I recently finished Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown (and her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown). It is the first in the lengthy series of Mrs. Murphy mysteries. It was first published in 1990. I’m really no fan of the author herself; politically I do not really support her positions whatsoever. However, I can appreciate her skills as an author without worrying too much about politics or social-agendas. A couple of times Brown’s feelings towards certain “political” topics comes through in the voices of her characters, but nothing that a reader in 2012 cannot deal with.
Generally, I read science fiction and fantasy. But on occasion (as can be seen through this blog) I will read some other style of fiction. As a rule, I dislike books laden with graphic sex, really bizarre murders/gore, and so forth. Needless to say chances are you won’t find me reading anything that’s too gruesome. I like what is called “cozy mysteries” because they are quick reads that are usually fun without a lot of fuss and muss. And well, I’m a bit of a sucker for pets/animals as stars and co-stars in novels. (Half of the reason I liked Katherine Neville’s The Eight was because of the dog.)
This novel was a good novel to read in between epic fantasy tomes and deep space adventures. No space marines in this one. It takes place in a small community in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. The main character is a newly divorced lass who works at the post office in town. She owns a cat and a dog who are her best friends and who do their best to look after her. Mrs Murphy is her world-wise cat who comes with plenty of attitude.
I suppose the bad guy was rather obvious from the start – if you’re someone who reads a lot of mysteries. I, of course, do not and therefore, of course, was surprised at the end. Overall, I find the general motive behind the bad guy’s crimes to be a bit dated or difficult to believe. But, then again, a murderer cannot be expected to have perfectly reasonable motives. I will probably read the next in the series eventually. If you’re looking for a book to read for a day while you are waiting for Neal Stephenson’s or Brandon Sanderson’s next tome, this will do.