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Murphy's Law (A Molly Murphy Mystery) Hardcover – October 12, 2001


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Bones Never Lie
Featured New Release in Police Procedurals

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (October 12, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312282060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312282066
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The prolific Bowen, creator of Welsh constable Evan Evans (Evan Can Wait; Evan and Elle; etc.), relies a bit too much on coincidence but conveys a nice sense of place and period in this debut of a new historical series with its spunky, 19th-century Irish heroine, Molly Murphy. Defending herself from the unwelcome advances of the local landowner's son, Molly accidentally kills him and flees her village to escape hanging. She heads for the anonymity of London, where a twist of fate introduces her to Kathleen O'Connor. Kathleen has two small children and tickets for a ship to America, where she plans to join her husband. But knowing they won't let her on the ship because of her tuberculosis, Kathleen persuades the desperate Molly to take her children to America. On board, Molly attracts the loud attentions of a crude, boisterous type named O'Malley. Her public argument with him comes back to haunt her when he is found murdered on Ellis Island; Molly becomes a prime suspect, along with a young man she befriended. The handsome young policeman investigating the case, Daniel Sullivan, appears to believe Molly's protestations of innocence, but Molly decides her she'd better investigate on her own behalf and that of her friend. Wending her way through a vivid, Tammany Hall-era New York, Molly struggles to prove her innocence, aided by one coincidence after another. (Oct. 15)Forecast: Bowen's solid reputation will generate strong sales for this series debut, though Constable Evans fans should beware that the gentle humor of those novels is lacking here.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Nimble of plot and fleet in the telling, Bowen's latest begins a new series starring the plucky Molly Murphy. Hiding her fiery red hair but not her audacious ways, Molly escapes from her Irish village after inadvertently causing the death of the young laird who tried to rape her. She finds herself in possession of a steerage ticket to New York and the custody of two small children when the kids' consumptive mother begs her to deliver the youngsters to their father in New York. The passage to America and the tumultuous events of Ellis Island, where another murder takes place, are vividly described, as is Molly's negotiation of the Cherry Street Irish ghetto, Hell's Kitchen, and the children's overwhelmed Da and his unsavory relatives. Run-ins with the police and Tammany Hall are only a few of Molly's adventures. The murder is solved in unorthodox ways, Molly finds love and work, and there's promise of more adventures. History-mystery fans should add Molly to their lists of characters to follow. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
56
4 star
35
3 star
11
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3
1 star
0
See all 105 customer reviews
This book was a good light and easy read.
Patricia Ann
Too many coincidences and I felt the end was way too simple.
Bigsis126
I have become a huge fan of Rhys Bowen AND Molly Murphy!
Rosemary M

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Molly Murphy has just been given a get out of jail free card. Running because she's accidentally killed a man, she's offered the chance to take a woman's place on a boat bound for America. Once on board, she encounters a rude man and has a very public fight with him. When that man is murdered on Ellis Island, Molly finds herself and a new friend among the chief suspects. Frightened she might be sent back to face the hangman, she decides to find the real killer on her own. But can this new arrival find the killer in New York City when she doesn't know her way around and doesn't know anyone?
Molly is a head strong character who leaps first and considers the consequences later. It was fun watching her try to get herself out of several sticky situations. The setting, 1901 New York City, is brought to life, and I enjoyed learning a bit more about the time and place. My only real complaint is that the book took a while to get started. The plot starts slowly, but it picks up speed as it goes along.
As a fan of this author's Constable Evans books, I'm looking forward to reading more about Molly as well. There is potential here for another great series with another interesting setting. Write on, Ms. Bowen!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By tricia on September 14, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Each and every Molly mystery is filled with historical information, which is fed ever so lightly and creates a realistic flavor. The characters are well developed, the stories well plotted and each a treasure in its own right. I read these 9 books in just 3 weeks. Once started, I couldn't stop! I am happy I read them in order, and you may want to consider this as well. Since many of them have been awarded mysteries top writing awards, I have created a list for you to read which book received which award, and placed them in order according to publication date in case you too would like to read them in order:
Murphy's Law (2001)
2001 Agatha Award for Best Novel
Finalist 2002 Mary Higgins Clark Award

Death of Riley (2002)
Finalist 2002 Agatha Award for Best Novel

For the Love of Mike (2003)
2004 Anthony Award for Best Historical Novel
Finalist 2004 Macavity Award for Best Novel

In Like Flynn (2005)
Finalist 2006 Macavity Award for Best Historical Novel

Oh Danny Boy (2006)
2007 Macavity Award for Best Historical Novel
Finalist 2007 Barry Award for Best Novel

In Dublin's Fair City (2007)

Tell Me, Pretty Maiden (2008)
Finalist 2009 Bruce Alexander Award

In a Gilded Cage (2009)
Finalist 2010 Bruce Alexander Award

The Last Illusion (2010)

I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did!!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on August 16, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen is the first book in the Molly Murphy mystery series. After accidentally killing a land owner, Molly Murphy must flee Ireland to avoid the gallows. She soon finds herself caught up with another family on their way to America, but once at Ellis Island, she's suspected of being involved with another murder, and the only way to clear her name is by finding the real killer. Bowen keeps things simple without extraneous detail, but her descriptions still shine, and Molly is a real character. There are no pretensions in Miss Murphy: she wants to live the good life, and she's not afraid to break a few rules to find it. I find Daniel Sullivan, the police detective in charge of the case, a little too good to be true, but future books will prove his worthiness for Molly. Molly is not a great detective, constantly putting herself in danger, leaping before looking, making all sorts of assumptions, but she's always entertaining.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jean on March 18, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this was a very good book; easy reading and held

my interest. Couldn't put it down. Was happy I started with

the first, now I want to read them all in order. Highly recommend
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Corey Houchin on March 5, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Murphy's Law begins as the heroine, Irish red-head Molly Murphy, flees her home after accidentally committing a murder. She makes her way to America where she stumbles into the middle of another murder, this time as an ameteur investigator.
Molly's tale was somewhat entertaining and an easy read, but I felt cheated by both the beginning and the end of the story. The author omits a beginning scene that could have been wonderfully dramatic, the accidental murder of the landlord. While the details of the event are given later in the story, I felt I missed out on the drama that occured.
The second murder, which occurs on Ellis Island upon Molly's arrival to America, is tied up so quickly that I flipped back and re-read the ending to make sure I didn't miss anything. Apparently this was meant to leave the reader intrigued enough to purchase the next book in the series, but I, again, felt that I was cheated out of a resolution.
While I enjoyed the character of Molly and her friends, I felt their adventures were rather unbelievable. I do not plan to buy the next book in the series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl A. Schildhauer on February 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the first of I hope many adventures of Molly Murphy. The heroine, escaping the hangman's noose in Ireland, escapes to America by pretending to be the mother of two children whose mother is diagnosed with Tuberculosis. The description of steerage class, the organized chaos of Ellis Island and differences of the various parts of New York City are well done. Some of the characters seemed to fit a generic mold, but through Molly's eyes they take on a new life. Her ability to survive and thrive makes her an interesting and terrific heroine. Here's hoping that her dream of being a detective doesn't get thwarted by fate or Daniel Sullivan. I couldn't put the book down and wondered when will the next one come out. May Molly have a long and happy life!!!!
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