by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review.
It is 1904. In a handful of years, Molly Murphy has escaped Ireland after fighting off a lecherous landowner, been a murder suspect on Ellis Island, become a private investigator, met bohemian artists and playwrights (and magician Harry Houdini and anarchist Emma Goldman), and married an Irish-American police detective, Daniel Sullivan…and now she’s in The Family Way, Rhys Bowen’s 12th in the Molly Murphy series. It definitely meets the high standards of other installments of the series.
Seven months pregnant, Molly has promised to stop her detective work to preserve her husband’s reputation on the police force and to protect their child-to-be, but what harm would it do to ask a few questions for an Irish family that hasn’t heard from their daughter in a year? If you’ve been following this series, you know the answer. When Molly witnesses the latest in a string of baby kidnappings, Daniel ships her off to his mother in the Hamptons…which is, oddly enough, where the missing girl had been working. There are complications upon complications, with Molly meeting people she hadn’t expected to meet in places they shouldn’t have been.
Molly’s friends (and neighbors) Gus and Sid get more of a workout than usual, flaunting their suffragette sympathies and their unorthodox lifestyle whenever possible. Daniel is not as much in evidence, consumed with his caseload of kidnapping and anarchists. Most of his interactions with Molly consist of him shouting at her because someone else has informed him of his wife’s contacts with crime, criminals, nuns, and potential hazards to their unborn baby’s health…and her own. Daniel’s mother still mentions the well-connected young women her son might have married, but she is starting to realize that Molly loves Daniel very much.
My wife and I discovered Rhys Bowen through her Evan Evans series, following a Welsh policeman on his road to becoming a police detective. Next came Molly Murphy, where we were overwhelmed with the wealth of detail that immersed us in the living history of the immigrant experience. We have also enjoyed the Royal Spyness series featuring Georgie, a distant relative in the British line of succession during the 1930s. Bowen is inventive, has a spritely sense of humor, and she is very patient with rabid fans like us. The Family Way is well worth a read, as is the rest of the series. There’s American and Irish history, excitement, intrigue, laughs, and a good time had by the readers.
To enter to win a copy of The Family Way, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Family,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 6, 2013. U.S. residents only.
Check out more mystery reviews, short stories and articles in this issue and all can be found in our mystery section.