Death of Riley
The second installment of Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy mysteries finds the feisty young Irish immigrant dealing with the discovery of boyfriend Daniel’s engagement to a rich socialite. While struggling to deal with this unexpected development, Molly is also under pressure to find gainful employment.
Molly’s underlying ambition to become a private investigator is advanced when she talks her way into Paddy Riley’s private detective office as a general assistant. While investigating a routine case of adultery, Riley stumbles across a piece of information that costs him his life. When Molly inadvertently walks in on the murder scene, she finds herself in the position of testing her sleuthing skills as she sets about unraveling the circumstances surrounding Riley’s murder. The course of her investigation takes her on a journey from bohemian Greenwich Village to the Great Exposition in Buffalo.
Bowen does a masterful job of describing the immigrant experience in the early years of twentieth century New York. Her descriptions of the developing metropolis are vibrant. Bowen’s foray into the literary and arts scene of Greenwich Village is especially fine. Molly Murphy is a fiery, personable heroine. Hopefully this is only the beginning of a long and sustained series.