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City of Darkness and Light (Molly Murphy Mysteries Book 13) [Kindle Edition]

Rhys Bowen
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

Molly and Daniel Sullivan are settling happily into the new routines of parenthood, but their domestic bliss is shattered the night a gang retaliates against Daniel for making a big arrest. Daniel wants his family safely out of New York City as soon as possible. In shock and grieving, but knowing she needs to protect their infant son Liam, Molly agrees to take him on the long journey to Paris to stay with her friends Sid and Gus, who are studying art in the City of Light.

But upon arriving in Paris, nothing goes as planned. Sid and Gus seem to have vanished into thin air, and Molly's search to figure out what happened to them will lead her through all levels of Parisian society, from extravagant salons to the dingy cafes where starving artists linger over coffee and loud philosophical debates. And when in the course of her search she stumbles across a dead body, Molly, on her own in a foreign country, starts to wonder if she and Liam might be in even more danger in Paris than they had been at home.

As Impressionism gives way to Fauvism and Cubism, and the Dreyfus affair rocks France, Molly races through Paris to outsmart a killer in City of Darkness and Light, Rhys Bowen's most spectacular Molly Murphy novel yet.

Books In This Series (13 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From Booklist

    It’s lucky number 13 for this lively addition to the award-winning Molly Murphy series. After their New York home is bombed, police captain Daniel Sullivan packs wife Molly and young son Liam off to Paris to stay with friends. Newly retired from the detective business, Molly lands in the middle of another mystery when her expat hosts aren’t in their Paris apartment to receive her. Her only clue to their whereabouts is a recent letter that mentions a pending introduction to the artist Reynold Bryce. But, quelle horreur, Bryce has just been murdered! Inquiring of artists in turn-of-the-century Paris, Molly meets Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Mary Cassatt, and Edgar Degas. (All while finding trustworthy child care for her still-nursing son and getting up to speed on the Dreyfus affair.) Molly is a smart, feisty heroine who admirably defends her investigation to a very skeptical Sûreté. Though placed a decade or so earlier, this breezy historical mystery will appeal to fans of Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple and Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs. --Karen Keefe


    "Atmospheric, tightly plotted, heart pounding, this is Bowen at her best."—Louise Penny

    "What could be more fun than a new Molly Murphy adventure? A Molly Murphy book set in Paris's avant-garde art world just after the turn of the century! A beautifully rendered portrait of the city and the period, seen from Molly's eyes as she deals with one of her most challenging cases yet."—Deborah Crombie

    "Filled with intriguing characters, especially Molly herself…Bowen sets the stage with background information and hisotrical detail while she keeps the story moving."—RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

    Product Details

    • File Size: 971 KB
    • Print Length: 318 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250011663
    • Publisher: Minotaur Books (March 4, 2014)
    • Sold by: Macmillan
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00FCQQ2IG
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Molly in Paris March 4, 2014
    By K. Reel
    Be prepared to be wowed by lucky #13 in the Molly Murphy mystery series. It is the second of the series to take place primarily outside of New York City, in another country. The country this time is France, and the city is Paris in its heyday of cutting edge artists and intellectuals. The year is 1905, and major cities, such as New York and Paris, are bursting with history and change upon which the twentieth century will be built. Rhys Bowen once again seamlessly weaves the fiction of Molly's exploits with this metamorphic history, and the reader is presented with historical figures integrally enmeshed in the story line. Of course, one of the strengths of Bowen's writing is transporting readers to an earlier time and place through her well researched connections of people to plot. The Paris of 1905, at the zenith of seminal modernist artists, provides a bevy of real-life characters, such as Degas, Picasso, Monet, and Cassatt. And, the places of Montmartre and Montparnasse will become wonderfully familiar. Bowen even works the Dreyfus affair and Gertrude Stein into a story where the history of Jewish discrimination is evident.

    As City of Darkness and Light begins, Molly has no thoughts of Paris and famous artists, other than the occasional letter from her friends Sid and Gus, who have traveled to that progressive city in order for Gus to explore her artistic endeavors. Molly is quite happy with her new family of her husband Daniel and son Liam. However, Daniel's police business intrudes into their lives in a most devastating manner, as retaliation from the newly formed Costa Nostra takes the form of a bomb that destroys Molly and Daniel's cozy home and very nearly costs them their lives.
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    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Molly Adventures March 13, 2014
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    Molly Murphy along with Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear are the most fascinating female crime solvers in the present novel marketing. Of course, Victoria Thompson's Sarah Brandt must be included on the A list. The element that sets Molly apart is her independence and ability to apply critical thinking. Although now a wife (and in that era of our history, considered a second class citizen), and a mother, she continues to use her intelligence and courage.

    There are several points that define the character and make her not only endearing, but also inspirational. First,
    when her counterparts on the police force can only follow protocol, Molly is capable of thinking outside the box to further the findings. Secondly, her fierce loyalty to family and friends is unmatched and usually serves her well in the attempt to solve the case. Then, Molly has the common sense and bravery necessary to outwit and out-manuever her aggressive opponents. And finally, she achieves her goal with dignity and a rather matter-of-fact demeanor that defies anything boastful.

    Rhys Bowen, please to not let Molly go, but continue regaling us with her adventures. She is a true delight.
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    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Leaping from Danger to Danger March 4, 2014
    Daniel has spent the last few months hard at work trying to stop a new Italian gang that is infiltrating New York City. After their leader is arrested, they make good on their threat to retaliate, and the results put Molly and Liam in danger as well. With a need to get out of town and away from danger, it seems like a great time to take Sid and Gus up on their offer to join them in Paris, so Molly and Liam board a ship.

    Molly’s friends and neighbors have been over there so Gus can work on her painting, so they are deep in the flourishing and swirling artistic movement of the time. However, Molly’s reception on her arrival is not what she expected. Can she navigate these unfamiliar shores and figure out what is happening? Is she in more danger now than if she had stayed home?

    I was quite anxious to dive back into Molly’s world, and I was richly rewarded. The setting of 1905 Paris was brought to rich life, and I was so pulled into the world I often had a hard time returning to my own when I set the book down. The characters are fully developed as well, and this includes many real people as well as fictional ones. I bet I missed some of the cameos, but I was proud of myself for spotting many of the real artists who populated the pages.

    The pacing in the first part of the book could have been a little stronger, but every time I began to feel that way, things would pick up again and have me turning pages. I was surprised by the outcome of the story but the ending had been well set up before hand.

    Now comes the wait until I can visit Molly again. If you enjoy some history with an enjoyable mystery plot, this book is definitely for you.

    Note: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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    12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    It's been a long time since I've visited with Molly Murphy, and a lot has changed in her life. After reading City of Darkness and Light, I wonder why it took me so long to renew my acquaintance. Molly has been independent, she's been a private investigator, and I was interested to see how she was adapting to married life. We've barely scratched the surface of her new role as wife and mother when the world explodes around her in a thrilling-- and heartbreaking-- scene, and she and infant son Liam find themselves on the way to Paris.

    Molly always seems to find interesting people wherever she goes, and this book is no exception. Whether it's a group of women on board ship, or the shop keepers and artists of the streets of Paris, City of Darkness and Light is filled with savory characters. Several of them are famous, and not all of them are named-- Molly wouldn't know them all, would she?-- and part of the enjoyment of reading is trying to put names to all them all.

    Yes, I did love conducting my very own identity parade while I read, but some of my favorite scenes in the book involved Molly dealing with the mundane: if you don't know anyone in Paris and you don't speak the language well, how are you going to deal with a cantankerous landlady? How are you going to find a place to stay? Where is your food coming from? Who on earth is going to care for your baby while you're out trying to find your friends?

    It's this mix of finding a murderer, rubbing elbows with the great and not-yet-great in the Parisian art world, and changing diapers that makes this latest Molly Murphy mystery so much fun to read. Molly's fans will be enchanted... and newcomers may very well be hooked.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Another good one my Rhys Bowen!
    I truly enjoy Molly Murphy Mysteries and this one seemed just a big less violent - more to my taste. Read more
    Published 3 days ago by Richard J. Fischer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!!!
    Lovely story taking you to the streets of Paris & a little historic adventure...Rhys Bowen never disappoints. I highly recommend!!!
    Published 8 days ago by Kelly R. Van Nevel
    4.0 out of 5 stars But it's a nice light read
    This is similar to the other books in the series: mostly interesting for the well-researched locale and time period. Read more
    Published 13 days ago by Duffy Denver
    5.0 out of 5 stars excellent romp in France for Molly!
    Loved this adventure - Molly got to meet all the important artists of the era and solve a mystery without ticking off Daniel for once (LOL)! Although I did miss him. Read more
    Published 17 days ago by RS
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    I love the Molly Murphy Mysteries series; this one was among them.
    Published 26 days ago by Patricia C. Myers
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series
    I greatly enjoy this series and this latest installment was excellent; the historic detail from the early 1900's is very interesting.
    Published 28 days ago by James J. Cole
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Enjoy how Molly solves crimes!!
    Published 1 month ago by Mary M. Reals
    3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    I have thoroughly loved and looked forward to eagerly the books of the Molly Murphy mysteries. This one was greatly disappointing since over half of the first part of the book had... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Joy Lee
    4.0 out of 5 stars I always enjoy reading about Molly Murphy
    I always enjoy reading about Molly Murphy! I'm looking forward to the next book.
    Published 1 month ago by S. Matak
    5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss Molly!
    Well written mystery. I have became a Molly Murphy fanatic!
    Published 1 month ago by J. Ray
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    More About the Author

    Rhys Bowen's books have been nominated for every major mystery award and she has won thirteen of them to date. She currently writes two historical mystery series, each very different in tone. The Molly Murphy mysteries feature an Irish immigrant woman in turn-of-the-century New York City. These books are multi-layered, complex stories with a strong sense of time and place and have won many awards including Agatha and Anthony. There are 13 book so far in this series plus two Kindle stories, The Amersham Rubies and The Face in the Mirror--a great way to introduce new readers to Molly's spunky personality.

    Then there is Lady Georgie, Rhys's latest,and very popular, heroine. She's 35th in line to the throne of England, but she's flat broke and struggling to survive in the Great Depression. These books are lighter and funnier than Molly's adventures. They poke gentle fun at the British class system--about which Rhys knows a lot, having married into an upper class family rather like Georgie's, with cousins with silly nicknames,family ghosts and stately homes. The seventh book is called Heirs and Graces, and on November 5th The Twelve Clues of Christmas comes out in paperback, perfect timing for the holidays.
    The series received the Readers Choice Award for favorite mystery series and Rhys was nominated for career achievement.

    Rhys was born in Bath, England but spent time during her childhood with relatives in Wales. Those childhood experiences colored her first mystery series, about Constable Evans in the mountains of Snowdonia. 10 books including the Edgar nominee Evan's Gate. She has lived in Austria, Germany and Australia, but has called California her home for many years. She now escapes to a condo in Arizona during those cold California winters. When she's not writing she loves to travel, sing, hike, paint and play the Celtic harp.

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