From Publishers Weekly
Near the start of Anthony-winner Bowen's delightful eighth Molly Murphy mystery (after 2008's Tell Me, Pretty Maiden
), two Vasser alum friends persuade the Irish-born detective to march for women's rights with the VWVW (Vassar Wants Votes for Women) in New York City's annual Easter parade. On Fifth Avenue that Sunday morning, Molly meets Emily Boswell and other West Side socialites, all of whom wind up getting arrested for disturbing the peace. Molly's intended, police captain Daniel Sullivan, rescues the women from jail, but is wholly unsympathetic to their mission. The down-on-her-luck Emily, who works in a drugstore, hires Molly to find out the truth about her missionary parents' deaths and her loss of inheritance. Another Vasser grad has a philandering husband to track. As ever, Bowen does a splendid job of capturing the flavor of early 20th-century New York and bringing to life its warm and human inhabitants. (Mar.)
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Eighth in the Molly Murphy mystery series, following Tell Me, Pretty Maiden (2008), this installment outshines the others in character development and plot complexity. Details of Molly’s new cases are knit together with the accoutrements of 1918 New York City life—automobiles, women’s rights, social climbers, and the flu epidemic—bringing a visceral reality to the story. Conflicted over a potentially inequitable marriage to her fiancé, Captain Daniel Sullivan, and enjoying the company of Sid and Gus, her outré lesbian friends, Molly carries her own, compelling internal struggle to her work. She’s hired by her friend Emily to investigate a family mystery that has caused a miserable childhood and an uncertain financial future. Simultaneously, Molly is employed by a wealthy acquaintance to determine her husband’s fidelity or lack thereof. When the acquaintance dies suddenly, supposedly from flu, followed by another woman in her circle, Molly suspects murder. Don’t miss this great period puzzler reminiscent of Dame Agatha’s mysteries and Gillian Linscott’s Nell Bray series. --Jen Baker