Latest Release: HUSH NOW, DON’T YOU CRY.
Molly Murphy, now Molly Sullivan, and her husband Daniel, a captain in the New York Police department, have been invited to spend their honeymoon on the Newport, RI, estate of Alderman Brian Hannan in the spring of 1904. Molly doesn’t entirely trust the offer. Hannan—an ambitious man—has his eye on a senate seat and intentions of taking Tammany Hall to get it. When Hannan is found dead at the base of the cliffs that overlook the Atlantic, Molly’s suspicions are quickly justified, and as much as she wants to keep her promise to Daniel that she won’t do any more sleuthing now, there isn’t much she can do once the chase is on. Rhys Bowen’s brilliant wit and charm are on full display in Hush Now, Don’t You Cry, another outstanding addition to her Agatha and Anthony award-winning historical series.
Agatha-winner Bowen’s suspenseful 11th Molly Murphy mystery (after 2011’s Bless the Bride) takes Molly and her new husband, NYPD captain Daniel Sullivan, to Newport, R.I., for their honeymoon in the fall of 1903. Late one night, in the midst of a torrential downpour, the couple arrive at their ocean-front lodgings, a “cottage” offered to them by New York City alderman Brian Hannan, only to discover the gates locked. Just before they decide to seek shelter elsewhere, Molly spots the face of a maniacally laughing child in a window.Hannan apparently never told anyone in his family of his invitation to the Sullivans, which puts them in an awkward position after Hannan turns up dead under circumstances that suggest murder. Since their host isn’t alive to confirm their story, the pair fall under suspicion, and Molly must once again do some sleuthing. An unusually tricky solution makes this one of the better entries in the series. (Mar.)
A police captain and his sleuthing spouse investigate a murder while on their honeymoon in early-20th-century Newport. Molly Murphy and Daniel Sullivan had to give up their planned honeymoon when Daniel was called upon to investigate a fatal accident due to a collapse at a subway construction project. Now powerful Alderman Brian Hannan, part owner of the construction company, has offered them the use of a cottage on his Rhode Island estate. Perhaps he has an ulterior motive, for he tells Daniel that he thought he had got something wrong. Arriving late and soaking wet on a stormy night, Molly is sure she sees the face of a child in a tower of the main house. When Hannan’s extended family arrives the next day, they’re put out by his command to visit in the unfashionable off-season. They’re surprised when Hannan fails to show up and even more surprised when his body is found at the base of a cliff. The local police are eager to write it off as an accident, but Molly and Daniel are not so sure, and an autopsy proves he died from cyanide poisoning. Though the relatives are eager to see the sleuthing couple depart, Daniel is kept in place by pneumonia. Despite her agreement with Daniel to give up investigating, Molly can’t ignore the murder, especially when she learns that Hannan’s granddaughter died in a fall in the same spot. The loving family members seem the most likely candidates for murderer, but which relative actually did the deed? The latest addition to Molly’s case files (Bless the Bride, 2011, etc.) offers a charming combination of history, mystery and romance.
READ AN EXCERPT:One
October 8, 1903
“We should not have come here!” I shouted over the howl of the wind. Rain swept in great squalls off the ocean, snatching the words from my mouth. It was not a night to be standing on a clifftop in complete darkness. Our umbrella had given up the unequal struggle with the storm on the way from the station and now lay in a rubbish bin, its ribs sticking out like a large dead spider. Daniel had deposited it there despite my protests, stating that it was past all hope of repair.
It was a long walk from the station and not one that should have been attempted on a stormy night. But we had little choice. The directions we had been given were for a delightful afternoon stroll along a cliff path, with blue ocean below us. We had not anticipated that Daniel would be delayed with a last minute problem at headquarters and that what the locals called a nor’easter would arrive at the same time as ourselves.
After changing trains in Providence, then again to a branch line in Kingston, we finally pulled into Newport station, at almost ten o’clock. There was not a hansom cab or any kind of conveyance to be found. The town appeared to be battened down in anticipation of the coming storm. We’d set off bravely enough under Daniel’s big umbrella but once out of the town center, heading toward the clifftop footpath the full force of the wind had turned the umbrella inside out and ripped it to shreds in minutes.
“Damn and blast it,” Daniel had muttered, no longer apologizing if he swore in my presence now that I was married to him. “We should have waited for the morning. I should not have listened to you.”
“What, and missed a whole day of our honeymoon?” I demanded as I struggled to take off my new hat. It was a jaunty little concoction piled high with ribbons and lace and I certainly didn’t want to lose it over the cliff. I stuffed it into my carpetbag, probably not doing it much good in the process but at least preventing it from sailing off into the ocean. “Cheer up. I’m sure it can’t be far. Newport is only a small seaside town, isn’t it? Just a few cottages, I was told.”
Daniel had to chuckle at this and put an arm around my shoulders. “You wait until daylight and then you’ll see the extent of the cottages.”
In my mind’s eye I pictured a long road like the one leading into Westport in Ireland, with simple whitewashed cottages stretching along the side of the road facing the sea. It would be nice to be spending my honeymoon in a place that reminded me of home, I had thought when Daniel told me of this opportunity.
The walk turned from an annoyance into a frightening experience. We tried to follow a dark little street called Cliff Avenue, but it ended in a pair of high, locked gates, forcing us back to our original route along the cliff—not what we would have chosen on a dark night. No lights shone out through the storm and we could hear the pounding waves crashing onto rocks below us. That cliff path seemed to go on forever and even I began to doubt the sense of wanting to reach our cottage tonight. Luckily the wind was blowing in from the ocean or I should have worried about being swept over that unseen cliff edge to our deaths.
“Are you sure this is the right way?” I shouted, grabbing on to Daniel’s arm. “Are there no roads in this place? Is this cottage not on a proper street?”
“Obviously,” Daniel said tersely. “But it never occurred to me to ask for foul weather directions. I assumed there would be a cab if we needed one.”
I peered into the blackness. “There are no lights. We can’t be near any cottages. Surely the whole population of Newport doesn’t go to bed by nine o’clock?”
“It’s October. None of the cottages are likely to be inhabited at this time of year,” Daniel shouted back. “They are only used in the summer.”
The thought of being the only people in a remote seaside village had seemed desirable when Daniel had presented it to me, our original honeymoon plans having fallen through when Daniel was summoned back to work two days after our wedding. I had borne this with remarkable patience for once, understanding that this was to be the lot of a policeman’s wife. I think Daniel had been impressed by my stoicism and had promised me that we would escape from the city as soon as his work permitted. So when the offer of a seaside cottage had come up, he’d jumped at it. Of course October was a little late in the year for beaches and bathing, but we had other activities in mind anyway. And this part of the country often experienced what they called an Indian summer, with glorious sunny days and glowing fall colors. Just not this year, it appeared.
“Nearly there, I think.” Daniel propelled me forward, his arm still around my waist. “Then a bath and a hot drink will soon bring us to rights. Ah, this way. I believe we follow this wall and it will lead us to the gate.”
As Daniel took my hand and guided me away from the cliff path, there was an ominous rumble of thunder overhead. A few moments later a flash of lightning lit up towering wrought-iron gates. Daniel felt for a latch but the gates refused to open.
“Blast and damnation!” he shouted. “These infernal gates must open somehow.” He shook them in frustration but they refused to budge.
“They knew we were expected today, didn’t they?” I asked. “I don’t see any lights.” I was soaked to the skin, my teeth chattering now, my hair plastered to my face, and my clothes clinging to me. All I wanted was to get indoors to a fire and a cup of tea.
“I don’t understand it. I know the family is not usually here at this time of year, but there has to be a caretaker on the property,” Daniel snapped out the words. “But we have no way of alerting anyone, unless we walk back into town and see if we can reach the place by telephone.”
This suggestion didn’t seem too appealing. “Everything seemed to be closed for the night in town. Besides we can’t walk all the way back,” I said. “We’re already soaked to the skin. I don’t suppose it’s any good shouting.”
“No one would hear us with this infernal racket going on.”
Thunder growled again and once again the scene was illuminated with a lighting flash. It revealed a long driveway behind those gates and in the distance the great black shape of what seemed to be an enormous castle. I stared in amazement.
“I thought you said it was a cottage.”
“I wanted to surprise you,” Daniel replied in an annoyed voice. “The wealthy who own summer homes in Newport call them cottages but they are actually mansions. This one is called Connemara.”
“Holy mother of God,” I muttered. “We’re not getting a whole mansion to ourselves are we?”
“No, we’ve been offered the guest cottage on the property. If only we can find a way in.” He rattled the gates again angrily.
I had been experiencing a growing sense of anxiety. It wasn’t just the howl of the storm and the flashes of lightning. God knows I’d seen enough storms on the West Coast of Ireland. It was something more. “Daniel, don’t let’s stay here,” I blurted out suddenly. “Perhaps we should go back into town after all. There is bound to be a hotel or inn of some sort where we can spend the night. The house clearly doesn’t want us.”
Daniel gave me a quizzical smile. “The house doesn’t want us?”
“I’m getting this overwhelming feeling that we shouldn’t be here, that we’re not wanted.”
“You and your sixth sense,” Daniel said. He was still prowling, staring up at the gates and the high stone wall. “You’ll feel differently when we’re safely inside. I am determined to find a way in, even if I have to scale that wall.”
A great clap of thunder right overhead drowned out his last words and simultaneously the world was bathed in electric blue light. I was staring up at the house and I saw a face quite clearly framed in an upstairs window. It was a child’s face and it was laughing with maniacal glee.
I let go of the bars of the gate as if burned. “Come away!” I shouted. “We shouldn’t be here.”
Copyright © 2012 by Rhys Bowen
Molly Murphy Mystery Series
in Reading Order
(Molly Murphy Series #1)
St. Martin’s Press
Molly Murphy always knew she’d end up in trouble, just as her mother predicted. So, when she commits murder in self-defense, she flees her cherished Ireland, and her identity, for the anonymous shores of America. When she arrives in new York and sees the welcoming promise of freedom in the Statue of Liberty, Molly begins to breathe easier. But when a man is murdered on Ellis Island, a man Molly was seen arguing with, she becomes a prime suspect in the crime.
Using her Irish charm and sharp wit, Molly escapes Ellis Island and sets out to find the wily killer on her own. Pounding the notorious streets of Hell’s Kitchen and the Lower East Side, Molly make sit her desperate mission to clear her name before her deadly past comes back to haunt her new future.
(Molly Murphy Series #2)
St. Martin’s Press
Molly Murphy has finally begun to forget the unpleasant murder of a would-be rapist back in Ireland, not to mention her investigation into the murder of a fellow recent Irish immigrant, and is finally free to begin her life in New York City. Given her experiences so far in the New World, Molly has decided that her first order of business is to become a private investigator, a people finder of sorts, working for families in Europe who’ve lost touch with relatives in America. Not only might this put some food on her table, but her second order of business is to hook the handsome NYPD police captain Daniel Sullivan, and she envisions lots of opportunities to “seek his counsel” in her new profession.
Paddy Riley is a tough old Cockney P.I. who specializes in divorce work, and with a little persuasion he’s ready to take on Molly as an apprentice. It’s not exactly what she imagined, but she plans to make the most of it. That is, until she comes in to work one day to find her new world turned upside down and all expectations for her professional life suddenly up in the air.
Before long, Molly has set off on a journey that will take her through the back alleys of Manhattan and into the bars and lounges of the literary scene, where she spends time with writers, actors, poets, and musicians. It’s quite an eye-opening turn for innocent young Molly, but she’s resolute in her decision to find out exactly what happened that day in the office of Paddy Riley. Armed with nothing more than her fiery will and matching wild red hair, Molly has no idea of the danger her pursuit may bring in this fascinating, well-researched, and suspenseful second novel in Rhys Bowen’s Agatha-award winning series.
(Molly Murphy Series #3)
St. Martin’s Press
A woman ahead of her time, Molly Murphy is determined to be a private detective. Having inherited the cases of her deceased mentor, Paddy Reilly, she’s following philandering husbands, tracking down a runaway Dublin debutante, and working in a sweatshop to discover who’s purloining dress designs. None of her jobs seem dangerous…at first. When a woman’s body is fished out of the East River, Molly fears it’s the missing society girl. Then Molly’s sometime beau, police captain Daniel Sullivan, reveals that another corpse may be the girl’s scalawag lover, Mike Kelly. But Molly has to know their identities for certain. Now as threads of passion and greed weave a tapestry of violence, Molly descends into the underworld of the gangs of New York. It’s no place for a lady, and even a scrappy Irish lass may need more than her street smarts to get the truth…and get out alive.
(Molly Murphy Series #4)
St. Martin’s Press
A woman private eye in a man’s world, Molly Murphy is having a hard time succeeding as a New York shamus. That’s why she agrees to go undercover for the NYPD to expose a pair of spiritualist sisters as con-artists even though the offer comes from police captain Daniel Sullivan. Sullivan had once won Molly’s heart—until she discovered he already had a socialite fiancé and an upcoming wedding. Now Molly’s masquerading as a cousin from Ireland at the Hudson River mansion of Senator Barney Flynn. Flynn’s invalid wife hopes the psychic sisters can contact her dead son, kidnapped and lost in a sensational crime. After an eerie séance, Molly isn’t so sure the sisters are fakes, but she’s certain the police bungled the kidnapping case. Soon Molly’s questions are leading her toward danger, and her own sixth sense is warning her—murder lies ahead!
(Molly Murphy Series #5)
St. Martin’s Press
Irish immigrant Molly Murphy is contemplating giving up PI work for something a little less…exciting. Molly has had quite enough excitement recently, thank you very much. Especially from the handsome but deceptive NYPD captain Daniel Sullivan. She wants him out of her life for good. But when Daniel is accused of accepting bribes and lands himself in the Tombs, the notorious city jail, he begs Molly to help prove he was framed. After everything they’ve been through together, how can she turn him down? As Molly finds herself drawn further into Daniel’s case, Molly begins to fear that his trouble is related to one of his investigations: catching a serial killer who is targeting prostitutes, known to the locals as the East Side Ripper….
In Dublin’s Fair City
( Molly Murphy Series # 6)
St. Martin’s Press
When New York theatre impresario Tommy Burke asks Molly to help him take care of some family business back in Ireland, Molly is happy to oblige. Tempted by the prospect of going home for the first time in years (and putting her fledging detective agency on firm financial ground), Molly throws caution to the wind and climbs aboard the White Start LinerMajestic with hopes of sneaking on and off the isle without raising a peep. Until one passenger, who happens to be a famous Broadway actress goes missing—and another turns up dead. So much for smooth sailing….
(Molly Murphy Series #7)
St. Martin’s Press
It’s wintertime in New York, and for the first time since Irish immigrant Molly Murphy started her early-twentieth-century detective agency, she is completely snowed in with work. While she’s very much in demand by some of Broadway’s brightest stars and Fifth Avenue’s richest families, Molly must admit that it’s time for her to get some help. Her beau, the recently and wrongly suspended police captain Daniel Sullivan, would make an ideal associate. But before Molly and he can agree on the terms of his employment, they stumble upon a young woman lying unconscious in the middle of a snow-covered Central Park. When the woman wakes up, she is disorientated and has and lost her ability to speak. The authorities are about to pack her off to an insane asylum—but Molly can’t help but step in and take on yet another stormy case…
(Molly Murphy Series #8)
St. Martin’s Press
It’s Easter Sunday 1918, and Irish immigrant Molly Murphy has agreed to march down Fifth Avenue with the sign-wielding suffragettes from Vassar—a civil act of protest that lands her in jail. Molly’s betrothed, Police Captain Daniel Sullivan, manages to spring her from the clink, though his hands are full dealing with Chinese opium gangs. But as soon as she’s free, Molly marches straight into trouble again. Two of the Vassar alumni need Molly’s help as a private investigator. One believes her uncle is cheating her out of an inheritance; the other suspects her husband is cheating with other women. And when one of the clients dies—presumably from influenza, which is sweeping the city—Molly takes to the streets once more. Not to win the right for women to vote, but to reveal the wrongs of some very evil men…
The Last Illusion
(Molly Murphy Series #9)
St. Martin’s Press
Irish immigrant and private detective Molly Murphy is thrilled to have a ticket to see world-famous illusionist Harry Houdini. But before he can even take the stage, the opening act goes horribly wrong—and the sensational Signor Scarpelli’s lovely assistant is sawed in half. In the aftermath, Scarpelli accuses Houdini of tampering with his equipment. Who else but the so-called Handcuff King could have got a hold of his trunk of tricks, which he keeps under lock and key?
And it seems the maestro Scarpelli’s not the only one critical of Houdini. Now that he’s raised the stakes to such a perilous level, lesser acts are being put out of business. With everyone on edge, Houdini’s wife hires Molly to watch his back. But how can she protect a man who literally risks his life every night? Now it’s up to Molly to keep an eye on Houdini and find out whether these masters of illusion are simply up to their tricks—or if there truly is something much more treacherous going on…
(Molly Murphy Series 0.5)
St. Martin’s Press
Free Read – Short Story
Before Molly Murphy crossed the Atlantic or even had an inkling that she might someday become a much sought after private investigator in New York City, young Molly lived in Ireland in a small cottage with her father, brothers and little else.
While keeping herself and her home together, Molly receives a request from Lady Hartley—the lady of the country estate where Molly lives, and the family that employs Molly’s father and brothers. The Hartleys are hosting a ball at their manor house, and there will be so many fine gentlemen and ladies in attendance that Lady Hartley needs Molly to help some of her guests prepare for the ball.
Beautiful debutantes, dresses of the finest fabrics, and sparkling chandeliers are all on display, as are heirloom jewels like the Amersham rubies—a stunning and priceless ruby necklace that has been in the Amersham family for generations. When the rubies go inexplicably missing from Lady Amersham’s neck in the middle of the party, the high-spirited Molly must rely on her wits to solve her first case in Rhys Bowen’s charming prequel to her beloved Anthony and Agatha Award–winning historical mystery series.
Barnes & Noble Nookbook
(Molly Murphy Series #10)
St. Martin’s Press
With Molly Murphy’s wedding to NYPD Captain Daniel Sullivan quickly approaching, the Irish sleuth heads to the Westchester County countryside, where his mother can lend her a hand and advise her on a bride’s proper place. And shockingly, Molly seems to be agreeing. She has already promised that she’ll close up her PI business and settle down after marrying, but she isn’t a married woman yet. So, when she gets word of a possible case, she sneaks back into the city to squeeze in a little more sleuthing before the wedding bells can ring.
A wealthy Chinese immigrant wants her to find his missing bride, and Molly—sure she isn’t getting the whole story—suspects that his bride ran off. But where could she go? The only Chinese women in early-twentieth-century New York are kept under lock and key, and Molly can’t help but wonder if she’s saving the woman from the streets or helping to lock her away for good.
Rhys Bowen’s deft touch and charming wit make Bless the Bride another stellar addition to her Anthony and Agatha Award–winning historical series.