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Bless the Bride (Molly Murphy Mysteries) Hardcover – March 1, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews
Book 10 of 17 in the Molly Murphy Mysteries Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in 1903, Bowen's engaging 10th Molly Murphy mystery (after 2010's The Last Illusion) finds the maverick New York City PI at a major personal turning point. Her impending marriage to Capt. Daniel Sullivan of the NYPD will, at his insistence, mark an end to her sleuthing career, but she can't resist taking on one last case. After a powerful and affluent Chinatown businessman, Lee Sing Tai, asks her to locate a missing piece of valuable jade jewelry, Murphy soon ascertains that the less than forthcoming Lee really wants her to trace the missing bride he recently purchased in China. Searching for Lee's bride while keeping her activities a secret from her fiancé is a considerable challenge for Molly, who also ends up with a murder to solve. Molly's compassion and pluck should attract more readers to this consistently solid historical series. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

Just weeks before she is to marry New York police captain Daniel Sullivan in 1903, private investigator Molly Murphy leaves the sewing of her trousseau in the capable hands of her future mother-in-law (who bemoans Molly�s woeful stitchery skills) and takes on one last case, having promised Daniel she�d stop working once they�ve wed. Powerful Chinatown businessman Lee Sing Tai hires Molly to find his missing bride, a commission she is loath to fulfill upon learning that the bride is actually a concubine obtained from China solely to give Lee (whose holdings include brothels and opium dens) a son and heir. When Lee is found dead after a fall from his rooftop, Molly is relieved of her obligation. But when the death is ruled a murder, initially raising the possibility of tong wars, the bride�being sheltered by Molly�becomes a prime suspect. The tenth entry (after The Last Illusion, 2010) in this engaging, award-winning series captures early-twentieth-century New York; touches on the immigrant experience during that era; and brings the case to a satisfying conclusion, leaving open the equally compelling mystery of what lies ahead for the independent-minded Molly. --Michele Leber
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Product Details

  • Series: Molly Murphy Mysteries (Book 10)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312628102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312628109
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #741,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ross A. Hugovidal on March 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Welcome back to one of the finest authors of the traditional/cozy style mystery now writing. The award-winning Bowen's Molly Murphy historical mystery series is unmatched in painting a textured, meticulous portrait of turn-of-the-century New York City, and especially the immigrant communities who made it tick. Her sleuth, the "feisty" Molly Murphy is a nuanced character any modern reader can get behind, while reveling in the details of Old New York. And this page-turner delivers, as Bless the Bride pits Molly against the Tong, yep the Tong, while posing the question, "Is Molly meant for matrimony?" Without giving anything away, Bowen appears poised to take the series in an entirely new direction, and I for one am buying a trolley ticket for the ride.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's just a matter of weeks before Molly Murphy is to marry Daniel Sullivan, and she is supposed to be spending time with Daniel's mother in Westchester County working on her wedding dress. But she can't resist coming back to New York City when her dear friends Sid and Gus promise to throw a wedding party for her.

She's also tempted by the prospect of taking on one last case. Lee Sing Tai, a powerful man in Chinatown, wants Molly to find something of value that has gone missing. While the task looks impossible on the surface, she digs in and actually manages to make some progress. But the more progress she makes, the more she begins to regret taking this case. Is there a way she can get out of it, especially after a murder takes place?

It's hard to believe this is the 10th book in this historical series. I just can't believe I've been reading them that long. Don't worry about the series losing its spark, however. The world of 1903 New York city is once again brought o vivid life.

The story was so compelling that I had a hard time putting the book down because I had to know how Molly would get herself out of this predicament. Yet it all comes together in a satisfying climax. In fact, the last 10 pages had me smiling the entire time.

Sid and Gus make more than a brief appearance, and it was great to see more of them. And Molly is growing both in deductive skills but also as a person who thinks about her actions. Okay, so she usually thinks about things after the fact, but even that is a step forward for her.

I loved every page of this novel. Fortunately, the next is already being written. Now I just have to wait until it actually gets published.
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By A Customer on March 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1903, the marriage between private investigator Molly Murphy and NYPD Captain Daniel Sullivan is coming soon. He expects her to behave like a wife and not a detective; his mom also implores her to act accordingly. Shockingly Molly seems to acquiesce.

Wealthy Chinese businessman Lee Sing Tai asks Molly to help him find a missing valuable jade. Although she believes her client is omitting much of the story, she agrees as she rationalizes her promise to no longer sleuth begins after the marriage though she hides her activity from Daniel. Molly thinks Lee is actually seeking his missing bride who ran away. However, she has no idea how a Chinese female who does not speak English hides in plain sight in New York when Asian women are not allowed outside without a chaperone. As Molly searches for the young runaway, she fears she will bring further harm to the bride Lee bought in and brought from China.

This is a strong entry in one of the best historical mystery series on the market. The investigation is top rate as Molly goes from searching for a runaway bride that has her pondering the parallels to her own fate as a wife in which she is expected to give up her freedom to detect. As the heroine conceals her case from her fiancé while wondering whether marriage means being The Last Illusion living In a Gilded Cage, her case turns lethal. Rhys Bowen provides a great early twentieth century Molly Murphy mystery.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
I've just started to read historical mysteries and if you like Charles Todd and Stefanie Pintoff you will love Rhys Bowen's Bless the Bride. This is the first Molly Murphy book that I've read and now I want to go back and read them all. The story, the setting and the attention to detail make it a wonderful read. I'm a native New Yorker and particularly liked the details of the early days in Chinatown.
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Format: Hardcover
Bless the Bride by Rhys Bowen
Minotaur, 2011
260 pages
Mystery; Historical; Series
4/5 stars

Source: Library

The tenth book in the Molly Murphy series, this time featuring Irish immigrant Molly's last (?) case before her marriage to New York police detective Daniel Sullivan. Molly is requested to find an exquisite jade piece by a wealthy Chinese man, later discovering that she is actually meant to find his new (illegal immigrant) bride and return the girl to his domain. Molly has to figure out the whole story in order to make sure she's doing what's right.

The story starts with Molly in the country, meeting her future mother-in-law Mrs. Sullivan, who seems to think that Molly is highly unworthy. Thus Molly is happy to return to the city and pleased to take on one more case before retiring after marriage. The case seems straightforward but new complications keep popping up. The most interesting part was seeing the discrimination against the Chinese immigrants. I did not know that Chinese women were forbidden from coming to America (although this was circumvented by the very wealthy) although I did know about the general stereotype of Chinese as ignorant and lazy, despite many examples of the exact opposite (um, Trans-Continental Railroad?)

Through Molly's investigations, she also comes to question her future with Daniel; she doesn't want to be a woman who's under his thumb with her spirit crushed. Luckily Daniel is less imperious in this book than in others, which makes me like him more. I think Bowen walks a tricky line well to make him palatable to modern readers but also era-appropriate. I would not want to read a book with a stereotypical male hero of the time-period, who would resent all rights for women.
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