Shirley Rousseau Murphy Books

Shirley Rousseau Murphy is an elderly American woman of letters. Murphy, who is an octogenarian, was born in May 1928 in Oakland upon California, in the US. She developed affection for animals while still young, and this would, many years later, stand her in good stead in her writing ambitions. For instance, in her formative years, she rode and showcased horses, thanks to her father who was an equine trainer. She schooled at San Francisco Art Institute. She has done interior design, has exhibited art, and has had a stint making metallic sculptures.

Order of Children of Ynell Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Ring of Fire 1977 Description / Buy
2 The Wolf Bell 1979 Description / Buy
3 The Castle of Hape 1980 Description / Buy
4 Caves of Fire and Ice 1980 Description / Buy
5 The Joining of the Stone 1981 Description / Buy

Order of Joe Grey Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Cat on the Edge 1996 Description / Buy
2 Cat Under Fire 1996 Description / Buy
3 Cat Raise the Dead 1997 Description / Buy
4 Cat in the Dark 1998 Description / Buy
5 Cat To The Dogs 1999 Description / Buy
6 Cat Spitting Mad 2000 Description / Buy
7 Cat Laughing Last 2001 Description / Buy
8 Cat Seeing Double 2003 Description / Buy
9 Cat Fear No Evil 2004 Description / Buy
10 Cat Cross Their Graves 2005 Description / Buy
11 Cat Breaking Free 2005 Description / Buy
12 Cat Deck the Halls 2007 Description / Buy
13 Cat Pay the Devil 2007 Description / Buy
14 Cat Playing Cupid 2009 Description / Buy
15 Cat Striking Back 2009 Description / Buy
16 Cat on the Money 2010 Description / Buy
17 Cat Coming Home 2010 Description / Buy
18 Cat Telling Tales 2011 Description / Buy
19 Cat Bearing Gifts 2012 Description / Buy
20 Cat Shout for Joy 2016 Description / Buy

Order of Dragonbards Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Nightpool 1985 Description / Buy
2 The Ivory Lyre 1987 Description / Buy
3 The Dragonbards 1988 Description / Buy

Order of Lee Fontana Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Cat, The Devil, and Lee Fontana 2014 Description / Buy
2 The Cat, the Devil, the Last Escape 2015 Description / Buy

Order of Shirley Rousseau Murphy Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Sand Ponies 1967 Description / Buy
2 White Ghost Summer 1969 Description / Buy
3 Wind Child 1973 Description / Buy
4 Poor Jenny, Bright As A Penny 1974 Description / Buy
5 The Grass Tower 1976 Description / Buy
6 Silver Woven In My Hair 1977 Description / Buy
7 Soonie and the Dragon 1979 Description / Buy
8 Elmo Doolan and the Search for the Golden Mouse 1982 Description / Buy
9 The Flight of the Fox 1983 Description / Buy
10 Valentine for a Dragon 1984 Description / Buy
11 Medallion of the Black Hound 1989 Description / Buy
12 The Song of the Christmas Mouse 1990 Description / Buy
13 The Catswold Portal 1992 Description / Buy

Order of Shirley Rousseau Murphy Picture Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Pig Who Could Conjure The Wind 1978 Description / Buy
2 Tattie's River Journey 1983 Description / Buy

Anthologies/Collaborations

# Read Title Published Details
1 Motherhood Is Murder 2003 Description / Buy
2 Christmas Cats 2005 Description / Buy
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Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s desire to start writing came hard on the heels of her and her husband’s relocation to Panama. She has also co-authored books with her husband called Pat J. J. Murphy, a former probation officer. Incidentally, her literary work is inspired by animals, especially pets, wherein the animal characters are anthropomorphized although they still maintain their feline characteristics.

Shirley Rousseau Murphy has authored over forty books. However, she is most notably renowned for authoring the Joe Grey series. Did you know that, one, the bond between her and animals, and, two, noticing the market gap of insufficient literary work based on humanized animals inspired her to start writing the Joe Grey series? As such, she started creating literary worlds wherein felines not only maintained their natural instincts but could also talk. The first edition of the first entry in the serialized Joe Grey was originally in 1996, titled Cat on the Edge, and this series is shelved as cozy mystery, fantasy, and animal fable genres.

In the first book in the Joe Grey series, Cat on the Edge, the featured protagonist is Joe Grey. The main character, which is an animal, is a detective tomcat. The said cat has been living a spectacular lifestyle with its owners. This sheltered life is a contrast of the circumstances under which it met its owners. By then, the cat was young, hungry and not cared for by anyone when someone chanced upon it abandoned; incidentally, this part evokes sad memories. Just like in the Molena Point streets wherein the fictitious tomcat was seen, husband Pat J. J. Murphy found the family’s real-life cat called ELT abandoned at a windswept airfield starving and distressed all the while.

Back to the fictitious Joe Grey; by a stroke of luck, Grey realizes that it can communicate pretty perfectly with other people. This rare ability stands it in good stead when it witnesses a murderer–the murderer has also seen the cat and is angling for killing the cat too– when it starts sleuthing, seeking to nab the killer.

Shirley Rousseau Murphy Awards

Shirley Rousseau Murphy is an eight-time winner of the annual book award which was proffered by the American-based and cats-oriented Cat Writers’ Association. Murphy is a five-time winner of the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists prize. In 2006, Murphy clinched the World’s Best Cat Literary Award, thanks to her greatly liked Joe Grey series. Murphy has also been nominated for the Locus Award in the Best Art Book category.

Best Shirley Rousseau Murphy Books

In the bibliography of Shirley Rousseau Murphy, the three best books are: Cat on the Edge, Cat Under Fire, and The Catsworld Portal.

Cat on the Edge: This book has been explained previously.

Cat Under Fire This book was initially published in 1996, is the second book in the Joe Grey series. Hereby, protagonist Joe Grey, a somehow ‘larger than life’ tomcat, can communicate with people and has another friendly cat who also do so. However, the other cat is too trusting such that it trusts a person imprisoned for allegedly killing a celebrated regional artist. The inmate has stated that he is innocent and the trusting cat is on a quest for proving his innocence. Joe Grey is a curious onlooker.

Catswold Portal: A standalone book published in 1992. It features a certain Melissa and her caretaker Mag. Melissa neither recalls her infancy nor her origin. But it turns out Melissa is a past master at changing from a person to a feline.

Other Book Series You May Like

Readers awed by Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s books were also awe-struck by these book series. The first one is “Mrs Murphy” series which is penned by Rita Mae Brown; it features cat called Mrs Murphy which is owned by a postmistress-cum-Virginia resident called Mary Minor Haristeen. The second one is the Feline Wizards series authored by Diane Duane; this is all about the exploits of Nita and Kit, two youngish wizards, as they face-off an antagonist seeking to destroy the whole universe.

Another one is called “Midnight Louie” series authored by Carole Nelson Douglas. It features Midnight Louie, a tomcat detective, and PR professional called Temple Barr.

When Does The Next Shirley Rousseau Murphy book come out?

Shirley Rousseau Murphy doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Cat Shout for Joy and was released on February, 23rd 2016. It is the newest book in the Joe Grey Series.

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