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Mrs. Murphy Books In Order

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Publication Order of Mrs. Murphy Books

Wish You Were Here (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rest in Pieces (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at Monticello (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pay Dirt (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder, She Meowed (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder on the Prowl (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cat on the Scent (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pawing Through the Past (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Claws and Effect (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Catch as Cat Can (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tail of the Tip-Off (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whisker of Evil (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cat's Eyewitness (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sour Puss (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Puss 'n Cahoots (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Purrfect Murder (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Santa Clawed (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cat of the Century (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hiss of Death (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Cat Nap (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sneaky Pie for President (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Litter of the Law (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nine Lives to Die (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tail Gait (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tall Tail (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Hiss Before Dying (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Probable Claws (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whiskers in the Dark (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Furmidable Foes (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Claws for Alarm (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hiss & Tell (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Feline Fatale (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Rita Mae Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of the Mrs. Murphy mystery series, which she writes with her cat, Sneaky Pie. She says that it takes a cat to write the purr-fect mystery and everyone agrees. The eponymous character in the series, Mrs. Murphy, is actually the cat of 30-something divorcee Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen and together, they help in solving mysteries in Crozet, Virginia. This series started in 1990 and there are more than twenty books in the series. The success of the series has seen one of her books (Murder, She Meowed) turned into a movie (Murder She Purred), which was released in 1998.

The first book in the Mrs. Murphy series is called ‘Wish You were Here’. In this story, curiosity just might be the death of Mrs. Murphy-and her human companion, Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen. You see towns are just like families where everyone lives close together, and everyone has secrets. Crozet, Virginia happens to be your typical little town, until its hidden secrets explode and murder follows. Apart from having a cat, Harry also has a Corgi called Tucker, and she also has an imminent divorce. She also has this awful habit of scanning postcards that haven’t been mailed to her.

So when the citizens of Crozet start being murdered, Harry remembered that each of these people had received a postcard with the picture of a tombstone at the front, and a message that read “Wish You Were Here” at the back. Wanting to protect their human companion, Tucker and Mrs. Murphy start sniffing around for clues. In the meantime, Harry has also started her own investigations, unaware that her beloved pets are a step in front of her. Now if only her cat could somehow manage to alert her, the culprit could be found, and murder could be averted before Harry is put on the murderer’s mailing list.

One of the most loveable things about this book is that it is written in a light and funny way. In addition, it’s easy for the readers to pick up from where they were reading. The tranquility of Crozet is suddenly shattered when a series of murders happen after two decades of peace and safety. Harry the postmistress begins getting clues from other people’s postcards. With the assistance of her two pets, she becomes involved in helping to solve these murders.

Perhaps the pace of the novel could have picked up if Harry could have her pending divorce finalized quickly. The overall mood of the story is also slightly dampened, but it is still a great story to read. We find a cat and dog busy deliberating about the terror of our human condition with regards to nature, family and people who are mentally ill. There’s a mystery going on alright, but the weird and frustrating thing is the dearth of communication existing between the two pets and their owner. For a first book in a series, the author has done a tremendous job.

The second book in this series is called ‘Rest in Pieces’. Mrs. Murphy thinks that the new man in town is the bee’s knees but maybe she ought to think again. You see small towns don’t particularly like strangers, unless this stranger is a handsome and seemingly single male. So when Blair Bainbridge arrives in Crozet, local matchmakers don’t waste any time in trying to pair him up with the newly divorced postmistress, Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen. And even her beloved cat and dog think that the man smells A-okay.

However, could his single flaw be that this man is a killer? When parts of a mutilated corpse start to show up around the small town, Blair becomes a prime suspect. Even though no one knows the identity of the murdered man, when grisly clues start making an appearance, everyone is frozen in fear. Enter Mrs. Murphy and her buddy Tucker, accompanied by their owner Harry. The three of them start digging through the clues, only to miss death by a whisker at the hands of the killer. But this time things are different because the pets and their owner are able to communicate well.

A cozy mystery can sometimes turn out to be more than that, and Rest in Pieces falls into that category. Mrs. Brown delves into a bit of environmentalism, and what it means to have real and long-lasting relationships. The second book is quite impressive and as a reader, you can’t wait to go through the entire series. Newly divorced Harry is a young woman who is also attractive. As a postmistress, she finds it perfectly in order for her to go through people’s postcards. She figures that after all, if senders wanted some privacy, they could as well enclose these postcards in envelopes.

In this installment, a mutilated hand is discovered by Tucker the Corgi. The dog only relinquishes the find under duress from Harry, who alerts the cops. This mystery was a good one and you are kept in suspense up to the conclusion. Just as the humans interact with each other to solve the mystery, the animals are also interacting with each other. Sometimes the humans fail to do their job properly and so the animals step up to the plate and attempt to solve the mystery before their owner gets hurt. The writing is not corny and the book is written in a really nice way.

The author has done a great job of developing the characters in the story, and you learn a lot about them. In addition, she has done a tremendous job of describing the setting, which is during Christmas and Halloween. The community also comes together and tries to find the killer. The plot was also good and it moves at a fast pace. If you’re a mystery lover and you also love animals, this book comes highly recommended. The author expertly depicts life in a small town, the holiday parties, Harry’s mundane chores, and even a fox hunting expedition are vividly described. If these first two books are anything to go by, the Mrs. Brown series will prove to be an instant hit with readers.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Mrs. Murphy

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