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Murphy's Law [Mass Market Paperback]

Rhys Bowen
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 9.99
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Book Description

Dec 15 2002 Molly Murphy Mysteries (Book 1)
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, and her identity, for the anonymous shores of 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.

Using her Irish charm and sharp wit, Molly 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 make sit her desperate mission to clear her name before her deadly past comes back to haunt her new future.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The prolific Bowen, creator of Welsh constable Evan Evans (Evan Can Wait; Evan and Elle; etc.), relies a bit too much on coincidence but conveys a nice sense of place and period in this debut of a new historical series with its spunky, 19th-century Irish heroine, Molly Murphy. Defending herself from the unwelcome advances of the local landowner's son, Molly accidentally kills him and flees her village to escape hanging. She heads for the anonymity of London, where a twist of fate introduces her to Kathleen O'Connor. Kathleen has two small children and tickets for a ship to America, where she plans to join her husband. But knowing they won't let her on the ship because of her tuberculosis, Kathleen persuades the desperate Molly to take her children to America. On board, Molly attracts the loud attentions of a crude, boisterous type named O'Malley. Her public argument with him comes back to haunt her when he is found murdered on Ellis Island; Molly becomes a prime suspect, along with a young man she befriended. The handsome young policeman investigating the case, Daniel Sullivan, appears to believe Molly's protestations of innocence, but Molly decides her she'd better investigate on her own behalf and that of her friend. Wending her way through a vivid, Tammany Hall-era New York, Molly struggles to prove her innocence, aided by one coincidence after another. (Oct. 15)Forecast: Bowen's solid reputation will generate strong sales for this series debut, though Constable Evans fans should beware that the gentle humor of those novels is lacking here.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Nimble of plot and fleet in the telling, Bowen's latest begins a new series starring the plucky Molly Murphy. Hiding her fiery red hair but not her audacious ways, Molly escapes from her Irish village after inadvertently causing the death of the young laird who tried to rape her. She finds herself in possession of a steerage ticket to New York and the custody of two small children when the kids' consumptive mother begs her to deliver the youngsters to their father in New York. The passage to America and the tumultuous events of Ellis Island, where another murder takes place, are vividly described, as is Molly's negotiation of the Cherry Street Irish ghetto, Hell's Kitchen, and the children's overwhelmed Da and his unsavory relatives. Run-ins with the police and Tammany Hall are only a few of Molly's adventures. The murder is solved in unorthodox ways, Molly finds love and work, and there's promise of more adventures. History-mystery fans should add Molly to their lists of characters to follow. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read, but not enough to hold me March 5 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Murphy's Law begins as the heroine, Irish red-head Molly Murphy, flees her home after accidentally committing a murder. She makes her way to America where she stumbles into the middle of another murder, this time as an ameteur investigator.
Molly's tale was somewhat entertaining and an easy read, but I felt cheated by both the beginning and the end of the story. The author omits a beginning scene that could have been wonderfully dramatic, the accidental murder of the landlord. While the details of the event are given later in the story, I felt I missed out on the drama that occured.
The second murder, which occurs on Ellis Island upon Molly's arrival to America, is tied up so quickly that I flipped back and re-read the ending to make sure I didn't miss anything. Apparently this was meant to leave the reader intrigued enough to purchase the next book in the series, but I, again, felt that I was cheated out of a resolution.
While I enjoyed the character of Molly and her friends, I felt their adventures were rather unbelievable. I do not plan to buy the next book in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, charming and a good read Jan. 5 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a surprisingly interesting book to read, and it has a little bit of everything to entertain just about everyone looking for a light-hearted book to pass the evening: the brief description on Ireland in the early 20th century is interesting, as is the scene on Ellis Island immigration station and the immigrant filled New York City of the time. One also gets some fairly interesting detective/mystery intertwined with romance. The reader follows the likable heroine, a young independent minded Irish woman, on her adventures and cannot help but root for her to find safety, securing and warmth in this strange city.
I hesitate to call this book a historical novel, even though the story develops against a historical background. Something about the dialogues, the innocent (but educated) heroine's observations seem to lack authenticity. Instead of hearing the heroine's voice set in the 1900s, I seem to hear the author's voice and see through the author's much better-informed-view.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Get of Jail Free Card BUT........ Jan. 4 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Bowen brings Ellis Island to life with colorful characters and a building bustling with life. He carries over these details in showing the reading what NYC was like in the early 1900's. Molly is on the run from England for killing a man trying to protect her virtue. She meets a woman who is unable to travel to America with her children and rejoin her husband. Molly assumes her identity and all goes well until a man alludes to knowing her secret and making her life miserable. Upon arriving at Ellis she is almost free when the ship is detained due to a murder. After convincing the lead detective to release her to her husband even though he thinks she is hiding the killer she decides to seek out the truth. At this point Bowen loses a little creditability. In this era women didn't have a voice and running around the city like Molly did is a little hard to swallow. Rhys redeems himself by planting many reasons for the murder throughout the plot
and serves up quite an array of suspects. The ending was a splash and left the door wide open to sequels. Rating 9
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4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful cozy historical mystery Nov. 6 2002
Format:Hardcover
Rhys Bowen usually writes delightful, light-hearted mysteries featuring Constable Evans of the contemporary Welsh police. Here she introduces us to Molly Murphy, a turn-of-the-century Irish lass who moves to New York under the most unusual circumstances. Fleeing the police after she accidentally kills an abusive suitor, she is asked to accompany two children to America when their mother cannot meet the health requirements for emigration.
A man is murdered when the ship docks in Ellis Island. Molly was seen arguing with the man, and she has even more motive for murder than the police realize. To save herself and her new shipboard friend, Molly ventures into some unsavory neighborhoods and asks impertinent questions.
Bowen is an experienced writer who knows how to keep her characters moving smoothly. The solution of the crime, as well as Molly's new romatic interest, rely a little too much on coincidence. Yet the potentially grim setting is leavened by Bowen's understated humor and the pages turn quickly. Readers who appreciate good writing, historical detail and an undemanding plot will not be disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Historical Debut Oct. 10 2002
Format:Hardcover
Molly Murphy has just been given a get out of jail free card. Running because she's accidentally killed a man, she's offered the chance to take a woman's place on a boat bound for America. Once on board, she encounters a rude man and has a very public fight with him. When that man is murdered on Ellis Island, Molly finds herself and a new friend among the chief suspects. Frightened she might be sent back to face the hangman, she decides to find the real killer on her own. But can this new arrival find the killer in New York City when she doesn't know her way around and doesn't know anyone?
Molly is a head strong character who leaps first and considers the consequences later. It was fun watching her try to get herself out of several sticky situations. The setting, 1901 New York City, is brought to life, and I enjoyed learning a bit more about the time and place. My only real complaint is that the book took a while to get started. The plot starts slowly, but it picks up speed as it goes along.
As a fan of this author's Constable Evans books, I'm looking forward to reading more about Molly as well. There is potential here for another great series with another interesting setting. Write on, Ms. Bowen!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay
Would only recommend this book for very light reading. Not long on common sense. I lost interest after a while.
Published 7 months ago by snooks
4.0 out of 5 stars WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING...
This is the first in a series of period mysteries introducing Molly Murphy, an enterprising, turn of the twentieth century Irish woman who comes to America to escape the law in... Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2011 by Lawyeraau
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing descriptions
First of all let me point out that this book has nothing to do with the well known Murphy's Law :)
Although the mystery part of the plot is not extremely elaborated, this book... Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2003 by Sebastian Fernandez
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for a Brit
British born author Rhys Bowen has written a fun and cozy chronicle of murder and intrigue on Ellis Island at the turn of the last Century. Read more
Published on March 12 2003 by TundraVision
5.0 out of 5 stars A new series from Rhys Bowen!
In her new series, Rhys Bowen introduces us to Molly Murphy, a wonderful and likeable young lady who arrives on Ellis Island under the most unusual circumstances and who then... Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2002 by Karen Dyer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Page-Turner!
Molly Murphy is a peasant Irish girl who is trying to escape the guillotine after killing a landowner's son in self-defense. Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2002 by C. Cunningham
4.0 out of 5 stars Murphy's Law -
I enjoyed the first of I hope many adventures of Molly Murphy. The heroine, escaping the hangman's noose in Ireland, escapes to America by pretending to be the mother of two... Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2002 by Cheryl A. Schildhauer
2.0 out of 5 stars Good historical detail--too much coincidence in mystery
When she is forced to flee turn-of-the-century Ireland for killing her landlord, Molly Murphy assumes the identity of a woman heading for New York. Read more
Published on Dec 30 2001 by booksforabuck
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