Molly Murphy

Created by Rhys Bowen

It’s the early 1900s in New York City, and Irish immigrant MOLLY MURPHY, fresh off the boat, is just trying to get along. In her debut, the Agatha Award-winning Murphy’s Law (2001), the slim redhead tumbles from one jam to another, with “a brogue as thick as ham,” all the way from a small village in Ireland through London to New York, stumbling over bodies all the way.

By the second book, The Death of Riley (2002), Molly has landed a job at P. Riley Investigations, even though it’s only for light cleaning. Soon, however, she finds herself (surprise, surprise) investigating the murder of her boss, Paddy Riley, with a little help from the likable (and drop-dead handsome) Daniel Sullivan of New York’s finest. By the third book in the series, For the Love of Mike (2003), as the last surviving employee, she’s taken over the agency.

And so it goes, as the series progresses through marriage, childbirth and even, eventually, retirement.

Don’t mistake these for gritty, hard-as-nail tales of blood and guts, full of turn-of-the-century nastiness — they don’t dish out Agathas for that kind of book, ma’am. Instead we get a lot of coincidences, and of course that handsome young police constable to keep hearts a-fluttering. Still, if you like this kind of thing, and particularly if you don’t mind a drizzle of romance, you might get a kick out of Molly who is often described in the blurbs and reviews as –yes — “spunky.” And to her credit, Bowen doesn’t flinch from the unpleasant side of the era when it does occasionally rear its nasty little head.

The author also writes about contemporary Welsh Constable Evan Evans.



  • “The Amersham Rubies” (May 2011, digitalKindle it!
  • “The Face in the Mirror” (February 2013, digitalKindle it!
  • “Through the Window” (January 2014, digitalKindle it!
Report submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Alberta Bond for the lead.

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