When Daniel Sullivan says he has an assignment for her, Molly can hardly believe it. She's to go undercover to Senator Flynn's estate on the Hudson River. Posing as his cousin recently arrived from Ireland, she's to investigate the two spiritualists that the Senator's wife Theresa has hired to help her contact their son, who was killed in a kidnapping gone bad five years ago. When a woman falsely accused by reputation in the crime asks Molly to look into that, too, Molly agrees. But has she really learned enough about being an investigator to solve the two cases?
I made a discovery when I started this book. I truly love Molly and her friends. I hadn't realized how much I'd come to love them before this. Having said that, most of the action takes place outside of New York, so we really get Molly interacting with an entire new set of characters. The plot to this book in multi-layered, with two mysteries and several other sub-plots weaving nicely throughout. I found I had a hard time putting it down. I was disappointed that a couple key plot points on the mysteries seemed to happen by coincidence, but on the whole, it wasn't a major problem.
Ms. Bowen has written yet another engaging mystery that will please her fans. And if you haven't discovered her wonderful books yet, but all means pick one up. Either series will entertain and bring you back for more.
This is the fourth book in the author's engaging series of historical cozy mysteries, featuring Molly Murphy, a recent immigrant to America's shores at the turn of the twentieth century. Intelligent and resourceful, Molly has dreams of making a living as a private detective, much to the dismay of New York City captain Daniel Sullivan, who is enamored of Molly, despite being engaged to a socialite.
When he offers Molly an opportunity to for an undercover assignment in the Hudson River home of Barney Flynn, a local politician, Molly jumps at the opportunity. Not only does it get her out of the teeming streets of typhoid ridden New York City, it gets her an opportunity to hone her skills at detection.
Masquerading as Flynn's cousin, Molly is drawn into the Flynn household, where Flynn's invalid wife is trying to contact her dead son through the supposed psychic abilities of the Sorensen sisters, who are also houseguest of the Flynn's. Their son apparently had been kidnapped years before but never found, as the purported kidnapper had died at the hands of the police before the child's whereabouts could be ascertained.
As Molly gains insight into the Flynn household, Molly begins to question not only the psychic abilities of the Sorenson sisters, who are the focus of her assignment, but she also begins to question the handling of the kidnapping case by the police. As Molly's investigation begins to take her in another direction, danger looms near, and death seems to be just around the corner.
This is a well-written book with an intriguing plot and characters that will fully engage the reader. The book is also replete with historical detail that is evocative of a bygone era. As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery. While the mystery is intriguing, it is the framework around which the characters evolve. In the character of Molly Murphy, the author has created a sure fire winner.