Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: Death of Riley by Rhys Bowen (Molly Murphy #2)


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong plot with fun historical characters
Cons: Climax could make some roll their eyes.
The Bottom Line:
New boss is murdered
Molly catches history
Hang on for the ride




For Her Second Case, Molly Has to Solve the Murder of Her Boss

Death of Rileythe second entry in the Molly Murphy Mysteries, finds recent immigrant Molly up to her Irish neck in danger in 1901 New York.

It's been several months since Molly arrived in America, and she's still trying to find her niche in New York City. At policeman Daniel O'Sullivan's suggestion, she tries being a companion to a wealthy woman, but her strong will and sharp tongue get in the way of that.

She really has her heart set on becoming a PI and using that business to hunt lost relatives. After much persuasion, she starts to assist Paddy Riley with his PI business. But she hasn't been there too long before she walks into the office one day to find her new boss dead. Why was he murdered? Molly's determined to use the few skills she has to find out.

I enjoyed the second in this historical fiction series. The author has done her research, and it shows. The detail is fantastic, and I was drawn into the world of 100 years ago. Not only does this research help with the physical details of Molly's world, but the attitudes are well shown as well. It truly was hard for a single woman to do anything at this time in American history.

I felt the plot in the first story dragged, but this book erases that problem. The plot moves quickly here until it reaches the climax. While the climax is a little out there, I enjoyed it for the historical events it incorporated. There are several sub-plots as well, most of which deal with the struggles Molly is having as a single woman in a strange city. They add the right mix to the overall story and never take over from the main story for too long.

I must admit I also liked Molly better this go around. She's the right mix of stubbornness and the naivete that would come from her previous life in a small Irish village. Her narration is half the fun as we see the world through her eyes and truly get to know her.

This book introduces us to Sid and Gus, two new friends who have become important supporting characters. They and their circle are a hoot by themselves and add another layer to the historical setting of the story.

If you like historical fiction or mystery, you'll enjoy the seamless mix of the two offered by Death of Riley. And if you love both like I do, you'll quickly be hooked on this engrossing series.

And you'll want to read the Molly Murphy Mysteries in order.

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