Oh Danny Boy

Written by Rhys Bowen
Review by Trudi E. Jacobson

This fifth installment in the Molly Murphy series is set in New York City just at the turn of the 20th century. We see a bit less of Daniel Sullivan, the police captain with whom Molly has had a tumultuous relationship, because he has been jailed in the dreaded Tombs for a accepting a bribe. However, he isn’t guilty, and he asks Molly to see if she can help him, with the assistance of Gentleman Jack Brady, the prizefighter. Gentleman Jack has fallen on hard times, and Daniel had been trying to arrange a match for his comeback. However, Jack disappears on the first mission Molly assigns him, and she is left to work on her own, including doing such terrifying things as interviewing the leader of a city gang.

We meet a new character in this book, Sabella Goodwin, a police matron. The author includes a historical note that explains that Goodwin was actually hired by the NYPD in 1896 as one of the first police matrons, and was so successful in undercover investigations that she was made a full detective by 1910. The descriptions of New York and in particular how to traverse the city (Molly takes a variety of forms of transportation) are vivid and engaging.