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For the Love of Mike (Molly Murphy Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – November 30, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Bowen's engaging third Molly Murphy historical (after 2002's Death of Riley), Molly finds it's not easy to be a female detective with a brogue as thick as ham in 1901 New York. Late one night, two brutish cops haul her off to the slammer because they think she's a prostitute; they don't believe her claim that she was staking out the house across the street. She makes things worse on herself by refusing to mention her friendship with police captain Daniel Sullivan, who could have her released in a jiffy. Instead, she spends a different sort of night in a cell full of whores. Having taken over the detective agency of her recently deceased mentor, Paddy Riley, Molly pursues a couple of cases that form the guts of the story. In one instance, she goes undercover in a sweatshop to ferret out possible industrial espionage; in the other, she looks for an English gentleman's runaway daughter, who is, in turn, searching for her husband. All the threads come neatly together in a fire at a dress-making shop. The question left dangling is a romantic one: will Molly settle for a good friendship with labor leader Jacob Singer, or will she fall back into the arms of her police captain? Only Bowen's next Molly Murphy mystery will tell.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“Molly is a smart, feisty, independent heroine...[an] appealing series.” ―Booklist

“Engaging” ―Publishers Weekly


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Product Details

  • Series: Molly Murphy Mysteries (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (November 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312989040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312989040
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 ninth book in the series, Malice at the Palace was published August 2015 and the previous book, Queen of Hearts, just won the Agatha award for best historical mystery.
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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Molly is bravely trying to continue on with Riley's detective agency. But she finds divorce cases to be completely distasteful. Just as she's resolved to put them behind her, she gets an assignment to go undercover in the sweatshops to find out who is stealing designs from one man and selling them to his competitor. Then she is asked to find a young woman who ran away to America with her boyfriend. Molly is thrilled since finding missing relatives is exactly what she wanted to do all along. Now she just has to figure out how to balance the two since working in the sweatshops means working all day and the streets of 1901 New York City certainly aren't safe for a woman alone at night.
As if her life already weren't complicated enough, she still feels a responsibility to the O'Connors for her opportunity to come to America in the first place. They are once again living with their cousins, and Shamey is joining a gang. She feels she needs to figure out a way to get them into a better environment. Her already complicated love life gets another wrinkle. And she can't help but sympathize with the girls she's working with in the garment factories. Even though she needs to keep quiet, she feels she must do something to help make their lives better. With a little bit of Irish luck, she just might be able to pull it all off and come out alive on the other end.
Obviously, this is not your traditional mystery novel. As much time is spent on life in 1901 as on the cases themselves. But, as a result, Molly's world comes vividly to life. And there is so much going on you can't put the book down. Heck, I read it in little over a day myself. The pace never slackens, and there are quite a few tense scenes.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Flinn on January 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I loved DEATH OF RILEY and FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE firmly establishes Molly Murphy as a woman to be reckoned with! Dauntless in her pursuit of criminals, Molly never loses her warmth or compassion. She is a character of many dimensions and a woman who will not turn away from the inequities of her times. This is a wonderful series filled with exhaustive research that portrays a window of New York in the early years of the 20th century so vivid, you can hear the rustle of long skirts and the snap of a parasol.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In 1901 private detective Molly Murphy decides to remain in New York City in spite of the recent death of her boss, Paddy Riley (see DEATH OF RILEY). Her plan is to continue Riley's detective agency though she lacks experience, having never flown solo.
Her first case without her mentor involves someone who is stealing the designs sketches of lower Manhattan's Mostel and Klein garment factory. Even worse, their biggest competitor Lowenstein is getting their garbs into the stores first. Molly goes undercover learning first hand how intense a sewing job can be in a sweatshop. While still trying to discover the thief she begins a second case. Her client Major Favisham sent her a letter from Ireland to find his daughter Katherine who sailed to New York with a bum Michael Kelly. Unbelievable at least to Molly, her two cases begin connecting even as the danger mounts to her.
Although this is in some ways darker than the previous two novels, this is a tremendous historical mystery. The star is a gritty New York at the turn of the previous century. The story line is cleverly designed so that the two subplots merge into a cohesive tale. The additions of a police officer romantic interest and Molly's just two steps above amateur status make for a delightful experience.
Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By on January 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Rhys Bowen's third novel in the award-winning Molly Murphy mystery series is a story sure to be recognized on its own merit. A combination of Murphy's Irish temper, loyalty to her chosen profession and stubbornness make for good reading.
After the death of her mentor, Murphy sticks with her attempt to earn a living as a female private detective in turn-of-the-century New York City. When she stakes out a client's husband as a possible wife-cheater, her troubles multiply. She's not welcome in bars or on the street late at night, places necessary for a private eye to operate. More than once, she is harassed by the New York City Police who mistake her for a criminal. Murphy is reluctant to seek help from her former lover, Captain Daniel Sullivan, at the precinct. But more than once he intervenes on her behalf.
Murphy's spunky spirit pulls her out of the doldrums on numerous occasions. At a time when she is penniless, without a client and nearly giving up, an opportunity comes her way to persevere. She's involved in the women's rights issues of the day when she takes on a case to locate a mole in the garment industry. Labor unions, gangland mischief and further tangles with the law become her daily companions.
At the same time, Murphy has accepted a missing person search for a family in Ireland. Their daughter, Katherine, has fled to the United States with her lover, Michael. Her father has reason to think that the runaways may have gone to New York City. Murphy's research leads her to a dead end. It appears as if the girl and her husband may have been murdered. However, Murphy doggedly follows any lead that might promise a positive outcome.
Bowen's Murphy is determined, relentless, plucky, pretty and definitely possesses an Irish temperament.
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