Hush Now, Don’t You Cry
Irish immigrant Molly Murphy (now Molly Sullivan) returns in her eleventh outing in Bowen’s series. In the fall of 1903, Molly and her husband, New York City Police Captain Daniel Sullivan, are finally enjoying a belated honeymoon on the Newport, Rhode Island estate of Brian Hannan, an alderman and key figure in Tammany Hall. Molly anticipates a peaceful stay, but Hannan has invited them with an ulterior motive in mind, one that is never revealed because his body is found at the bottom of the cliffs on his estate. When Daniel becomes seriously ill with pneumonia, Molly must renege on her promise to give up sleuthing to clear them from suspicion.
This is the first Molly Murphy mystery I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. Bowen expertly captures the experience of the Irish immigrant at the turn of the century. Molly’s life stands in sharp contrast to the Hannan family’s life of privilege. They keep rich people’s secrets, solving problems with money, and although set a century ago, the secrets are those that still resonate today. Those characters, however, are less interesting than Molly’s quest to get to the truth. I plan to read more Molly Murphy mysteries in hopes that she faces more worthy adversaries.