This is the 4th Molly Murphy mystery I’ve read and I continue to be amazed and impressed at how Bowen picks out one historical movement/detail/event from the time and manages to make that the emphasis of the novel. All taking place within the same time, but a different emphasis on each one. In this case Molly has returned to Ireland and becomes involved with the movement to claim Irish independence from the British. (To be honest, I remain very confused about this.) This is the 4th book I’ve read, but it is actually the 6th in the series. I figured I wasn’t missing much by skipping two as I just found out there are now eleven books in the series and I know what happens with the slow romance arc. Books 10 and 11 look especially interesting to me, but I will take my time and read as I want.
A wealthy Broadway producer hires Molly to discreetly go to Ireland and see if she can locate a missing sister. He and his family had left Ireland during the famine and had to leave behind an ailing baby sister. It’s not known whether she lived or died. Molly is apprehensive about returning to Ireland, where she is wanted for almost killing someone. Immediately her adventure begins when she boards the ocean liner. Famous actress Oona asks Molly to swap places with her. Molly agrees, but gets embroiled in problems when Oona’s maid turns up dead. I really liked how the action of the novel was both on the ship and then in Ireland upon her arrival. It’s also really two mysteries–the dead maid and Oona’s switching, plus Molly’s case of the left behind sister. It was fascinating to see what Ireland was like as Molly visits cities and villages on her case.
Another great historical mystery by Rhys Bowen!