Murphy's Law Mass Market Paperback – Dec 15 2002
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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.
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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Top Customer Reviews
When Molly arrives in America, she immediately comes under the scrutiny of law enforcement, as a fellow passenger, with whom she had had a public argument, is murdered on Ellis Island. She meets Captain Daniel Sullivan in the process, and her Irish charm makes an indelible impression upon him.
Molly manages to leave Ellis Island under her own steam but, wary that she might be a suspect, she is determined to find the killer on her own. Her search takes her through various New York neighborhoods, all with a flavor of their own. She also gets to know Captain Daniel Sullivan a bit better, and the sparks fly.
This book certainly held my interest and made me want to read the other books in this series. With a well-plotted storyline, a host of interesting characters, and a plucky, intelligent heroine, this appears to be a promising series of books. Molly Murphy is a character that is here to stay.
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.
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.
and serves up quite an array of suspects. The ending was a splash and left the door wide open to sequels. Rating 9
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I like history, so reading about her travel to the USA seemed well researched. I enjoyed the read.Published 15 months ago by Susan Scoble
Would only recommend this book for very light reading. Not long on common sense. I lost interest after a while.Published on Jan. 18 2014 by snooks
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
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 morePublished on March 12 2003 by TundraBee
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 morePublished on Nov. 27 2002 by Karen Dyer
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... Read morePublished on Oct. 10 2002 by Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers
Molly Murphy is a peasant Irish girl who is trying to escape the guillotine after killing a landowner's son in self-defense. Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2002 by Cris Cunningham