Death of Riley by Rhys Bowen


Cozy Mystery

Death of Riley (Molly Murphy Mysteries) Death of RileyRhys Bowen; St. Martin’s Minotaur 2003WorldCat

Molly Murphy is a new Irish immigrant in 1902 New York City. She needs to find a job that she can keep without losing her temper or being overworked and is respectable. Her fellow, police captain Daniel Sullivan, finds her a job as a companion to an elderly lady. But that job doesn’t last long when she learns the lady’s niece is Daniel’s fiancee. So much for any future she might have dreamed with Daniel.

When she ran away from Ireland Molly ended up involved in a murder and learned a little about detecting. She decides she can be a private investigator who helps locate lost or missing people. She approaches Paddy Riley to see if he would teach her. Riley is a crusty man who detests women and doesn’t believe one could do his work. She is determined and convinces him to let her join his office. When she walks in and discovers him dead and is hit by a man who escapes out the window, she is determined to find Paddy’s murderer.

Molly’s investigation takes her to Greenwich Village and the dilettante society there. She meets Gus and Sid, two women who offer her a place to stay with them. She also meets Ryan O’Hare, charismatic playwright. She is immediately attracted to him and his childish buoyancy. The clues she learns from Paddy’s left over items keep bringing her back to Ryan. But he couldn’t have killed Paddy, she’s sure. How is he involved?

Death of Riley is a finely crafted mystery, the second in the Molly Murphy series. Molly is a headstrong woman and is believable in the time frame where this novel is set. She could easily have been an early suffragette if she allowed herself the luxury of being militant. Instead she is trying to leave Ireland behind and make her place in this new world. She loves New York City and doesn’t regret having left her home across the ocean.

The mystery reveals itself properly (for this type of novel) and leads to a surprising conclusion, especially if you’re hazy on your early 1900’s American history. (I remembered one basic fact, not all the details that surrounds it.) Molly follows the proper clues and makes the right deductions. After Paddy’s murder is solved, she determines to stay a private investigator. But she doesn’t plan to investigate any more dangerous cases. Missing people should be enough to keep her busy. Something tells me (more books in the series) that she will come across murder again.

You’ll enjoy this mystery. I did and I hope to read more (when I finish one or two other series I am working on…)

More books by Rhys Bowen
Molly Murphy series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!

Link to Books

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