Murphy's Law

by Rhys Bowen

St. Martin's Press, October, 2001.
Hardcover, pages.
ISBN: 0312282060

Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen Rhys Bowen, author of the popular Evans Evans mystery series, moves to another time and place with her new series, set in 1900 New York City. Irish lass Molly Murphy must flee her homeland, after she accidentally kills a wealthy landowner's son who was trying to rape her. She flees to London where she meets a young mother with tuberculosis, Kathleen O'Connor. Kathleen will not be allowed to go to America because of the TB, so she begs Molly to take her steerage ticket and escort her two children to America to live with their father. Molly agrees, but when she arrives at Ellis Island, she becomes a suspect in the murder of an obnoxious male passenger who had made unwelcome advances to Molly during the trip. The handsome young policeman who is investigating the murder, Daniel Sullivan, is anything but happy when Molly sets out in a new country to find a murderer. But Molly is determined. Either she finds the real murderer, or it's back to Ireland and the hangman's noose for her.

Tammany Hall-era New York City is vividly portrayed in this charming new series from Rhys Bowen. During this time period, immigrants actually entered the country right at New York Harbor, and Bowen's descriptions of the processing of new arrivals is fascinating. Flame haired Molly Murphy is an outspoken and plucky young woman, whose smart mouth often lands her in trouble. But she's gutsy and persistent -- two traits that any penniless immigrant will need in order to make a life in America. With interesting period detail and a likeable heroine, Murphy's Law is sure to be a hit with historical mystery fans.

--Claire E. White

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This review was published in the February, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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