Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Family Way-Rhys Bowen

The Family Way

Rhys Bowen

Minotaur, Mar 5 2013, $24.99

ISBN: 9781250011633

In 1904 New York City, pregnant Molly promised her husband police captain Daniel Sullivan that she will no longer sleuth though she has quite a success rate (see Hush Now, Don’t You Cry and Bless The Bride). Bored and irritable from the overbearing summer heat and her overbearing husband, Molly receives a letter from a Mrs. O’Byrne of Ireland asking if sir or madam could look into what happened to her niece Maureen O’Byrne who failed to send a Christmas card. The note further stated she crossed the Atlantic last year and got a good servant job with the Mainwaring family.

Molly deems asking a few questions about Maureen will not break her pledge to her overly-protective husband. When she witnesses a baby kidnapping and learns of several other infant abductions, Daniel, who is working that case, demands she stay in cooler Westchester at his parents’ home. She acquiesces to exile since Molly knows the Mainwaring brood lives in that county. At the same time she runs into her outlawed by the English sibling Liam, who’s illegally in the States on a Brotherhood Irish independence mission. In Westchester, Molly, with help from her Manhattan neighbors, continues her detecting work.

The latest Molly Murphy historical mystery is a delightful early twentieth century investigative tale starring the unsinkable 5-6 months pregnant protagonist at her courageous best. Readers will feel the sweltering heat of the city compounded by the tenements and the relatively cooler burb to the north. Action-packed, fans will enjoy aptly titled The Family Way.

Harriet Klausner

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