Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review: Bless the Bride by Rhys Bowen (Molly Murphy #10)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Real setting, suspenseful story, great characters
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Historic New York
Brought to vivid life with great
Characters, story

Molly Searches for the Missing in Chinatown

I was rather surprised when I realized that Bless the Bride is the 10th book in the Molly Murphy series.  It really doesn't seem like that long ago that we met Irish immigrant Molly Murphy when she stepped off the boat in 1901 New York City.  But here it is September of 1903 and Molly's got another mystery to solve.

It's just a matter of weeks before Molly Murphy is to marry police captain Daniel Sullivan, and she is supposed to be spending time with Daniel's mother in Westchester County working on her wedding dress.  But she can't resist coming back to New York City when her dear friends Sid and Gus promise to throw a wedding party for her.

She's also tempted by the prospect of taking on one last case.  Lee Sing Tai, a powerful man in Chinatown, wants Molly to find something of value that has gone missing.  While the task looks impossible on the surface, she digs in and actually manages to make some progress.  But the more progress she makes, the more she begins to regret taking this case.  Is there a way she can get out of it, especially after a murder takes place?

Some series begin to grow stale when they reach double digits.  That is most certainly not the case here.  It helps that each book opens us up to a different part of the city during that time.  This is our first visit to Chinatown, for example, and the way the Chinese immigrants of the time were treated is sad.  The prejudices of the day are presented but certainly not condoned in any way.

But that's just the background for a great mystery.  The twists are plentiful, and kept me turning the pages quickly to find out what would happen next.  In fact, I was quite worried for many of the characters several times over the course of the book.  The solution was satisfying, and I spent the last ten pages of the book smiling.

Plus there are the great characters.  Molly has become quite a detective over the course of the series, and I was impressed with some of the logical conclusions she reached.  Her friends Sid and Gus were a much more active part of the story, and I love seeing more of those two.  The new characters are quite real as well.

Combine all these ingredients, and you've got a winner.  Fortunately, I know the author is working on the next book in the series.  I don't want Molly's adventures to end any time soon.  If you enjoy historical fiction and mystery, be sure to check out Bless the Bride.

It is best to read the Molly Murphy Mysteries in order.

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