The Right to Kill - James Murphy's New Novel

James Murphy’s first novel, the embellished memoir, My Life Before I Decided To Commit Suicide—A Love Story, received the Book Publishers of El Paso’s 1st Place award, Worthy of being called Excellent. It was praised for being, “a witty expose of life lived out in small town America,” and “Reminiscent of J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.”The Right to Kill engages readers in this now-familiar, open-hearted writing style that has become Murphy’s signature. 


The Right to Kill follows the lives of six young boys in the 1950s and 60sa time when the United States was still in its infancy, and working-class families were poor, uneducated citizens. The boys make a blood-bound pact to “clean up the neighborhood” at all costs. As time goes by their concept of what is morally acceptable expands and their once simple adventures escalate.  

They find themselves at the forefront of the most significant political shift in United States history. By the ruling party’s executive order (“On this fine day . . .”), U.S. borders are immediately and indefinitely closed. Texas passes the controversial Right to Kill Act—anyone can petition the state to have someone killed. The catch? The petitioner must make the kill. Following the bold enactment of this law, the Texas Prison and Rehabilitation System puts 28,000 prisoners to death as Texas opts to eliminate prison systems altogether.  

As adults they find themselves at the forefront of the most significant political shift in United States history. By the ruling party’s executive order, “On this fine day,” the U.S. borders are immediately and indefinitely closed. Texas passes the controversial, Right to Kill Act. Anyone can petition the state to have someone killed. The catch? The petitioner has to make the kill. This is followed by the Texas Prison and Rehabilitation System putting to death 28,000 prisoners it houses as it opts to have a prison system all together. Before long the entire country is following The Lone Star State’s lead. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the country’s first Roman Catholic leader’s Dallas assassination is tied to South Vietnam’s assassination of their first and only Roman Catholic leader, Ngo Dinh Diem. While the world is caught up in an unprecedented warring spiral, our six north siders are implementing their own strategic maneuvers to dominate the world.

Author signed copy

My Life Before I Decided To Commit Suicide - A Love Story - A funny, bumpy journey through childhood, adolescence and young adulthood

My Life Before I Decided To Commit Suicide - A Love Story is my first novel. I refer to it as an embellished memoir; meaning everything is true within these pages with a bit of theatrical license thrown in. The essence of My Life takes you on a journey through my quirky childhood and foggy adolescence through my first crushing marriage to my lovely first wife. Life, as you know, ain't easy.

The first edition of My Life has sold out. The 2nd edition is going to print as we speak and should be available by December 15th, 2015. I altered the title a bit. The 2nd edition has added the phrase, A Love Story because that's really what it is all about. Before going to print the second time, I read it one more time. It is still as funny and as tragic as hell.

Critic Tom Riddell, “Through the course of the last 2.5 years, I have reviewed over 50 books and through the course of the last 57 years I have probably read at least 500 books. In all of those years and through all of those books, there have been a few literary geniuses who were able to get a chuckle and a laugh out of me- and yes, a few have caused me to shed a tear drop or two- but Jim Murphy literally had the tears flowing down my cheeks.”

Signed and dated copy

My Favorite El Pasoans: Past and Present

My Favorite El Pasoans: Past and Present was released on November 1, 2015. The initial run of 200 copies has almost sold out in only three weeks. My Favorite is a collection of nearly 200 famous, not so famous, kind and some not so kind, with a few quirky individuals tossed in that were either born or raised in the El Paso, TX area. For instance, legendary actors Anthony Quinn, Debbie Reynolds, Irene Ryan (Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies), and F. Murray Abraham all have significant ties to El Paso. Sculptor John Houser and Luis Jimenez, photographer Otis Aultman, artist Hal Marcus, musicians Bobby Fuller who wrote, "I fought the law and the law won," blues guitarist Long John Hunter, 1960s folk artist Phil Ochs, sax player Mike Hamilton and Mothers of Invention founder and drummer Jimmy Carl Black, and Vikki Karr are all affiliated with El Paso. There is a beautiful 1937 photo of escape artist Fred Brown tossed in a San Antonio jail for panhandling after his successful escape. The list goes on and on. The book is quickly becoming local favorite and of course, it already is a favorite of mine.

Signed and dated copy

A History of Blues - 4 CD Box Set

This rare collection of mostly original material is worth the time it takes to listen to the entire 48 cuts. They were recorded during five different sessions dating between 1977 and 2008. There is also a 12-page booket that includes the lyrics, when the songs were written, where they were recorded and who performed on each cut. You really get to know the music and the players. It is a history of blues.

There is some incredible piano and keyboard playing by George Rossi from Little Georgie and the Shuffling Hungarians. Scott Ebner plays keys on all of the live cuts. Scott is with the Tip Hillbillies and other prominent Syracuse bands. If you love the harmonica, there are three of the best on these CDs. Tom Townsley (Tom Townsley and the Backsliders), Matt Tarbell (from the Corvairs and Built for Comfort), and Mike Petroff. Drums are mostly by Mark Tiffault (who toured with Carey Bell, John Lee Hooker and was in one of the greatest blues bands in Syracuse, The Kingsnakes - and the Corvairs and with Little Georgie. Garnett Grim performs drums on all the live cuts. Garnett is currently touring with Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown. The bass playing is by T.A. James (Carey Bell, the Kingsnakes and everybody else) and by Paul 'Big Daddy' LaRonde (Kingsnakes, the Corvairs, Built for Comfort and Hooker). Pat DeSalvo plays bass on the live cuts. Pat is currently touring with Savoy Brown also. I do all of the singing, guitar playing, fingerpicking, and the majority of the songwriting. The musicianship and comeradery on these discs is outstanding. All of the performers are at their best. I love them all.

Autographed Copy

El Paso: 1850-1950

One of El Paso's favorite history books. An easy to read, yet a very informative collection of well thought out photos and text. El Paso: 1850-1950 was my first published book - thank you Arcadia Publishing. There is a beautiful chapter on architecture, and interesting chapters on the birth of the city, sports, people, business and health and some awesome photographs from the Mexican Revolution. If you want to learn about El Paso, TX, this is a 'must have' for your library.

Signed and dated copy

The Right to Kill Combo Package - Get the book and a t-shirt

Order my new novel and a t-shirt. The shirts come in all sizes. The shirts come in a black or a deep blue. It's awesome. You can get the book and the shirt for $30. (Add an extra $3 for anything over XL)

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I occasionally will update you with progress on my many life-projects.

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