THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST – A Molly Murphy Mystery – by Rhys Bowen


My publicist friends at Minotaur books offered me a review e-copy of the latest Molly Murphy mystery and of course I said yes!! I believe I have read all of the other Molly mysteries. I love a historical mystery, and I love reading about New York at the turn of the century. This time, Molly, husband Daniel, and baby Liam are headed out to Connecticut for the holidays at a house filled with sadness from the loss of a child ten years before. Molly herself has recently lost a child through miscarriage and she is still healing. As always, there’s a realness to these characters that make them very believable and easy to relate to.

Here’s the overview via Amazon:

Semi-retired private detective Molly Murphy Sullivan is suffering from depression after a miscarriage following her adventure in San Francisco during the earthquake of 1906. She and her husband, Daniel, are invited for Christmas at a mansion on the Hudson, and they gratefully accept, expecting a peaceful and relaxing holiday season. Not long after they arrive, however, they start to feel the tension in the house’s atmosphere. Then they learn that the host couple’s young daughter wandered out into the snow ten years ago and was never seen again. Molly can identify with the mother’s pain at never knowing what happened to her child and wants to help, but there is so little to go on. No ransom note. No body ever found. But Molly slowly begins to suspect that the occupants of the house know more than they are letting on. Then, on Christmas Eve, there is a knock at the door and a young girl stands there. “I’m Charlotte,” she says. “I’ve come home.”


While I do love these books, I did find this wrap-up a bit hard to believe, but I liked it anyway. It’s Christmas time — give me happy endings!!

Thank you for my review e-copy!



Rhys Bowen recently came out with a new Molly Murphy mystery. If you read me, you know I’ve read them all. I really enjoy historical cozies and Molly is one of my favorite female sleuths (though I have to admit to an even greater fondness for Georgie of Bowen’s Royal Spyness mysteries!).

In this installment, Molly is headed to Paris to stay with friends Sid and Gus after a horrible bombing of her home in New York by an Italian gang. She and Daniel and the baby weren’t hurt, but sadly their young maid was killed. Molly has barely gotten her feet on solid ground when she’s landed in to the middle of a murder mystery. Where are Gus and Sid and why did they leave so suddenly? Who murdered the painter Reynold Bryce? And will Molly ever find her friends or have to go back to NYC?

Once again, Ms. Bowen has written a lively and well-crafted mystery, this time in a unique location. Paris at the turn of the century was a vibrant and beautiful place (it still is, but you know what I mean!). The art culture is explored here, and I was delighted to see many well-known real characters brought to life: Picasso, Degas, Monet, Mary Cassatt, Gertrude Stein. Molly interacts with all parts of the city, but especially the Montmartre district in her quest to find and then help her friends. I did not guess the murderer (kudos to Ms. Bowen!) and enjoyed reading this right up to the last page. This might be my favorite Molly mystery yet.

Another home run for the Molly Murphy series!

I got mine on Amazon.

Review of the latest Molly Murphy mystery: “Hush Now, Don’t You Cry” by Rhys Bowen

If you read me, you know I read all the Molly Murphy and Her Royal Spyness cozy mysteries from Rhys Bowen. I was excited to see on the new release shelf at the library the latest Molly Murphy story. This time Molly and Daniel are married and on their delayed honeymoon, visiting at a mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. They’ve hardly arrived when their guest, whom they haven’t seen yet, is found dead at the bottom of a cliff. Their host is lying where his young granddaughter was also found dead four years earlier. Daniel then becomes deathly ill with pneumonia and Molly is left to unravel the mystery, which includes all sort of twists, subplots, and suspects.

I always enjoy a Molly Murphy historical mystery, and I especially liked the setting for this one: beautiful Newport. Did I guess the murderer? Yes. Did I guess a motive. Yes, once I guessed the murderer. But I enjoyed it nonetheless. I have to say, though, that I still find the character of Daniel irritating. He’s so focused on Molly as “the little woman” that one must wonder if their marriage will last (and if it does, will this series?). He always seems a little out in left field to me in regards to the mysteries, too. If I was writing this series, I just might kill him off.

Anyhow, if you like these stories, I think you’ll enjoy the latest!