Wish You Were Here

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen occupies her time coping with her duties as postmistress, struggling to survive her divorce, and satisfying the competing demands of Mrs. Murphy and Tee Tucker. Mrs. Murphy is a cat and Tee Tucker a dog, although to label them in such a manner is rather like asserting that the Mona Lisa is a painting and champagne a white wine. Along with their friends, they are an integral part of this new work by one of the more original writing teams in contemporary fiction.

Someone is committing murder in the quiet town of Crozet, Virginia, located in the shadow of the urban sprawl which is Charlottesville. These crimes, which would be a rarity in Crozet in any case, are particularly inexplicable and gory. Harry determines to unmask the killer, unaware that Mrs. Murphy and Tee Tucker are also investigating the case. Following the parallel efforts of Harry and her animal friends, WISH YOU WERE HERE switches back and forth between their points of view as they place their lives and their relationships in jeopardy.

Rita Mae Brown loves the South, and she faithfully renders the eccentricities she observes among her neighbors. She is also an original and penetrating critic of the contemporary scene. Both characteristics are present in this, her first excursion into the mystery genre, and the reader is the beneficiary.