In Dublin's Fair City (Molly Murphy Mysteries 6)

Friday, October 29, 2010

In Dublin's Fair City (A Molly Murphy Mystery)

:Teaser:
Daniel is now out of prison, but the police commissioner has refused to give him back his job.  Molly is happy that he is back, but she finds that his abundance of free time has made him unbearable to be around.  So, when she is hired by a high profile theatre impresario to locate someone in Ireland, she is relieved.  She jumps at the chance despite the potential dangers of entering the country she once fled.

:Short Thought:
The first few chapters in In Dublin's Fair City take place in New York, but the rest of the novel takes place in Ireland.  With the new setting come a new cast of characters, but it still has the same engaging magic that other books in this series have.

:Expanded Thoughts:
(No Spoilers)
Molly has been building a life in New York since fleeing from her native Ireland in the first novel.  So, it is easy to forget that Molly once lived another life.  The breadth of this book takes place in Ireland and provides tidbits about the life and people that she left behind.  By briefly returning to Ireland, it gives her a form of closure and reassures us that Molly's home is now truly in New York.    

This book concentrates on Molly.  It takes her away from her fabulous friends and her blue-eyed beau.  We get to see how living in America has changed her from the desperate, naive girl who left Ireland in Murphy's Law.  She reenters the country wearing a nice outfit, her head held high, and ready to investigate. 

Trouble and danger are never very far behind Molly, and they are particularly cunning and devious in this book.  She begins with one case--locating Tommy Burke's Irish relative.  As she begins to investigate the Burke family, the case takes on a life of its own.  Each new development was full of twists, unexpected turns, and great supporting characters.

I must admit that I read this book twice before I wrote this post.  (Thus the two week delay)  I didn't really like it the first time that I read it.  I was left quite frustrated, but I had totally different experience when I read it again.  I now love it, and I think that it is one of the strongest of the series.  It answered a lot of questions about Molly's past, and it had a special je ne sais quoi that was refreshing and unique to the series.

I have since figured out the reason why I didn't enjoy the book at first.  I was wearing Daniel and Molly "blinders," and this book concentrates on Molly.  I let that bias my opinion.

:Additional Notes:

Series Info:  In Dublin's Fair City is the sixth 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:

Author's Sites:  Want to know more about the author?  Here is a list of Rhys Bowen's sites:
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Oh Danny Boy (Molly Murphy Mysteries 5)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oh Danny Boy (A Molly Murphy Mystery)

:Teaser:
Since Molly’s return to the city, she has concentrated on avoiding Daniel Sullivan and moving on with her life.  She is successful until one of his constables shows up at her door and forces her to see him.  Naturally, she is livid until she finds out that he has actually been in jail for a bogus, yet serious crime.  Upon seeing his pitiful state, she agrees to find the person responsible in order to prove his innocence.  She focuses on Daniel’s active cases to find clues.  Had someone wanted him off an investigation?  As she proceeds,  Molly gets entangled in the search for a dangerous serial killer, The Ripper, who has already claimed several female victims.

:Short Thought:
This is a great addition to the series!  Molly faces some of her toughest challenges, both personally and professionally, as she fights a system that is against her.  Our wonderful heroine is still a enjoy to follow.  As for the supporting characters, there are wonderful returning characters woven throughout the story as well as a couple of new delights.  As for the mystery, it keeps twisting, turning, and building until the very end.  Loved it!

:Expanded Thoughts:
[No Spoilers]
In Oh Danny Boy, Molly is put through a mountain of tests.  Her investigative skills are pushed to the limit as well as her heart.   Molly is stretched so thin that she even allows Sid and Gus to do some of her detective work.  (It was to the sheer delight of the pair and the mild horror of Molly.)  Every break in her investigation brings about more questions and more possible connections.  A reader can't help but notice desperation slowly creeping into Ms. Murphy as her mind is ever haunted by the image of Daniel suffering in a cage.

Each of the previous novels treats the reader to a slice of the setting's culture.  As Molly's investigation progresses, she is constantly being led to Coney Island.  We are also given a glimpse into how the criminal system may have been from both sides.  We are “taken” into the Medical Examiner’s office, the prison, and the Public Defender's office.  We're also given a closer look into the system's devastating effect on an accused through Daniel and the ruin of his social support and career. 

On a brighter note, a big highlight of the novel was the introduction of a new character—Police Matron Sabella Goodwin.  Sabella Goodwin is actually based on a real woman.  (There is an author note at the end of the book that tells more about her.)  In the book, she acts as a role model and confidante.  Molly trusts her completely and tells her things that she wouldn't dream of revealing to anyone else.  She is also the first person since Paddy Riley from whom Molly can learn.  She finally has a female friend with whom she can relate on a professional level as well as a personal level.

Oh Danny Boy was a real treat!  I was a bit concerned before I started reading, because In Like Flynn was so great.  I thought that this one would pale in comparison.  I was wrong.  It had Molly back with the same magnetic and witty personality that makes everyone want to keep reading.

:Additional Notes:

Series Info:  Oh Danny Boy is the fifth 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:

Author's Sites:  Want to know more about the author?  Here is a list of Rhys Bowen's sites:
  :
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