Tell Me, Pretty Maiden

Written by Rhys Bowen
Review by Trudi E. Jacobson


Molly Murphy is back in New York City after doing some detecting in Ireland that almost cost her her life. It is December 1902 and she is particularly busy. She’s been asked to investigate the possible haunting of a soon-to-be produced musical, where the leading lady is repeatedly threatened. Then she and Daniel, her police officer beau who is still under suspicion by the Commissioner of Police and hence suspended from working, find a young woman almost frozen to death in Central Park. Molly feels a sense of involvement, and certainly can’t let this enigma go. And then she is called in to investigate the possible involvement of a Yale student in a brutal robbery and murder in New Haven, Connecticut. She also has the excitement of meeting Nelly Bly during this time.

The winter scenes are evocative of the period. We find out too that this is the time when the new Sicilian gangs are making their mark, and bringing a new and brutal tone to the New York underworld. Molly finds herself struggling against some of Daniel’s to-her-mind outmoded views of a woman’s life and how to make it fulfilling. This is an engaging mystery series, best started at the beginning.