harry's best friend Susan Tucker
Pewter - gray cat, fat - owned by Market Shiflett
Paddy - Mrs. Murphy's "ex-husband"
Boom Boom Craycroft's husband Kelly is murdered.
Miranda Hogendobber - evangelical, belongs to The Holy
Jul 23, 2015 Jessie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is a very charming mystery - yes, it is kind of cozy - but I like that the author doesn't shy away from how people really do talk (aka people do curse in the real world). I loved that the author included what the animals were thinking and how they really were a part of the action from beginning to end.
Feb 10, 2016 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, cats
read in 2008.
I had enjoyed another mystery series with cats involved written by Lillian Jackson Braun, so I thought I might enjoy this. I did like that the main character, the Postmistress: Mary Minor "Harry" Hairsteen was smart and did so much on her ranch with her horses, farm animals and dogs and cats. Don't like the author's method of being able to know what exactly the animals are saying to each other. A little weird and I don't think it helped the story much. I liked the way Ms. Braun has
Oct 24, 2015 Tanja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
As some people already pointed out, it was kind of hard to keep up with all the characters being thrown in at the beginning, but once I kept up with who was who, some of them turned out to be really interesting; I actually would have liked to learn more about some of them, but since this is the first part of a series that's alright, I guess.

The animals are amazing, of course. I really liked the way they interacted (minus the part where they suddenly discuss overpopulation and the decay of humani
May 24, 2016 Aimee rated it liked it
Shelves: for-book-club
I'm a cat lover and have always had dogs and cats, but I wasn't sure how I was going to like Rita Mae Brown's talking cats and dogs. I have to say, though, I was quickly engrossed in the story, and I could well imagine my own cat, who is sitting right here supervising this review, saying some of the things that Mrs. Murphy says. If you're a fan of this series, I would recommend the 1998 Disney movie Murder She Purred, starring Ricki Lake. I wasn't expecting much, but I actually really enjoyed it ...more
Jan 20, 2016 Ellen rated it liked it
Small town Crozet, Virginia, is a quiet little village where everyone knows everyone else and everyone else's business. Mary "Harry" Harristeen is the local postmistress with a penchant for reading her client's postcards. When one of the postcard recipients is found murdered in a particularly gruesome manner Crozet townsfolk are shocked but when a second citizen is also murdered shock turns to fear. Harry recalls that both of the victims had received postcards with pictures of tombstones and the ...more
Sep 14, 2015 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Really liked this one a lot. It is the first in the series and the first of this author or the series that I read. The book has a lot of characters as the main heroine, who is nicknamed Harry, works at a post office in Crozet Virginia so there are a lot of people being introduced in a relatively short time so it is hard to keep up. Don't get frustrated though.

The characters are fun, the animals talk to each other and lament on how their human, the main character, doesn't listen to them when they
Garrison Kelly
Jun 25, 2015 Garrison Kelly rated it liked it
In the teeny tiny town of Crozet, Virginia, everybody knows and trusts each other, which is what makes the murders of several townsfolk easy for the killer to cover up. It could literally be anyone. Aside from the local police, on the case is Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, a divorcee mail sorter with a tiger kitty named Mrs. Murphy and a Welsh Corgi named Tee Tucker. Harry believes she’s getting closer to the truth behind the murders, but not nearly as close as her own pets, who have more sense t ...more
Sometimes, you just need a silly little mystery snack - and this fit the bill.

Small southern town - lots of small southern town characters. Apparently folks in this town take their animals with them everywhere! (My kind of town). Animals communicate with each other. Animals understand humans. Humans are clueless about all of this.

Downsides: Too many characters introduced in the first chapter, so I couldn't keep them all straight. (I kept turning back to read things again). Also, the murderer was
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Wanted: Spoiler on Harry and Blair 1 1 Jan 18, 2016 04:23AM  
WISH YOU WERE HERE 8 43 Apr 14, 2013 11:19AM  
What's The Name o...: Mystery with talking animals [s] 4 35 Dec 23, 2012 07:18AM  
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Rita Mae Brown is a prolific American writer, most known for her mysteries and other novels (Rubyfruit Jungle). She is also an Emmy-nominated screenwriter.

Brown was born illegitimate in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She was raised by her biological mother's female cousin and the cousin's husband in York, Pennsylvania and later in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Starting in the fall of 1962, Brown attended the Un
More about Rita Mae Brown...

Other Books in the Series

Mrs. Murphy (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Rest in Pieces (Mrs. Murphy #2)
  • Murder at Monticello (Mrs. Murphy #3)
  • Pay Dirt (Mrs. Murphy, #4)
  • Murder, She Meowed (Mrs. Murphy, #5)
  • Murder on the Prowl (Mrs. Murphy, #6)
  • Cat on the Scent (Mrs. Murphy #7)
  • Pawing Through the Past (Mrs. Murphy, #8)
  • Claws and Effect (Mrs. Murphy, #9)
  • Catch as Cat Can  (Mrs. Murphy, #10)
  • The Tail of the Tip-Off  (Mrs. Murphy, #11)

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