For The Love of Mike (Molly Murphy Mysteries 3)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

For the Love of Mike (Molly Murphy Mysteries) 

Having taken over Paddy Riley's private investigation business, Molly has finally begun her life as a real private investigator.  She lands her first big undercover job when the owner of a large garment factory hires her to find out which one of his workers is spying for the competition. Not long after she enters the factory posing as a new hire, she receives a job locating a young society woman who ran away to America to marry her beau.  Business is going well for Molly until these two jobs collide, and she finds herself in serious danger once again.

:Short Thought:
For the Love of Mike shows the living and working conditions for factory women of this time period from a unique and interesting perspective and weaves it brilliantly into a wonderfully paced mysterious plot with interesting characters.

:Expanded Thoughts:
(Minor Spoilers)

Each book in this series goes into a specific aspect of New York culture. In For the Love of Mike, the female factory worker's life is explored.  The reader is shown firsthand what the working environment was like--the smell, appearance, and people.  The books also shows the desperate life these women live while trying to surivive on ridiculously low wages and long hours.

This novel also touched on the early formations of female labor unions. Jacob Singer, new aquaintance of Molly, works with an organization that aids in initiating strikes, negotiating with unsavory bosses, and forming labor unions.  Two such situations are shown in the book, and it was fascinating.  Though, I must say that I find it hard to believe that matters could be resolved as quickly as in the book.  (I don't know about this period of history so I may be completely off.)  Modern day strikes and labor negotiations take months and months.  Reading about it was still enjoyable if not too believable.

As told in the last book in this series, Molly's love life is less than ideal.  She has been left waiting for Daniel to break off his engagement to the beautiful and wealthy Arabella for quite awhile.  Daniel seems content to move at a dead snail's pace to remedy the situation and truly takes Molly's feelings for granted.  That is, until the introduction of another suitor for Ms. Murphy--Jacob Singer.  Jacob Singer is a Jewish photographer that works with an organization to get better working conditions for women in the city.  Instead of using his photography to make lots of money, he uses it to expose the wrongs in the city.  He would rather help others than get caught up in ambition, and Molly finds him a very refreshing departure from Daniel.  Daniel finally starts to fear that he may be losing Molly if he doesn't get his situation straightened out.

As I've just finished the 3rd book in this series, I think I can finally say that this is one of my favorite mystery series!  It really has the perfectly balanced "recipe."  I say this because this is the first mystery series that I have read that has the story drive the characters and not the other way around.  For example, there is a great love story in here, but it doesn't overpower the story nor is the story dull without it.  I just find it refreshing when so many mystery books are filled with raunchy sex scenes and shoddy mystery plots.  Molly Murphy Mysteries is a great series, and everything is done tastefully and brilliantly.  I can't wait to read the next one!

:Additional Notes:
For the Love of Mike is the third book in Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy Mysteries series. As of this post, the books available in this series, in order starting from the beginning, are:

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