Death of Riley By Rhys Bowen

The Molly Murphy mysteries are a charming collection of stories set in New York. Ms. Murphy has recently landed in the states after a harrowing journey from Ireland only to find herself needing to get a job. She is not good at taking orders or subjecting herself to the whims of others and thus is having a hard time finding a position.

A friend introduces her to a lady who requires a companion. She is to accompany her on short outings and read to her and then has free time when the lady goes to rest. This is all well and good but not nearly what Molly wants to occupy her time. She encounters Riley in a couple of different situations and discovers he is a private investigator. This sounds way more interesting than any of the other positions she has been offered and sets about finding a way to helping him with an eye on being a junior investigator. The only problem is no one will take her seriously and New York being a rough kind of place does not accept women in certain jobs.

As you already know from the title Mr. Riley does indeed get killed but the police assume it is an irate client or even someone involved in the mob, so they really do not work very hard to figure out who has killed him. Molly feels that not only should she pursue the crime but also maybe take over his company. Her investigation results in her meeting different people from the arts and residents of the more flamboyant Greenwich Village area of the city. Not everyone agrees with her choices in not only moving to this side of town but also in socializing with these people – namely a policeman who has sort of taken her under his wing. He is the friend who introduced her to the lady in need of a companion and wants her to have a safe job before she inevitably gets married and has children. The author includes some real life events such the world’s fair expo going on in Buffalo to help give some context of the times. A fun quick read and you will surely enjoy Molly’s joie de vive!

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