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Pay Dirt (Mrs. Murphy, #4)
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Pay Dirt

(Mrs. Murphy #4)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  3,478 ratings  ·  114 reviews
an alternate cover edition can be found here

The residents of tiny Crozet, Virginia, thrive on gossip, especially in the post office, where Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen presides with her tiger cat, Mrs. Murphy. So when a belligerent Hell's Angel crashes Crozet, demanding to see his girlfriend, the leather-clad interloper quickly becomes the chief topic of conversation. Then
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Bantam (first published 1995)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,478 ratings  ·  114 reviews

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Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The fourth book in the Mrs. Murphy series was quite satisfying as cozies go. I liked that there was a lot of comedic interaction between Mrs. Murphy, Tucker and Pewter. I am not embarrassed to admit that I like this series precisely because of the two cats and dog. They are the highlight but the regular cast of characters are likable in this Virginia town. I plan to read every single book in this series in chronological order.
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Been a while since I read any of the books in this series. I'd forgotten how much I liked them - especially the snarky cat - even if I figured out who the murderer was about half-way through the book. ...more
Christine (KizzieReads)
Even though I am getting better and reading between the lines and figuring out the whodunnit part, I still really enjoyed this! I love the animals and their banter to each other and towards the humans. Being a cat owner, the author has nailed their mannerisms down pat.

This installment has a biker turning up dead after loudly looking for his wife Malibu. No one by that name lives in Crozet, so everyone thinks it was just a mix up. Then a computer virus is said to be hitting all the banks on a sp
Feb 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Cute story.

Harry is one of the two postmistresses in Crozet, Virginia. She has a cat, Mrs Murphy, and a corgi, Tucker. The other postmistress is Mrs Hogendobber (Miranda) who really doesn't care to much for animals but has no choice since Mrs Murphy & Tucker go wherever Harry goes. Crozet is not far from Ash Lawn, the home of the late President James Monroe. The docents at Ash Lawn are many of the characters in this story and who live in Crozet.

A Hells Angel-type biker rolls up to Ash Lawn & rud
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun, cozy mystery that held my attention and entertained me from the beginning to the end. The familiar residents of Crozet, Virginia, continue to evolve their relationships with one another in the face of multiple mysteries going on, namely a frightening new computer virus called Threadneedle and the murder of a stranger who rolled into town on his Harley motorcycle searching for his ex-wife Malibu. I especially appreciated that the dynamic among Harry, her ex-husband Fair, and her n ...more
Jul 19, 2009 rated it liked it
This was my first Rita Mae Brown book. I love mysteries, but this one is different than what I'm used to reading, mainly because of the "talking" animals throughout the book. That part is at the same time silly but likable. I'm a huge animal lover and have had cats and dogs my entire life. The author really captures the mannerisms that any cat or dog owner is very familiar with. As to the animals' dialog, it's in italics, which makes it a little easier to follow. Of course, the humans can't unde ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The gossip mill is working overtime in Crozet. Harry Haristeen and her pets, Mrs. Murphy the cat and Tucker the corgi get involved in a case. When a leather-clad biker storms into the Monroe house looking for 'Malibu' and apparently high on something, he is eventually ousted but then turns up dead in the woods. Not long afterwards, the bank president is shot and killed, and a bank clerk is strangled. Is all this related to the mysteriouis Threadneedle virus that has computer experts in a panic? ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The small town of Crozet is atwitter when a biker roars into town, looking for a woman named Malibu. When the biker is found murdered, some speculate that he was at the epicenter of a drug deal gone bad. In the meantime, the town's residents are also worried about the dreaded Threadneedle virus, which is set to infect computers on August first. The local bank takes precautions, but two million turns up missing anyway. Later, the bank president is murdered while working late at night in an effort ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An improvement over the previous volume, which focused a little too much on questionable history for my taste (I prefer to know where the lines are being blurred), this one gets right back to the author's strengths - an unexplained murder confuses the town, not least because no one knows the victim, but over the course of the book things move closer and closer to home. Another murder involves one of their own. It's predictable, but so well done you really don't mind. Brown's talent for making he ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Honestly, this was really boring. None of the characters were interesting nor compelling. The mystery was also SO predictable. It got to be that I was looking for twists everywhere. (view spoiler) I also REALLY couldn't stand the love-triangle nonsense! I keep feeling like Harry's going to go back to Fair because he realized he was an idiot, but after learning more about Harry ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pay Dirt was enjoyable and definitely better than the last book in the series. In Pay Dirt it feels as though the author is going back to what made the first two books good, except the author didn't quite make it there. The author fleshes out the characters even more without them being clustered together and bringing more life to them. However I really wish that Harry had been fleshed and expanded more as she seemed to become more of a side character in this book. The plot was interesting and on ...more
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy visiting Crozet, Virginia, and this visit did not disappoint. These books are not read solely for the actual mystery, as there usually isn't much mystery to them. In this case I knew "who done it" from about chapter two or three. But it's the charm of the characters, both two-legged ad four-legged, and the sense of place that keeps one coming back for more of Harry, Mrs. Murphy, and Tee Tucker. If you enjoy cozy mysteries featuring animals who assist their humans in crime solving ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
OH MY! Let's start with a murder, oh, take two, they're small-ish...When a stranger turns up murdered in Crozet, Virginia, Harry Haristeen is, of course, bound and determined to find the killer with the able assistance of her brilliant tabby, Mrs. Murphy, her Welsh Corgi, Tee Tucker, and their slighly zaftig friend, Pewter. But one murder turns into two, and there's a LOT of money missing from the local bank. Things are looking dire, but she won't give up! Harry would do far better is she learne ...more
Nancy L.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was the first I’d read by this author, and I will be looking for more. The murder mystery involved was not too explicit in detail, and the best part were the animals involved, who comment on clues and are as well charactered as the humans. Their role in pointing out clues through misbehavior etc. was amusing and endearing. To my mind, the mysteries themselves were pure secondary enjoyment.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read many of the Mrs. Murphy books as a child, but never read them in the right order. I do remember lots of snippets, but missed the big picture. Now that I try to read all of them in the right order, I realize how the characters gain depth over time. So far, I liked this book definitely best. Its fun to come back to Crozet, follow up on all the beloved characters and their lives. Also, I do think the storyline in this book is really nicely written. I did not want to stop reading.
Jules Bertaut
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This book is kind of a weird period piece because it's a mid-'90s book revolving around (among other things) a computer virus, which sure is different in the '90s than now.

Also the main character has a fairly anti-government streak which I think reads differently now than it did back when the book was written, but I guess I don't remember the early 90s that well so *shruggie emoji*

Anyway the mystery was fine.
Carol Layton
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This fourth book in the Mrs. Murphy series is finally settling down...the character development in the first three is rather ragged. It is still pretty far-fetched in terms of the philosophical capacities of the cat and dog, but the stories are fun and now that I can relate to the characters, they are becoming more interesting
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite part of these books is the animals’ commentary on the humans. It cracks me up. I also love the way the continuing characters develop. The mystery is interesting and involves old school computer viruses and Hell’s Angels which is a great combination.
Debbie Hagedorn
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mrs. Murphy hits Pay Dirt

Fans of the lovable pair, Mrs. Murphy and Tee Tucker, will love this adventure. A touch of danger, romance, jealousy and laughter will hit pay dirt for the reader. Sneaky Pie Brown is always a winner!
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cats, dogs
This time Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tee Tucker help the humans sp;ve a triple murder and banking computer virus mystery. A few cute illustrations and the cute animals make this a must reading. Recommended.
Nancy Fredenburgh
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A belligerent Hell's Angel crashes Crozet, Va., looking for his girlfriend and shortly he is found dead instead, murdered. Can Harry and her friends solve the case? Not without Mrs. Murphy, Tee Tucker, and Pewter. ...more
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Crooked banker? Biker in town, complete with Harley? 2 women battling over the same man? Murder? All of that and more, with Mrs. Murphy and Tee Tucker ready to take charge. I just love these easy reading, mostly happy-ending mysteries!
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't love a mystery series with a dog and 2 cats. ...more
Fred Nachbrunn
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great who done it

A mystery book to challenge even the most jaded armchair sleuth.
Find the clue solve the crimes.
A great who done it.
Michelle Stewart
loved it
Terralyn Brown Barfield
4 Stars. I love the human and animal characters in this series and I’m very picky when they have speaking parts in particular. A fun read.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An early Sneaky Pie Brown entry, before Rita Mae Brown got so politically correct. Pretty good and very enjoyable.
karen wendt
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always a pleasure to read this series.
Karen Newby
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Awesome read!!
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Very like a cat to have to stop and wash her paws on the way to catch a killer. :)
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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

Other books in the series

Mrs. Murphy (1 - 10 of 31 books)
  • Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy, #1)
  • Rest in Pieces (Mrs. Murphy #2)
  • Murder at Monticello (Mrs. Murphy #3)
  • 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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