Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Review: City of Darkness and Light by Rhys Bowen (Molly Murphy #13)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Characters and setting come alive in this great story
Cons: Pacing briefly a time or two
The Bottom Line:
Artists in Paris
Still bring danger and murder
When Molly visits

Artistic Danger in Paris

I love history, so it is a bit of a surprise that I haven’t found more historical mystery series to read.  There is something about stepping back in time through the pages of a story that is magical.  One series I do love for just that reason is the Molly Murphy series.  City of Darkness and Light is the latest entry in the series, and it’s another winner.

When Molly first immigrated to New York from Ireland, she opened a detective agency.  Now that’s she’s married to Captain Daniel Sullivan of the New York Police Department, she’s supposed to be focusing on her new roles as wife and mother to their infant Liam.  But trouble still seems to find her, as this book proves, even on a different continent.

Daniel has spent the last few months hard at work trying to stop a new Italian gang that is infiltrating New York City.  After their leader is arrested, they make good on their threat to retaliate, and the results put Molly and Liam in danger as well.  With a need to get out of town and away from danger, it seems like a great time to take Sid and Gus up on their offer to join them in Paris, so Molly and Liam board a ship.

Molly’s friends and neighbors have been over there so Gus can work on her painting, so they are deep in the flourishing and swirling artistic movement of the time.  However, Molly’s reception on her arrival is not what she expected.  Can she navigate these unfamiliar shores and figure out what is happening?  Is she in more danger now than if she had stayed home?

This book takes a little time at the beginning setting up Molly’s need to travel to Paris.  Because I love the characters, I found this part gripping and just as exciting as anything related to the actual mystery.  There were another couple times I felt the book was beginning to lag, but then the pace would pick right back up and I’d be swept away again.

The mystery itself is very strong and took a few twists I wasn’t expecting.  I was fooled by the ending even though the pieces were right there.

This book more than any others in the series seems to be populated by historical people.  I’m sure there are many I missed, but I did catch a lot of them.  Considering how little art interests me, I was proud of that fact.

Whether real or fictional, all of the people who populated the pages were real.  They just helped pull me into the world of the book even more.

And pulled into the world I was.  I often found myself thinking about the book, the characters, and the story when I’d set it down to get back to my real life.  I felt like I was there with Molly in 1905 Paris.

Molly’s adventures are always enjoyable, and this book is no exception.  Be prepared to be whisked away to another time and place as you open the cover of City of Darkness and Light.

And if you need to catch up on Molly's past cases, check out the Molly Murphy Mysteries in order.

Note: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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