Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pawing Through the Past (Mrs. Murphy, #8)” as Want to Read:
Pawing Through the Past (Mrs. Murphy, #8)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pawing Through the Past

(Mrs. Murphy #8)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,703 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Pawing Through the Past: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 30th 2001 by Bantam (first published 2000)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pawing Through the Past, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pawing Through the Past

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,703 ratings  ·  109 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Pawing Through the Past (Mrs. Murphy, #8)
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was another good story with 3 of my favorite characters: Mrs. Murphy, Tucker and Pewter. This tale revolves around Harry's high school reunion and I was amused that her 2 cats and dog went along with her to the school. I can't even imagine the chaos that would ensue if I brought my furry trio to a public event. However, everyone in this town seems to accept the animals presence here, there and everywhere (as it should be.) I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed the previous 7 and will continue ...more
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The thing you have to know about Rita Mae Brown is that she is a social activist first and a writer second. If you do not know this going into her books, you are going to find them preachy.

The cats and dogs in her stories talk to each other (though not to humans), and she will often put words in their mouths, such as how Congress is ruining this country, and why don't people get off their duffs and exercise through the noble sport of fox hunting? And I read it and go, "Oh, really, I will have
Jul 29, 2015 added it
Shelves: cosy-mysteries
I have read a good portion of the Mrs. Murphy series and have enjoyed them all. They are wonderful light reading and Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown write with a lovely sense of humor. The characters are engaging and the you always learn a little something about the south with every book. Great books to get your mind off your troubles.
Liz  Meyer
Jul 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
hated it. Trite and demonizes a transsexual character. Really a disappointment.
Laurel Bradshaw
Not a review. These notes are for my own reference and may contain spoilers!

Reread on audio.

Takes place August through October (2001?)

Crozet is preparing for the 50th reunion of the class of 1950, and the 20th reunion of the class of 1980. Harry is in that class, so she is ~38. Fair is a year ahead, so 39.

The usuals: Harry, Fair, Mrs. Hogendobber, Susan Tucker, Boom Boom, Cynthia and Rick (police). Tee Tucker, Mrs. Murphy, and Pewter. Pewter gets to be a bit of a hero finally.

Pawing Through the Past is the eighth entry in the Mrs. Murphy series. It is a bit darker than her previous titles with some trigger issues that may bother some readers (view spoiler).

This particular installment focuses on Harry's 20th high school reunion, and the male senior superlatives from her graduating class that are being picked off. The book starts off a bit slow and I figured out who the killer was
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2015
I gave up on this series a few years ago as it had totally lost its shine so it was nice to revisit one of the earlier books when the series was still quite good.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I almost didnt figure out the killers identity in this Mrs. Murphy title, and I had a lot of fun trying to solve this mystery. The time has come for Harrys 20-year high school reunion, and along with the arrivals of classmates from far away, murder descends upon the Virginia town of Crozet. In addition, the town is also celebrating the 50-year high school reunion of Miranda Hogendobbers class, and a handsome high school sweetheart of Mirandas arrives in the town.

I adore this book. Every
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Harry is keeping busy with running the Post Office in Crozet, doing chores on her small farm, and helping to plan her 20th class reunion. When she and other members of her graduating class receive anonymous mailings with 'You'll never grow old' on them, Harry takes it as a compliment. However, when one of her classmates is murdered, the mailings take on a sinister tone. Another, similar mailing is followed by another murder, indicating that someone is out for revenge. Harry doesn't know why, but ...more
Feb 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Though I enjoy others in the series, this is another one that has not aged well. I saw the "Who Dunnit" coming, and boy did I hope I was wrong.... (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A high school reunion should be fun, unless, of course, you are on the planning committee. But the reunion itself should be all about catching up with old friends, and maybe even making new ones. However, when death attends, uninvited, fun goes out the window.

An innocuous incognito mailing reading "You'll never grow old" sent to Harry (Mary Minor) Haristeen's entire graduating class takes a new and sinister meaning when one of the graduating class is murdered in Crozet just before the reunion.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cats, dogs
I really liked this entry in the Southern set mystery series with the animals, most notably Pewter and Mrs. Murphy the cats, and Tee Tucker, the main character's pets figuring prominently in the series. Harry(the main character) is on the committee to put together her 1980 20th anniversary celebration of her graduation from Crozet High School. Mrs. H. also has her 50th class graduating anniversary in the same building at the same time. Unfortunately male members of the class end up dead. Who and ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've said this before, but I love Brown's ability to weave sensitive and timely issues - usually at least somewhat controversial issues - into the her stories without turning her books into a microphone for her views. While this series won't be considered great literature, it does what great literature should do - it puts things out there for people to think about. She also doesn't just do this with the big theme/motive for the murder, she does it in more subtle ways too. Pointing out the ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The general mystery story was good, but it was like the animals were a strange addition rather than a central part of the plot. I like the storyline, and could easily follow it by reading the books before or after this one, I don't know whether the distraction of animals who talk to one another but whose interaction with humans seems more limited than it should be in novel obviously requiring suspension of belief. With so many interesting books available, not certain I will try one of these ...more
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another enjoyable light mystery. I love that the animals (Mrs. Murphy, Tucker, and Pewter) uncover clues and often solve the mystery before the humans ("Harry" - Mary Harristeen and her friends and neighbors). This one revolved around a 20th high school reunion. Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie are good at plotting and character development; however, this time I did have a good idea about who-dun-it before I got to the end but Sneaky Pie lives up to her name because I did miss the final couple of twists.
Harry is on the planning committee for her 20 year class reunion. Mysterious letters are turning up in many of the former classmates mailboxes and soon thereafter one of them is murdered. When a second classmate is murdered Harry and her 3 loyal pets must solve this case before another life is claimed. Will they be able to catch the evil mastermind before its too late...

A great suspenseful and entertaining thriller.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
The high school reunion part (which is the main story) was a bit thin, but the characters and the story of their lives was a lot of fun. Of course, the animals solve it - again. I'm really reading these more for the small town of Crozet and the pets than the mystery at this point.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finally, after I really had to fight myself through the last book, this one was great again. Could not put it down and genuinely enjoyed the storyline and the characters. Interesting right from the beginning.
Carol Layton
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Better than the last one, but still rather odd. Brown does not hesitate to touch the issues of the day, and at least in this story, the animals are a lot less philosophical and more like cats and dogs!
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
As you know I am a great fan of Rita Mae Brown. I enjoyed the charm of country living and loving devoted animals. Her books sooth me. This one did. She also has a Sister Jane series when I can find them.
Pamela J Buckles
Kept me entertained

Its been a long time since I read my last Mrs Murphy mystery. This was great fun and I enjoyed reading about Harry and her animals and friends.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
I liked it and I really didn't expect to. I'm glad I gave it a go. In fact I have downloaded another one to listen to.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love all the Mrs. Murphy Mystery. The main characters are the three animals that talk to each other and understand what the humans are saying. Fun easy read
Fred Nachbrunn
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great who done it mystery challenge

A true challenge to solve. The ultimately mystery puzzle for every armchair sleuth to solve.
The author is at the top of her game.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
This mystery revolves around the 20th high school reunion for Harry and Susan and friends. Its fun to explore some of their backstory. And the animals help save the day as usual. Good mystery. ...more
Belle Meade School
Sep 04, 2019 marked it as general-fiction  ·  review of another edition
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I really enjoy the outlook of the animals. These books are fun mysteries and fun to read. On to the next one.
Karen Newby
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well done!!! Great twist!
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's Rita Mae Brown... what more needs to be said?
Harry Addington
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another good entry with murders at a high school reunion. Twist ending.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Cat Who Saw Red (Cat Who... #4)
  • The Cat Who Blew the Whistle (Cat Who... #17)
  • The Cat Who Brought Down the House (Cat Who... #25)
  • The Cat Who Saw Stars (Cat Who... #21)
  • The Cat Who Said Cheese (Cat Who... #18)
  • The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers (Cat Who..., #29)
  • The Cat Who Wasn't There (Cat Who..., #14)
  • The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare (Cat Who..., #7)
  • Christmas Sweets (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #18.5)
  • The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (Cat Who... #28)
  • Back to School Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #4)
  • The Cat Who Went Up the Creek (Cat Who... #24)
  • The Cat Who Talked Turkey (Cat Who... #26)
  • The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal (Cat Who... #12)
  • The Cat Who Went Bananas (Cat Who... #27)
  • Coconut Layer Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #25)
  • Tippy Toe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #2)
  • The Cat Who Went Underground (Cat Who... #9)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Mrs. Murphy (1 - 10 of 30 books)
  • Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy, #1)
  • 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)
  • Claws and Effect (Mrs. Murphy, #9)
  • Catch as Cat Can  (Mrs. Murphy, #10)
  • The Tail of the Tip-Off  (Mrs. Murphy, #11)

News & Interviews

Regular readers of romance know that the genre is currently chock-full of fresh plotlines and heroines who save themselves (and sometimes the he...
125 likes · 53 comments