In Like Flynn (Molly Murphy Mysteries 4)

Monday, August 2, 2010

In Like Flynn (Molly Murphy Mysteries)

Lately, the city is not being too kind to Ms. Murphy.  Her love life is strained, and she has inadvertently put herself on the bad side of a local gang. So, when Daniel offers her an undercover job across the Hudson River, Molly jumps at the chance.  The job is to expose two well known mediums as frauds while posing as a distant Irish cousin of the family that hired them.  But that isn't only the mystery that Molly encounters.  Not long before, the family's young son was kidnapped and believed to be buried alive, but a body was never found.  Behind Daniel's back, Molly has promised another client to find out the truth about what really happened to the young boy.  As Molly's begins uncovering the family's hidden secrets, it becomes apparent that someone will do anything to keep the truth hidden.

:Short Thought:
This novel took Molly out of her new home in the city and placed her in the quiet countryside.  It was delightful and refreshing to see Molly dig out the truth from a whole new crowd.  It was definitely my favorite of the series thus far.  It had a mystery full of murder, dark family secrets, and political agendas. 

:Expanded Thoughts:
(No Spoilers)
As I've said in earlier reviews of this series, each book seems to focus on one element, or place, in old New York Society.  (slums, Greenwich Village, garment industry, etc)  This novel's focus is on the slower-paced lifestyle right outside of the city.  Here, the social circles are smaller, but the houses are much bigger. It seems that everyone knows everyone, and there is a layer of dark secrets and agendas under all the politeness and beautiful scenery.  Molly is given a rare opportunity to break into the Flynns', the wealthy family with whom she is staying, world at a higher level of familiarity as she poses as the husband's distant Irish cousin whom no one has actually ever met.  Some of the family members immediately trust her, and this gives the reader a front seat show into the peculiar minds of these socially isolated wealthy.

Molly's detective skills are on full display in In Like Flynn, and there is much apparent improvement.  (I still remember that botched divorce case in the previous novel.  Quel désastre!)  She is thrown into a situation in which she knows no one, except what she has read in documents provided by the police for the medium case, and she must maintain her cover while conducting an investigation.  It is quite a tall order, but Molly shines as always as she gets them to trust and confide in her.

Over the first three novels, Molly's love life has been slowly developing with the introduction of Jacob and Daniel's socialite fiance.  In this fourth novel, each man falls short when it comes to their treatment of Molly.  Jacob isn't as comfortable with being open about their relationship as he led her to believe, and Daniel still won't shake that snobby fiance off off his arm.  The "trip" to the country gives her a welcome retreat from their false promises. She leaves all the love drama behind when she crosses that river and shows, for the first time since the beginning of the first novel, that she can do very well investigating and living on her own. 

:Additional Notes:
In Like Flynn is the fourth 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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