Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review: Hush Now, Don't You Cry by Rhys Bowen (Molly Murphy #11)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Molly, Daniel, writing - you know, the usual
Cons: Plot lead up to a weak climax
The Bottom Line:
A bad honeymoon
With sickness, a dead body
Is pleasant for us

Honeymoon with Murder

Irish immigrant Molly Murphy (now Molly Sullivan) has found life in 1900’s New York to be pretty dangerous.  She’s barely lived in our country for two years and Hush Now, Don't You Cry is her eleventh case.  And this is despite the promise she made to her new husband Daniel to leave the detective work to him since that is his job as a NYPD detective.

October of 1903 finds Molly and Daniel finally going on a delayed honeymoon.  They’ve been offered a cottage at the Hanna estate in Newport.  They arrive on a dark and stormy night to find the place closed up tight.  A further surprise is that the entire family is coming that weekend, so they won’t have the grounds to themselves like they expected.

But the surprises keep coming.  Molly thinks she sees a face in the tower of the main house, which is built to look like a castle.  Then their host is murdered.  Will Molly figure out what is happening?

While not all the books have taken place in New York City, this one felt different from the rest of the series.  Between the castle mansion and the possibility of a ghost on the property, it took on a gothic feeling.  The murder mystery is the classic estate murder set up made famous by Agatha Christie, something the series doesn’t usually feature as well.

On the other hand, the book felt very familiar.  Molly is her usual stubborn yet warm self who can’t leave a puzzle alone and wants the best for those she meets.  Daniel was a warmer character than normal, and I’m not just saying that because he was sick.  His usual admonitions to Molly to leave the detective work to the professionals were delivered with less venom and a bit bemusement that made you feel like he knows Molly won’t pay any attention.

The Hanna family makes for an interesting collection of suspects, and they come alive as the book progresses.  While it was a bit overwhelming at first meeting them all, I never had to flip back to try to figure out who they were again.

The plot is interesting and takes several unexpected yet intriguing turns.  However, I felt the climax was weak – weak enough to merit the loss of a star.  I’m a huge fan of author Rhys Bowen, and I know she can do better than this one.

As always, I was transported back to life in 1903, and I found some ongoing discussions of such newfangled devices as electric lights and telephones to be quite amusing.  It’s a good reminder about what we take for granted in this day and age.

Even with the one weakness to the book, I still found Hush Now, Don't You Cry to be extremely entertaining.  I can’t wait until I am whisked away to Molly’s world again.

You'll definitely want to read the Molly Murphy Mysteries in order.

No comments:

Post a Comment