“Ye-es, she’s coming on down the line.”
“This could be a customer coming in.”
“Could right sure be one at that.”
Now, fact a the matter, we do this a lot, pass the time; but this one time, this one dame, she didn’t turn down a side street or keep right on
walking by, just kept heading straight for us; so this is the time I’m telling you about.
She keeps walking towards us like she’s coming into focus. Joey and I stop what we’re saying and just watch. When she gets right up to
us, she stops.
“I’m looking for …”
“You found it,” I say.
She nods. We go into the building and head upstairs.
She looks to be about forty, made up to look younger. Pretty clothes, but frayed. She sees the sign that says MURPHY BROS. PRIVATE
INVESTIGATORS and says, kind of archly, “You are the brothers Murphy?”
“Yeh, I’m Murphy, and he’s Joey,” I say.
I push open the door. The office, unfortunately, is just like we left it. Crud all over everything. Moose head in the sink.
“Have a seat,” I say gravely, indicating an overturned crate. She looks around doubtfully. “Is this where you work?”
“Well, the penthouse suite is being renovated, so for right now — yes. This is where I work. And eat, and sleep, and — right behind that
door there — play pool. So, state your business.”
“I — I — I don’t know quite how to say this — ”
“It’s all right, we know. Your husband disappeared.”
She looks at me with a round mouth. “How did you know?”
“We’re detectives, lady, remember? Look, it happens alla time. Only kinda case we get, really.” I look over at Joey and he gives a helpless
“Oh! Then I have indeed come to the right place. You are — specialists, then?”
“Y’might say, y’might say.”
She nods, with furrowed brow. “Then I am in your hands.”
I Don't Do Divorce Cases
Murphy is a deeply flawed man, but has always had an
aversion to taking that bread and butter of the
investigative field--the divorce case. He's not himself
exactly sure why he won't compromise himself with them.
In the stories within this volume, he explores that
mystery as he meets other intriguing cases along the way.
Excerpt from "Don't Mention It" in I Don't Do
[First appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine,
So one time, another time, musta been ‘bout April, we’re
sittin’ around, thinking: maybe play some pool. But Joey
says no, too nice a day, and we go out to the sidewalk
looking at the old cars, the new cars, and the garbage
cans. Then up off in the distance, sort of shimmering in
the smog, Joey spots this dame.
“She’s heading our way,” notes Joey.
Ellery Queen's Mystery
Magazine and Alfred
Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
have both published short stories by
David Justice featuring the Murphy
You can read all of those in I Don't Do
Divorce Cases, as well as many never
before published stories, in which
Murphy, with his brother Joey, solve
strange cases and along the way
explore the mysteries and meaning of
Murphy on the Mount is the first
novel-length story featuring the