Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law

A Molly Murphy Mystery

Book - 2001
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From the creator of the much-loved Constable Evan Evans mysteries comes a colorful new series set in turn-of-the-century New York City. When spirited redhead Molly Murphy was growing up a peasant on the coast of Ireland she always imagined there was something more in store for her. She couldn't have known how right she was until the day she became a murderer, albeit in self-defense. Under drastic circumstances, Molly is forced to strike out into a new world. With the police right behind her, Molly's only chance at escape is a false identity and a steamship that will take her far, far away: to America.

When her ship sails into New York Harbor, with the majestic figure of the Statue of Liberty providing comfort and inspiration, Molly is sure her whole life is in front of her. But she's got one last hurdle to clear: Ellis Island. She is just one among thousands of immigrants on the tiny island, awaiting their fate with anxiety and hope. Unfortunately for Molly, before she is able to leave the island a man is brutally murdered, his throat cut from ear to ear, and coincidence and fate make her a suspect in a crime she didn't commit. Under a cloud of suspicion, and due largely to a growing mutual attraction between Molly and the handsome police captain in charge of the case, she is allowed to leave Ellis Island for Manhattan. Unfortunately, she's got a mission she couldn't have anticipated: clear her own name of murder. Alone in a new country with no one to lean on, Molly hits the vibrant streets of New York intent on finding out what really happened. After all, if she can't, she'll be sent back to Ireland, where the dreaded gallows await.

With the sweeping skyline of 19th century New York and the gritty, pulsating underworld of recently arrived immigrants forming a vivid backdrop, Rhys Bowen transports readers back in time to America's not-so-distant past. The first entry in the Molly Murphy series is a fascinating look at our immigrant history as well as an intensely absorbing page-turner.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2001
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312282066
Characteristics: 226 p. ; 22 cm


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Jan 13, 2020

I read the Christmas story first, which is where I discovered this series. I enjoyed reading the first story and experiencing all of the 'back' story that was there in the Christmas one in depth. I like Molly!

Aug 31, 2019

An audacious young heroine, believable well-crafted plot, plenty of action and intrigue. Lots of insights into Irish, English, & early 20th Century New York City life. I can't wait to read the 2nd book in this series. I've found another author I can recommend wholeheartedly.

Jun 27, 2017

A fan of Molly Murphy and turn of the 20th century detective novels, this first book is a necessary read to grasp Molly's circumstances of arriving in the United States.

This is a series for which it is highly beneficial to read in sequential order, as characters lives and relationships evolve from one novel to the next.

Molly is plucky, red haired and Irish (including the infamous temper) and always one step away from disaster. She is highly independent for a woman at the turn of the 1900's and would rather get into a predicament from which she has to extricate herself (often with need of help), rather than have to depend on the services of an infuriating man, notably the captain of the New York Police, with whom she is desperately falling in love.

ArapahoeSharon Aug 15, 2016

Great page turner, especially to those who have emigrated like myself. Rich and strong characters. This book has it all, murder, love loss and the will to belong.

Dec 30, 2015

Set in turn-of-the-century New York City, this first entry in a mystery series is a winner. A feisty heroine and a great plot make this novel hard to put down.

May 28, 2015

I read a later Molly Murphy book and it was so good I went back to the beginning. My own Grandmother came in from Ellis Island from Poland. I am really sad I never asked her anything about it, or her coming over on the ship. Anyway, this is a wonderful series and I look forward to catching up with Molly Murphy and all of her exploits.

Oct 11, 2013


Sep 15, 2013

The first book in a series which I think I will really enjoy. Set in the 1900s, the main character is Molly Murphy who escapes from Ireland to New York after killing a man in self-defence. The story follows Molly's first days in her new country which sees her fighting for survival and embroiled in yet another murder.

May 13, 2013

Great first book in the series. Interesting characters and the info about coming to America traveling in steerage and Ellis Island makes me thankful I didn't have to go through the process!


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