Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy, #1)” as Want to Read:
Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wish You Were Here

(Mrs. Murphy #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  9,918 ratings  ·  476 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 1990)
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 Wish You Were Here, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,918 ratings  ·  476 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy, #1)
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
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
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
May 05, 2009 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Marythios (AkaSusanne )
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
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
Feb 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kevin by: cozy mystery lovers, cat and dog lovers
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.
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.
I read this book for the 2018 Read Harder Challenge - Task 21: A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author. It was super bizarre when I realized the animals were the ones speaking at times! it was fun and lighthearted, but not a series I plan to return to.
Dec 15, 2014 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.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, mystery
One of the items on the 2019 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge is to read a cozy mystery. This one was mostly charming, wherein the postmaster of a small Virgina town is making peace with her impending divorce while trying to sleuth out who is killing people in her town. Her pet cat and dog, frustrated with how slow the humans are at their investigations, start doing their own detective work and do everything they can to make their human understand the clues they've found. However, at two differen ...more
Joseph Carrabis
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
I had such high hopes for this book. I read Brown’s Starting from Scratch (and reviewed it on my blog) and it’s a dynamite read. Informative, witty, educational, erudite, and just plain fun. I figured anybody who’d written Starting from Scratch had to write well.

Well, the book was okay. Not great. Not worth a reread. I found it flat, actually. The characters didn’t engage me, the plot seemed weak, the setting so-so. All in all, nothing to grab and keep my interest.
Bummer, really. I really wanted

May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ontd, 2020-reads, mystery
My first cozy mystery. I think I understand the appeal of the genre. I'm not one of those that's why good at figuring out mysteries so I genuinely wasn't sure who the killer was for most of the book, which works just fine for me. The animal characters are by far the most sensible characters in the book and offer keen insights about humans and human society.

Brown also manages to weave in bits of southern history, including calling it the War of a Northern Aggression and showing the classist and
Callie Stockman
I've been on the "prowl" for a good cozy mystery series and nothing has been that enjoyable. Rita Mae Brown might not break the mold, but throwing in a cat and dog detective is apparently what I needed to really fall in love with the genre.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Wanted: Spoiler on Harry and Blair 3 8 Sep 02, 2016 07:48PM  
WISH YOU WERE HERE 8 48 Apr 14, 2013 11:19AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Adult fiction: Mystery with talking animals [s] 4 64 Dec 23, 2012 07:18AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (Cat Who..., #1)
  • The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare (Cat Who..., #7)
  • The Cat Who Blew the Whistle (Cat Who... #17)
  • The Cat Who Smelled a Rat (Cat Who... #23)
  • The Cat Who Went into the Closet (Cat Who... #15)
  • The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (Cat Who... #28)
  • The Private Life of the Cat Who... (Cat Who... SSC3)
  • The Cat Who Brought Down the House (Cat Who... #25)
  • The Cat Who Saw Stars (Cat Who... #21)
  • Fatal Fixer-Upper (A Do-It-Yourself Mystery, #1)
  • The Cat Who Played Brahms (Cat Who... #5)
  • The Cat Who Wasn't There (Cat Who..., #14)
  • The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (Cat Who... #10)
  • The Cat Who Sang for the Birds (Cat Who... #20)
  • The Cat Who Had 14 Tales
  • The Cat Who Robbed a Bank (Cat Who... #22)
  • The Cat Who Went Underground (Cat Who... #9)
  • The Cat Who Talked Turkey (Cat Who... #26)
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 Un

Other books in the series

Mrs. Murphy (1 - 10 of 30 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)

News & Interviews

You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't...
45 likes · 20 comments
“humans are much more like sheep than cats. They’re easily led and they don’t look where they’re going until it’s too late.” 1 likes
“the times had become more ruthlessly commercial. Even” 0 likes
More quotes…