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

(Mrs. Murphy #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  10,747 ratings  ·  572 reviews
an alternate cover edition can be found here

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 postmistress, Mary Mi
Paperback, 284 pages
Published October 1st 1991 by Bantam (first published November 1st 1990)
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Mercurybard I was reading this at 12-13 and my parents were extremely strict about monitoring content, so it should be fine for YA readers.

I don't know how many …more
I was reading this at 12-13 and my parents were extremely strict about monitoring content, so it should be fine for YA readers.

I don't know how many preteens would find them interesting--I did, but I was reading 2+ novels a day.(less)

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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,747 ratings  ·  572 reviews

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3.5⭐I've heard of this popular series and have been wanting to read it. There are thirty books and that's kind of intimidating to jump in but thanks to The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group pick for February BOTM, I find this to be a perfect opportunity to check it out.

This is a great start to a new series set in Crozet Virginia, a town of three thousand near Charlottesville. I saw a cat on the cover and to my surprise, she's Mrs. Murphy! Mary Minor Haristeen, or Harry, the town's postmistress
Sep 23, 2021 rated it liked it

The 'Mrs. Murphy' cozy mystery series began over three decades ago, with the charming premise that animals could speak amongst themselves and help their owner solve crimes. In recent years author Rita Mae Brown has used the Mrs. Murphy novels to promote her politics and to discuss American history, and I've enjoyed the books less and less. For that reason, I decided to reach back and read this first novel in the series, just for fun.


Thirtysomething Harry Haristeen is a postmistress in the
Stephen Howell
Mar 25, 2012 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
I started reading the Mrs. Murphy series years ago before I had kids and life got incredi-busy. Somewhere in the middle of the series I got so busy with life (darn adulting!) and lost connection with this series. I popped back in a year or so ago and reviewed a couple of the newer books. This year...since I declared 2018 to be a Read-Whatever-the-Heck-I-Want-To Year....I decided to re-read some favorite books and series. The Mrs. Murphy series was right near the top of the list! I loved these bo ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
YIKES what a stinker. I read this for the "mystery written by LGBT author" bit of the Read Harder challenge and I regret it deeply. Part of this is that I've never read cozy mysteries so I now know I am super not a fan. But also, the characters were so vapid and weak that I found myself rushing to the sections where the corgi and his cat friend solve the mystery, which is probably not how the book was supposed to be read.
Also, was super not a fan of the weird casual racism in certain parts of t
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-wom, mystery
Rita Mae Brown's 'Mrs. Murphy' series has been on my radar for a long time but it hasn't been until now that I borrowed the first title from my library. I wish I knew I would enjoy it so much. I would have begun years ago. Fortunately there are well over 20 books in the series and I look forward to reading each one chronologically. I have already put the second 'Rest in Pieces' on hold. A postmistress with a Welsh Corgi and tiger cat are the stars of the series. It has very charming and amusing ...more
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
Feb 16, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I was expecting a nice book, but I was disappointed.

It was hard for me to focus on this story. I wouldn't say I'm some big fan of cozy mysteries, but I've read some books in this genre. Sometimes even with good results. But here this typical style of cozy mystery irritated me from time to time. All these inserts about life in a small town, where everyone knows everything about everyone else and is quick to judge, somehow annoyed me.

I also couldn't help feeling that I was reading the next book in
May 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Donna Craig
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
The story and the characters in this book were very good. However, the conversations between the pets were unbearable. Seriously? I can’t do books with cats calling each other bitches. I won’t be continuing this series. On the other hand, if you enjoy reading conversations between pets presented seriously, you will love this book. The writer is skilled and develops the characters and their relationships in a way that kept my interest throughout the book. This is a cozy mystery set in a small Vir ...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.

Mar 31, 2013 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
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I honestly can't decide if I want to continue with this series. I'm not a prude, I'm a high school librarian for crying out loud, but the crassness of the language in this book is very out of character for the setting that is portrayed. It just doesn't mesh for me nor does it make it a pleasant cozy read. It became better in the second part of the book but I wondered if the author had a "curse word" quota she was trying to fill in the first 25 pages of the book. ...more
Nov 21, 2022 rated it it was ok
omg why are these talking animals so into capitalism and eugenics?? upsetting
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
A solid 3 stars. I would've given it more for the animals, who were charming and funny and smarter than most of the humans in the story, but some of the humans really annoyed me. So did the social commentary being thrown around guessed it....the animals. Plot development was a little slow after a good start and I found myself impatiently skimming to find out who did it. I realize this was a "first" so I may try one more since the reviews said the series gets better, but I'm mainly curio ...more
Christine (KizzieReads)
This was such a cute start of a hopefully, really fun series. After I got over all the different names of the characters, the story just took off and it was a fun ride. I loved the dialogue and wit of all the pets. I could picture our cats doing some of the same things and saying to myself, "So that's why they do that" several times. I kind of figured out who the killer was, but only because I've read a lot of books, and it was just a natural guess based on that. It was still fun to see how ever ...more
Dec 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
What in the actual fuck was this? First of all, let me say, I cuss a lot. My husband regularly exclaims, "Must you be so vulgar?" Comparisons to a sailor (a very salty one) are apt. So, when I say that the cussing in this one threw me for a loop, that's saying something. In the past, I've often complained about the chasteness of the cozy genre. No one ever says "damn," no one ever seems to want anything more than a kiss. Well, there's got to be a happy middle between that and whatever the hell W ...more
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I liked "Wish You Were Here" more than two stars reflect. I finally procured Rita Mae Brown's series-opening novel, having stalled a few pieces I've had, for years. It took several chapters to know how I was taking to it because they oversaw an introduction to townspeople. In 1990, I was happy to remember, a post office was a centre of community. I continue to utilize mail, maintain hopes of receiving it, and vacations aren't complete until I send postcards to close friends and family.

I don't sh
Karen B.
Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in the series and it seemed strange reading it because things do progress over time in Crozet and I have read all of the more recent books. Don't know how I missed this one. This was one of those books I stayed up late for because I just had to finish it. I didn't care for it so much in the beginning but obviously by the end I was anxious to finish it and enjoying every minute of it.
Harry (Mary Minor Harristeen) is the postmistress of Crozet and has two loyal and lovable p
Paul Lunger
Apr 04, 2012 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 action. Th ...more
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story introduces us to the world of Crozet, Virginia an animal friendly town. There is a bit of background about the founder of the town which adds to the story. When the first crime to affect the town in nearly 2 decades happen, the citizens get a tad concerned. The cast of characters spring into action. The animals in this book are also characters which brings the light hearted funny spin between the dialogue of the animals. At times the animals seemed to be more intelligent then the huma ...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
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
First book in a very, very long series! But I guess that means that these books are great. Well, I have to say, I certainly enjoyed this first!

The writing style is great, loved the interaction between the animals. I am always curious how animals play a part in a book and how one learns what they are saying/thinking. Really liked how this was done in this book. I myself have 2 cats and 1 dog and I could relate to Harry seeing her animals do things and having no real clue what they meant. I also v
Mar 06, 2014 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
Feb 10, 2010 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
Jay Rose
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved Rubyfruit Jungle and the Hand that Cradles the Rock, so I was super excited to see that Brown had written an entire series, with the aid of her cat! This is a delightful read, one that jumps perspectives from the main character Harry to her pets, Mrs Murphy a beautiful gray tiger cat and Tee Tucker a corgi that I wish was my own. One thing I really loved about this novel is that in the fashion of old style mystery writers, Brown added a list of characters at the start, helping me keep tr ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very cute book, and enjoyed reading it. (I wasn't sure when it started with a cast of characters... I hate feeling like I have to do my homework before reading a book.) The interactions between the pets especially amuses me.

Full review is here.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book really was not good. It was "written by a cat" and honestly, with the writing and sudden topic shifts, it probably was written by Brown's cat. I won't be reading another one of these. It was mildly enjoyable... in the guilty-pleasure realm but also in the I'm-so-ready-for-this-to-be-over realm. It was a cutesy bad read. ...more
Feb 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
It's not the Cat Who (one of my guilty pleasure reads) but it's pretty good so far. Finished it today and really enjoyed the novel it's a good start to the series and I'll definitely read more Harry, Mrs Murphy and Tucker adventures in the future. ...more
Sandra Knapp
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story was absolutely delightful. A fun little mystery with lots of colorful and interesting characters, and part of the tale is told by a couple of cats and a wee Corgi. Very relaxing, and thoroughly enjoyable in every way.
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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)
  • 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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