Hot Best Seller

Murphy's Law

Availability: Ready to download

Murphy's Law is the captivating first entry of Rhys Bowen's New York Times bestselling Molly Murphy series. Molly Murphy always knew she'd end up in trouble, just as her mother predicted. So, when she commits murder in self-defense, she flees her cherished Ireland, under cover of a false identity, for the anonymous shores of late nineteenth-century America. When she arrives Murphy's Law is the captivating first entry of Rhys Bowen's New York Times bestselling Molly Murphy series. Molly Murphy always knew she'd end up in trouble, just as her mother predicted. So, when she commits murder in self-defense, she flees her cherished Ireland, under cover of a false identity, for the anonymous shores of late nineteenth-century America. When she arrives in New York and sees the welcoming promise of freedom in the Statue of Liberty, Molly begins to breathe easier. But when a man is murdered on Ellis Island, a man Molly was seen arguing with, she becomes a prime suspect in the crime. If she can't clear her name, Molly will be sent back to Ireland where the gallows await, so using her Irish charm and sharp wit, she escapes Ellis Island and sets out to find the wily killer on her own. Pounding the notorious streets of Hell's Kitchen and the Lower East Side, Molly undertakes a desperate mission to clear her name before her deadly past comes back to haunt her new future.


Compare

Murphy's Law is the captivating first entry of Rhys Bowen's New York Times bestselling Molly Murphy series. Molly Murphy always knew she'd end up in trouble, just as her mother predicted. So, when she commits murder in self-defense, she flees her cherished Ireland, under cover of a false identity, for the anonymous shores of late nineteenth-century America. When she arrives Murphy's Law is the captivating first entry of Rhys Bowen's New York Times bestselling Molly Murphy series. Molly Murphy always knew she'd end up in trouble, just as her mother predicted. So, when she commits murder in self-defense, she flees her cherished Ireland, under cover of a false identity, for the anonymous shores of late nineteenth-century America. When she arrives in New York and sees the welcoming promise of freedom in the Statue of Liberty, Molly begins to breathe easier. But when a man is murdered on Ellis Island, a man Molly was seen arguing with, she becomes a prime suspect in the crime. If she can't clear her name, Molly will be sent back to Ireland where the gallows await, so using her Irish charm and sharp wit, she escapes Ellis Island and sets out to find the wily killer on her own. Pounding the notorious streets of Hell's Kitchen and the Lower East Side, Molly undertakes a desperate mission to clear her name before her deadly past comes back to haunt her new future.

30 review for Murphy's Law

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    Women's history month is here and I decided to start the celebration with a bit of Irish spunk. Rhys Bowen is a celebrated writer, and my mother has been touting her Molly Murphy series for awhile now. As Irish luck would have it, my retro chapter chicks group is focusing on Irish women for the month of March. I decided that it was long overdue that I read Murphy's Law, the first of Molly Murphy's historical adventures. Molly Murphy was never a traditional girl. She enjoyed swimming in the Women's history month is here and I decided to start the celebration with a bit of Irish spunk. Rhys Bowen is a celebrated writer, and my mother has been touting her Molly Murphy series for awhile now. As Irish luck would have it, my retro chapter chicks group is focusing on Irish women for the month of March. I decided that it was long overdue that I read Murphy's Law, the first of Molly Murphy's historical adventures. Molly Murphy was never a traditional girl. She enjoyed swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, horseback riding, excelled in the classroom and was declared an "old maid" by the age of twenty three. Murphy had to be the mother to her younger brothers as her mother passed away when she was young. She did have a few suitors, yet one Englishman came on too strong to her and in the heat of the moment, she killed him. On the run from the English government who then controlled Ireland, Murphy fled her home village of Ballykillin and ended up in Liverpool, England. A chance meeting with Kathleen O'Connor lead to an instant friendship and resulted in Murphy escorting O'Connor's two young children to America as O'Connor lay dying of consumption. On board the Majestic steamliner Murphy fell into an instant rapport with O'Connor's two children Seamus and Bridie and assumed the identity of their mother. Her goal is to bring them to their father unharmed, yet crime seems to find her. One Thomas O'Malley thinks he can manhandle Murphy along with the rest of the ship that is until Murphy puts him in his place. He leaves her alone until the ship docks in Ellis Island, until on the first night in America, O'Malley is found murdered. The easy route is to accuse Murphy and her traveling companion Michael Larkin. It is up to Murphy to prove their innocence before either is returned to Ireland and English rule and hung. In this opening book, Bowen introduces readers to police captain Daniel O'Sullivan, with whom it appears Murphy falls into a long lasting relationship with. She also paints the historical picture of the underbelly of New York politics at the turn of the 20th century, focusing on the corruption inside of Tammany Hall. Alderman MacCormack is a picture of corruption and Murphy is determined to prove his wrong doing to the police. Yet, MacCormack is the champion of the Irish people and everyone loves him. He is the annual marshal of the upcoming St Patrick's Day parade. Murphy, however, is certain that MacCormack is behind O'Malley's murder and puts herself in harms way to prove her friend's innocence before MacCormack and his gang strike again. Rhys Bowen magically transports her readers to turn of the century New York, a time when the hole in the ground was just that, and America was the land of opportunity. The Irish ruled the city, and Molly Murphy is ready to take it by storm. In likable characters Murphy, O'Sullivan, and the O'Connors, Bowen has created a cast who I can enjoy for the long haul. As I am currently looking for a new go to mystery series, Molly Murphy is spunky and definitely one of my main contenders. 4 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I listened to the audiobook of this one and was so grateful that the narrator managed to do her Irish accents without sounding ridiculous. Talented indeed. Rhys Bowen is also talented especially at setting an historical scene and describing how people went about their daily lives. The ship's crossing from Liverpool to New York was beautifully done, as was life in New York itself. Of course Molly's experiences were not strictly run of the mill - she had so many strokes of blind luck in this book I listened to the audiobook of this one and was so grateful that the narrator managed to do her Irish accents without sounding ridiculous. Talented indeed. Rhys Bowen is also talented especially at setting an historical scene and describing how people went about their daily lives. The ship's crossing from Liverpool to New York was beautifully done, as was life in New York itself. Of course Molly's experiences were not strictly run of the mill - she had so many strokes of blind luck in this book that it was necessary to totally suspend belief much of the time. But that's the way of a cosy mystery and it still makes for an enjoyable reading experience. I liked it anyway and will continue with the series which should give me many, many hours of future reading pleasure:)

  3. 4 out of 5

    C.

    Let me into how one heroine feels, with unhampered description, dialogue, and originality and I am carried away. I am pleased to find authors who achieve this balance and surprised by “Murphy’s Law”! In 2001, it débuted Rhys Bowen’s New York series, set in March 1901. It is “standard mystery” for its serious subjects. The history into which we are immersed is stunningly realistic and more acutely-educational than we expect. Reminiscent of Anne Perry’s Thomas Pitt hero, Molly too, was educated Let me into how one heroine feels, with unhampered description, dialogue, and originality and I am carried away. I am pleased to find authors who achieve this balance and surprised by “Murphy’s Law”! In 2001, it débuted Rhys Bowen’s New York series, set in March 1901. It is “standard mystery” for its serious subjects. The history into which we are immersed is stunningly realistic and more acutely-educational than we expect. Reminiscent of Anne Perry’s Thomas Pitt hero, Molly too, was educated with the children of landowners. An important point illustrated repeatedly is that females are no one’s sexual outlet: stature be damned. No soul is above another! Molly deflected advances and worried that there would be no employment but prostitution. The gift of strong, meticulous historic vibes, education, and compassion is that they fit Rhys’s fictional story. It trots along unencumbered, so enjoyably that a crime is needless. A fly in the ointment was reiterating “whiskers”; a bizarre word choice. It was so excessive, it annoyed me enormously! She should have said “beard” once in a while! I would disregard that but the denouement floundered: a preposterous scene in which opportunities abounded for Molly to make noise and avoid capture. It was equally farfetched for the murderer to recognize the protagonist. Five stars downgraded to four. The rest is unforgettable: a ship journey in steerage class, a two-day line-up to register at Ellis Island, how the currency-exchanger hoped to steal from immigrants who couldn’t count. Neighbourhoods were grouped ethnically and only employed their races. Rhys surely had a relative who told her what it was like, to write so perceptively. She achieves regular humour as well. “Murphy’s Law” was on my shopping list, until I noticed I owned the hardcover first edition! I have turned out to be a fan.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    *4.5 stars I have been wanting to read this series for awhile now. I absolutely love the Royal Spyness novels by Rhys Bowen! So I couldn't wait to read her Molly Murphy books. Of course, I've waited a long time but I FINALLY got to the first one! I can honestly say I am not disappointed at all! I love RB's writing. She makes me want to read all her books. I adored Molly--she was a spunky, independent, red headed Irish lass. I also enjoyed Daniel Sullivan.... I can't wait to see where their *4.5 stars I have been wanting to read this series for awhile now. I absolutely love the Royal Spyness novels by Rhys Bowen! So I couldn't wait to read her Molly Murphy books. Of course, I've waited a long time but I FINALLY got to the first one! I can honestly say I am not disappointed at all! I love RB's writing. She makes me want to read all her books. I adored Molly--she was a spunky, independent, red headed Irish lass. I also enjoyed Daniel Sullivan.... I can't wait to see where their relationship goes (although I do have somewhat of an idea). The mystery was ok but it's the characters that make these stories good for me:) I will be reading the rest of this series.....I've already bought a few of them at the library sale.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid

    Really enjoyed that one. So much so that I'm going to treat myself to # 2. Light reading but very entertaining.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Luffy

    I'm unwell today so my review will not be as scintillating as usual. I'm kidding. But I have to remind myself that reading this book made me forget my illness. This book is just what the doctor ordered. It's to my complete liking. I loved that the author didn't tarry on the many architectural upheavals of post famine New York. Some authors, like Ian Rankin, know how to describe a city. However many of these authors fail in maintaining the plot to the fore and core. But I liked Murphy's Law as I'm unwell today so my review will not be as scintillating as usual. I'm kidding. But I have to remind myself that reading this book made me forget my illness. This book is just what the doctor ordered. It's to my complete liking. I loved that the author didn't tarry on the many architectural upheavals of post famine New York. Some authors, like Ian Rankin, know how to describe a city. However many of these authors fail in maintaining the plot to the fore and core. But I liked Murphy's Law as there was no padding to it. It's a rare if not unique feeling to see this kind of author. I'm definitely going to read some of the sequels to this one. Now to another book! Ta.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    1.5 to 2 stars This was just...not good. Maybe it's first book syndrome or maybe this was the author's first ever published book but whatever the case may be, it felt like it could have been written by a high school senior. The heroine, fleeing from the law in Ireland, manages to make her way to New York, in what I can only surmise is the late 1800s or early 1900s, through a series of highly (and totally unrealistic) fortuitous events. And that pretty much sums up Molly's experiences throughout 1.5 to 2 stars This was just...not good. Maybe it's first book syndrome or maybe this was the author's first ever published book but whatever the case may be, it felt like it could have been written by a high school senior. The heroine, fleeing from the law in Ireland, manages to make her way to New York, in what I can only surmise is the late 1800s or early 1900s, through a series of highly (and totally unrealistic) fortuitous events. And that pretty much sums up Molly's experiences throughout the book. Despite being a naive Irish immigrant in her first big city, Molly manages to always stumble across the exact person she wants...out of all the hundreds of thousands of people in New York, and all manner of sordid types in the seediest parts of town let her go simply because they're amused by her spunk. Puh-leeze. I know this bit of historical fiction leans heavily towards the cozy mystery genre and thus some fluff is to be expected but this was even too dumb by those standards.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    Another entry into my historical mystery jag, this one was VERY similar to the other series I read, but for some reason I enjoyed it a bit less, which surprised me because I like this author's other historical series set in the 20's a lot. Basically it started out really well, the heroine's journey to America, but for some reason after that she was a BIT too perfect and spunky for my tastes. And the love interest was really thinly drawn, which is probably my biggest criticism. There's some Another entry into my historical mystery jag, this one was VERY similar to the other series I read, but for some reason I enjoyed it a bit less, which surprised me because I like this author's other historical series set in the 20's a lot. Basically it started out really well, the heroine's journey to America, but for some reason after that she was a BIT too perfect and spunky for my tastes. And the love interest was really thinly drawn, which is probably my biggest criticism. There's some interesting historical research though, especially to do with the Irish in NYC that I thought was cool, and I liked the mystery a lot. I may pick up the next book to see where it goes, definitely was a promising start!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Sadly wasn’t a fan. Love the other authors series but I just couldn’t get into this one at all

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This was one of those stories that GRs kept sending me a recommendation because I enjoy historical mysteries. That said..... 'Lord knows I never meant to kill him.' A native of Ireland, Molly Murphy was on the run after thwarting an attack by one of the local gentry. As luck would have it, she had taken on the identity of a young mother before sailing for America and a new life. Before the voyage to her adopted country was over, she earned a friendship and made an enemy. Then a gruesome murder This was one of those stories that GRs kept sending me a recommendation because I enjoy historical mysteries. That said..... 'Lord knows I never meant to kill him.' A native of Ireland, Molly Murphy was on the run after thwarting an attack by one of the local gentry. As luck would have it, she had taken on the identity of a young mother before sailing for America and a new life. Before the voyage to her adopted country was over, she earned a friendship and made an enemy. Then a gruesome murder took place and Detective Daniel Sullivan took charge. He was a member of New York's Finest. As in most first stories in a series, the setting was launched and important characters were introduced. Molly became Kathleen O'Connor, mother of two little ones in search of her 'husband'. She needed to find a job. She constantly placed herself in awkward situations and found Daniel calling her into his office. I enjoyed the mystery; I thought the author did a good job researching the time period. I felt the friction between Molly and Daniel and knew at some point they would become involved. I just didn't know the when or why. The biggest issue I had with Murphy's Law was the awkward situations I mentioned above. I had a difficult time imaging a single woman on her own traveling to the seedier parts of the city and not being mugged or raped. Yes, she was gutsy but I don't think she made the wisest decisions. Since I was left with some unanswered questions, I made the mistake of reading a few reviews of the next story. I don't like the direction that Daniel and Molly's relationship is leaning. Because of this, I most likely will not continue with the series. :((

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emmy

    The mystery was probably the least interesting thing for me. I liked Molly, I liked Daniel and I loved the setting. Bowen really paints a vivid picture of NY at this time and how the Irish, Italians, Jews, etc., all formed their own tight-knit communities. The setting jumped off the page and was, in my opinion, the strongest thing about this book. As for the mystery, everything relating to that felt a little too coincidental. I didn't really believe that so many things could align just right to The mystery was probably the least interesting thing for me. I liked Molly, I liked Daniel and I loved the setting. Bowen really paints a vivid picture of NY at this time and how the Irish, Italians, Jews, etc., all formed their own tight-knit communities. The setting jumped off the page and was, in my opinion, the strongest thing about this book. As for the mystery, everything relating to that felt a little too coincidental. I didn't really believe that so many things could align just right to keep putting Molly in the right place at the right time. Take the mystery out of this and I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    I have been meaning to read the Molly Murphy series by Rhys Bowen for quite a while. Finally, I have read the first book in the series, Murphy's Law, and I can't believe I waited so long. I love the character of Molly Murphy, an Irish young woman who unexpectedly finds herself running from the English police and on a boat to America. She makes a deal with another young woman who is trying to get her children to New York City to be with their father. Molly agrees to escort the children when the I have been meaning to read the Molly Murphy series by Rhys Bowen for quite a while. Finally, I have read the first book in the series, Murphy's Law, and I can't believe I waited so long. I love the character of Molly Murphy, an Irish young woman who unexpectedly finds herself running from the English police and on a boat to America. She makes a deal with another young woman who is trying to get her children to New York City to be with their father. Molly agrees to escort the children when the woman gives her ticket to Molly because the mother is dying from consumption and not allowed to board the ship. Molly's hope of arriving in America and quickly fading into the background of the masses is derailed when a murder occurs among the immigrants while waiting to leave Ellis Island, their point of entry to New York City. Our sassy Irish lass is discovered to have been in the vicinity of the murder during the hours it took place, so she must face further delay and suspicions from the police before embarking on her new life. The policeman in charge, Cpt. Daniel Sullivan, is an attractive descendent of what is known as the "black Irish," and he takes a keen interest in Molly's connection to the murder. After finally being released to enter NYC, Molly takes her two charges and meets their father. Her living arrangements at the father's cousin's apartment are precarious at best and don't last long. With the arrest of one of Molly's friends from onboard the ship to America as the murder suspect, Molly's challenges in starting a new life become complicated. Searching for the real murderer to clear her friend's name, trying to find employment, and needing a place to live all converge on Molly at once. She has her work cut out for her in this new world. Luckily, Molly Murhpy is one plucky gal, and she meets challenges head on with determination and strength. Rhys Bowen has created a character-driven series that I am delighted to have finally started reading. I love the wit and steely resolve that Molly Murphy exhibits. She is such a captivating personality, bringing fresh air to all she encounters. Of course, for Captain Daniel Sullivan, Molly often brings exasperation along, too. Following Molly navigate the streets of New York City to solve murders and make a life for herself is a journey I look forward to in the continuing books of this series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Spunky finesse - A quaintly entertaining whodunit. Bowen has written a lovely, gentle mystery wrapped in historical fiction - hued with serendipitous shades - and with a dash of endgame romance. She does a lovely job exploring the Irish immigrant experience coming to America during the early nineteenth century; painting an emblematic portrait of the daunting process maneuvering through Ellis Island and on to the tempestuous streets and cramped tenement housing of Tammany-corrupt New York City. Spunky finesse - A quaintly entertaining whodunit. Bowen has written a lovely, gentle mystery wrapped in historical fiction - hued with serendipitous shades - and with a dash of endgame romance. She does a lovely job exploring the Irish immigrant experience coming to America during the early nineteenth century; painting an emblematic portrait of the daunting process maneuvering through Ellis Island and on to the tempestuous streets and cramped tenement housing of Tammany-corrupt New York City. Then of course, this being a whodunit, there's a murderer afoot. And he's presumed to have sailed on the same ship as Molly Murphy. Molly is quite dismayed. The murdering brute has muddled everything. A most unfortunate situation. Molly is traveling under an alias, running from an unsettling past encounter, and all she wants is to get on with her life in the land of the free. But murder, mayhem, and general misfortune lurk around every corner. The police - Tammany puppets - aren't much help, either. All except for one. Maybe the luck of the Irish will smile upon her yet..... Three *** Spunky Quaint Whodunit *** Stars

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Lee

    3 1/2 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stacie Haden

    I look forward to the rest of this series. New York, 1901

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I've read and enjoyed all of Ms. Bowen's Royal Spyness mysteries and have loved them, so when I was putting in my last order at my library I finally decided to include the first in her Molly Murphy series, which I'd heard nothing but good things about. I can say that I don't regret ordering them! This was a fun book that I read in one sitting. In Murphy's Law Molly Murphy accidentally kills a man and because of her circumstances she must flee Ireland. She soon finds herself on a boat to America I've read and enjoyed all of Ms. Bowen's Royal Spyness mysteries and have loved them, so when I was putting in my last order at my library I finally decided to include the first in her Molly Murphy series, which I'd heard nothing but good things about. I can say that I don't regret ordering them! This was a fun book that I read in one sitting. In Murphy's Law Molly Murphy accidentally kills a man and because of her circumstances she must flee Ireland. She soon finds herself on a boat to America caring for two children. Once she reaches New York a murder happens, and Molly soon becomes a suspect. Molly soon begins to investigate to clear her name, before she lands behind bars, or worse, shipped back to Ireland. I absolutely loved Molly, she was fiercely independent, yet at the same time loyal to those close to her. She thought everything through and used reason instead of feelings to dictate what she did; she was all-in-all a very strong main character that I enjoyed reading about. Daniel was also a fun character, who has a few similarities with one of Ms. Bowen's other characters in her Royal Spyness series, Darcy. However, despite their similarities, they are in no way carbon copies of each other and are separate enough that I don't think Daniel will do what Darcy does, or vice-versa. The mystery was good, slightly above average. The murder victim was well-hated by almost everyone, so there were a lot of suspects. Molly didn't bombard suspects with questions, she used logic and quiet investigating to find the murderer, which I like. The murderer was a small surprise, and the scene where the murderer was ousted was wonderfully suspenseful. Overall a wonderful book. With great characters, an above average mystery, and a great setting Murphy's Law gets 5/5 stars. I'm already half-way through the next one!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

    My wife has been on a kick of late 19th century or early 20th century mysteries lately, often focusing on impetuous, clever, brave ladies solving mysteries in a world where women were supposed to be none of those things. Bowen's Molly Murphy series seems to be one of these. We read Murphy's Law together and it was an enjoyable romp. Molly Murphy is on the run from Ireland when she stumbles into a way across the ocean, impersonating someone else on the boat trip to America. When they arrive in My wife has been on a kick of late 19th century or early 20th century mysteries lately, often focusing on impetuous, clever, brave ladies solving mysteries in a world where women were supposed to be none of those things. Bowen's Molly Murphy series seems to be one of these. We read Murphy's Law together and it was an enjoyable romp. Molly Murphy is on the run from Ireland when she stumbles into a way across the ocean, impersonating someone else on the boat trip to America. When they arrive in Ellis Island, a man she'd butted heads with turns up dead, and a murder inquiry nabs one of her friends. Alone and nearly friendless in New York, Molly must find a job, a place to live, and the murderer only she can identify. Some thoughts: The single greatest problem amateur detectives face, from a narrative perspective, is the motivation to solve the crime. Molly seems driven by two equally strong motives: her allegiance to her friend Michael, arrested for the crime she's sure he didn't commit and her burning curiosity. The latter is a common trait among amateur detectives, and the one most likely to make me shout "Come on." Being a relatively even-handed person, I find it difficult to empathize with a character who continually puts themselves in harms way on the flimsiest of motivations. Bowen does a fantastic job developing Tammany-era New York. We feel strongly for Molly's difficult situation, watching intensely as she navigates the rough-and-tumble streets of the vicious city. The only thing she missed were the mountains of horse poop which plagued the metropolis. And I mean mountains. (See Superfreakonomics for a discussion of the horseshit problem). The budding romance between Murphy and the police detective on the case is satisfying and interesting, without being so Harlequin as to turn me off. The mystery, too, is a solid and interesting one that leaves you guessing right until the end and doesn't feel too forced. As with most mysteries that eschew the manor house model (where the suspects are locked away and thus each given ample attention), Bowen introduces enough for us to understand the story but not enough to solve it without the final clues that emerge when Molly discovers them. And this is as it should be. Murphy has a sure hand in developing minor characters. The grotesque couple whose apartment she stays in when she first arrives are both well-drawn and realistic, as are the agreeable characters (such as the photographer she meets partway through the story). An enjoyable mystery, especially great if you like Victorian mysteries like the Fremont Jones or the Cyrus Barker series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Moonlight Reader

    Agatha winner from 2001. Set in turn of the century New York, Molly Murphy has fled her native Ireland after fending off the advances of a member of the landed gentry. She has the bad luck to have been the cause of bad fall, resulting in a dead English man. I listened to this book. The narration was enjoyable. Molly was, sometimes, a bit overly clueless - the incident where she is nearly trapped into prostitution is silly. No one is that stupid. The love interest sounds adorable, but has little Agatha winner from 2001. Set in turn of the century New York, Molly Murphy has fled her native Ireland after fending off the advances of a member of the landed gentry. She has the bad luck to have been the cause of bad fall, resulting in a dead English man. I listened to this book. The narration was enjoyable. Molly was, sometimes, a bit overly clueless - the incident where she is nearly trapped into prostitution is silly. No one is that stupid. The love interest sounds adorable, but has little actual personality. But, the book was engaging and the setting was enjoyable. I'd definitely give book 2 a try.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    The first book in the series. Molly Murphy fleeing for her life accepts an offer to take two children to America as their Mother. Arriving at Ellis Island she becomes a suspect in a murder of a follow passenger. Using her wits she must clear name. As an immigrate New York City is strange to her. Will she be able to clear name?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    3.5 stars

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    3.8 Stars...for this first book in a new mystery series starring Molly Murphy...who finds that she must escape from Ireland in 1901 or face charges for killing a man who tries to rape her. She finds passage to America as the caretaker of two small children whose father awaits them in New York. Upon arrival, Molly finds life in the big city far from magical as she sets out to make a new life but first finds herself tangled up with murder, shady politics and the "charmingly-frustrated-with-her" 3.8 Stars...for this first book in a new mystery series starring Molly Murphy...who finds that she must escape from Ireland in 1901 or face charges for killing a man who tries to rape her. She finds passage to America as the caretaker of two small children whose father awaits them in New York. Upon arrival, Molly finds life in the big city far from magical as she sets out to make a new life but first finds herself tangled up with murder, shady politics and the "charmingly-frustrated-with-her" NYPD's own Detective Daniel Sullivan. Being the granddaughter of Irish immigrants who settle in NYC, and the daughter of their second son born in 1918, it was an eyeopener for me to see New York City as it was for my own family and the many others alighting onto its shores hoping for a better life but finding themselves alone and penniless among the congested and often unfriendly streets of Lower Manhattan.

  22. 4 out of 5

    John

    A new series for me. Molly Murphy escapes Ireland after killing a man in self defense. She arrives in New York in 1901 at Ellis Island and gets embroiled in a murder. Staying in a slum with an Irish family she helped out by escorting two children to their father. The squalor, poverty and general horribleness is captured well. Her narrow escapes and luck is hard to swallow and you have to suspend belief with all the coincidences and her luck. A good read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    like books set during the turn of the century from around the late part of the Gilded age on through the 20s. I especially like them set in New York during this time. One of the first books I ever read that spurred my interest in this time period was The Alienist It can be challenging to find good genre fiction set during this time, so when I do I tend to try to read it. I had good luck with The Nell Sweeney Historical Mysteries: A Six-Book Boxed Set Series so when these came across my radar, I like books set during the turn of the century from around the late part of the Gilded age on through the 20s. I especially like them set in New York during this time. One of the first books I ever read that spurred my interest in this time period was The Alienist It can be challenging to find good genre fiction set during this time, so when I do I tend to try to read it. I had good luck with The Nell Sweeney Historical Mysteries: A Six-Book Boxed Set Series so when these came across my radar, I decided to give this one a try. I wasn't crazy about this book. But I am chalking it up to what I call 'first book in a series' syndrome. Sometimes when you read the first book in a series, it feel like set up or the author hasn't really found the the core of their characters. Or maybe they are still figuring out how they want to tell their story. Whatever it is, this book seemed to suffer from it. In this book Molly Murphy flees from Ireland to England because she has killed a man. An overzealous landowner's son who tried to have his wicked way with her. Because Molly was educated along with the daughters of the household (the lady of the house liked Molly's sassiness) , she has always been viewed as being a bit uppity. But in the end she is a poor Irish girl who killed a man of property. So she gets the heck out of dodge real quick. Luckily (and Molly has a LOT of luck throughout this book) she manages in quick succession to meet a young mother in London who needs a HUGE favor. Would Molly take her place on a ship to America? The young mother can't go. And, oh by the way, please deliver her two kids to their dad who sent them the tickets. This sets off a chain of events where Molly meets memorable people on the passage over starting with the victim of a murder and ending with the poor guy who is arrested for it. But not before Molly herself is a suspect. This is what precipitates Molly's foray into amateur sleuthing. She first needs to make sure her own name is clear, then she needs to clear the name of her young friend who was arrested. There are really great parts of the book. These seem to be the parts where the author has dome some research in order to create the setting. I think the book really sings when the author is describing the passage over on the ship with all the poor immigrants in steerage and the relationships they forge due to the enforced closeness. And then the arrival onto Ellis Island, the process the immigrants had to tho through to get entry as well as the sights and sounds of a young New York City as seen through the eyes of someone like Molly. These passages were fun to read and did a lot to create a sense of time and place. Also, Molly was a good main character to act as a narrator. She was engaging and smart. And I can tell a mile away that Daniel Sullivan, the handsome police captain she meets in New York will probably be a love interest in upcoming books. But that was not enough to make the book truly work. The weakness was all the stuff dealing with Molly's amateur sleuthing. It was chock full of coincidences, luck and, given some of the stuff Molly did in her 'detecting', an alarming lack of real danger. Molly was frankly homeless and mostly penniless and wandered around New York all hours of the day and night. She asked the most obvious and blundering questions and leaped to conclusions that always seemed to be right or at least lead her onto the right track. And Daniel also seemed to pop up conveniently whenever Molly needed him. So as a satisfying mystery is didn't quite do it for me. But there is something there and I will probably try the next book to see if this really is a case of 'first book in a series' syndrome. Hopefully the mysteries will get more interesting and Molly will smooth out into more than just a lucky plot catalyst with great hair.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    SUMMARY: From the creator of the much-loved Constable Evan Evans mysteries comes a colorful new series set in turn-of-the-century New York City. When spirited redhead Molly Murphy was growing up a peasant on the coast of Ireland she always imagined there was something more in store for her. She couldn't have known how right she was until the day she became a murderer, albeit in self-defense. Under drastic circumstances, Molly is forced to strike out into a new world. With the police right behind SUMMARY: From the creator of the much-loved Constable Evan Evans mysteries comes a colorful new series set in turn-of-the-century New York City. When spirited redhead Molly Murphy was growing up a peasant on the coast of Ireland she always imagined there was something more in store for her. She couldn't have known how right she was until the day she became a murderer, albeit in self-defense. Under drastic circumstances, Molly is forced to strike out into a new world. With the police right behind her, Molly's only chance at escape is a false identity and a steamship that will take her far, far away: to America. When her ship sails into New York Harbor, with the majestic figure of the Statue of Liberty providing comfort and inspiration, Molly is sure her whole life is in front of her. But she's got one last hurdle to clear: Ellis Island. She is just one among thousands of immigrants on the tiny island, awaiting their fate with anxiety and hope. Unfortunately for Molly, before she is able to leave the island a man is brutally murdered, his throat cut from ear to ear, and coincidence and fate make her a suspect in a crime she didn't commit. Under a cloud of suspicion, and due largely to a growing mutual attraction between Molly and the handsome police captain in charge of the case, she is allowed to leave Ellis Island for Manhattan. Unfortunately, she's got a mission she couldn't have anticipated: clear her own name of murder. Alone in a new country with no one to lean on, Molly hits the vibrant streets of New York intent on finding out what really happened. After all, if she can't, she'll be sent back to Ireland, where the dreaded gallows await. With the sweeping skyline of 19th century New York and the gritty, pulsating underworld of recently arrived immigrants forming a vivid backdrop, Rhys Bowen transports readers back in time to America's not-so-distant past. The first entry in the Molly Murphy series is a fascinating look at our immigrant history as well as an intensely absorbing page-turner. REVIEW: Although this is a secular read, it is very clean and the storyline is excellent. The author has well researched New York in the early 1900's and this shows throughout the novel adding to the development of the story.. The storyline is intriguing and definitely keeps the reader's interest. Molly is a feisty, headstrong, independent woman who isn't afraid (sometimes to her detriment) to tackle anything in trying to find the murderer and exonerate Michael. The relationship development between her and Daniel (the Irish policeman in charge of the investigation) as well as that of her and Kathleen's children are sweet and tender. This is a fun read with an enjoyable Irish lass in old New York City. I look forward to reading more in this sereis.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Camden

    Rhys Bown is a new-to-me author and I can't wait to dive in! I loved the era (early 20th century NYC) and the hero. There were a few too many coincidences for my taste, but hey....I lapped this one up and can't wait for more.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian

    Nice smooth and daring book written about an Irish woman who ends up in New York in a special way. We become involved in a murder and eventually help a detective. Beautifully written and with a strong storyline. Curious about more books from this author.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    I'm hooked. This is my new favorite genre. Female detectives in an historical fiction mystery.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Haddock

    I finally gave the Molly Murphy series a try, and I love it! I highly recommend it - this book and the series!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    3.5 stars. I expected a lot from this series, as a huge fan of Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series as well as her Constable Evans books. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. Murphy’s Law is set in a really interesting time period, and it’s obvious that considerable effort was put into research since the book is wonderfully rich in historical detail. Ms. Bowen has a talent for making the reader feel like they’re right there walking alongside the characters; the setting and characterization 3.5 stars. I expected a lot from this series, as a huge fan of Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series as well as her Constable Evans books. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. Murphy’s Law is set in a really interesting time period, and it’s obvious that considerable effort was put into research since the book is wonderfully rich in historical detail. Ms. Bowen has a talent for making the reader feel like they’re right there walking alongside the characters; the setting and characterization are that vivid. The best thing about this book, however, is the main character, Molly Murphy. The minute I first “met” Molly, I knew that I’d like her already. She has a very quick and independent mind (perhaps unfortunate considering the time in which she lived), and her personality as well as difficult background has shaped her into someone who can defend herself with her wits alone. I absolutely love how tough she is; who wouldn’t like a female protagonist who can lie, fight and even swim her way out of trouble? From what little we’ve learnt of her romantic interest, Captain Daniel Sullivan, he seems interesting, but a hint that he might be hiding something promises that their developing relationship will be filled with its ups and downs. Mystery men aren’t really my thing, but I suppose it’s fair enough, considering how many secrets Molly herself has. Since I’ve read the latest Royal Spyness books and this one so close together, comparisons are unavoidable, particularly since I’ve heard criticisms about certain similarities. I’ll address them here. I’ve heard about the similarities between Daniel Sullivan and Darcy O’Mara, and I must say that they’re mostly true. Clearly Ms. Bowen has a soft spot for men with unruly dark curls and alarming blue eyes, though I certainly don’t blame her. It seems both of them are mystery men too, from what little have been revealed of Daniel in this book, although Daniel’s more upfront about his feelings. I don’t see this as a big problem, however. The historical settings and their varying backgrounds mean that Darcy and Daniel will grow as characters in different directions. Either way, I really enjoyed reading Murphy’s Law, and I’m looking forward to picking up the second book and joining Molly on her next adventure. Recommended!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Molly Murphy 4 Stars On the run from the law, Molly Murphy escapes her native Ireland for the promise of 19th century New York. Unfortunately, trouble follows in Molly’s footsteps when a man with whom she had an altercation onboard ship is murdered at Ellis Island and she must use her sharp wits and Irish charm to clear her name. The excellent historical background and vivacious heroine make up for the rather lackluster who-dun-it. Despite its potential the mystery is underdeveloped. There are too Molly Murphy 4 Stars On the run from the law, Molly Murphy escapes her native Ireland for the promise of 19th century New York. Unfortunately, trouble follows in Molly’s footsteps when a man with whom she had an altercation onboard ship is murdered at Ellis Island and she must use her sharp wits and Irish charm to clear her name. The excellent historical background and vivacious heroine make up for the rather lackluster who-dun-it. Despite its potential the mystery is underdeveloped. There are too few clues to go on and the resolution is achieved far too easily after being based on a series of lucky coincidences rather than any real investigative ability on Molly’s part. Nevertheless, Molly is a wonderful heroine. While other readers are often ticked off by stubborn and willful characters, they are one of my favorite types and Molly epitomizes these traits alongside other endearing qualities such as intelligence, spirit and a certain amount of naïveté about the realities of immigrant life. The hints at a romance to come with the intrepid Detective Daniel Sullivan adds nuance both the the characterization and the story as a whole. The historical detail on the Irish in New York at the turn of the century is fascinating and the descriptions of the immigrant experiences of Ellis Island, Hell’s Kitchen and the Bowery for the Jews, Italians, Germans, and Irish who flocked to America makes for compelling listening. Nicola’s Barbers narration is out of this world and her Irish brogue is both immersive and a pleasure to listen to. Looking forward to continuing with the series and will look into Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series as well.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.