Book Review: Tell Me, Pretty Maiden by Rhys Bowen

Tell Me, Pretty Maiden
Rhys Bowen
St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2008
ISBN 978-0-312-34943-1
Also available as a mass market paperback
ISBN 978-0-312-94375-2

Police in New York have their eye on an Italian gang from Sicily calling themselves the Cosa Nostra.  Molly Murphy listens to the rumors about the new gang but feels that it is nothing to her – or is it?

Molly’s detective agency is booming and she finds herself going off in a dozen different directions.  Daniel Sullivan, Molly’s boyfriend, is still on leave from the police department so Molly hires him to help her in her investigations.  Molly sometimes fears that this was not a good decision.  She is a very independent person and does not appreciate it when Daniel tries to take charge.

Molly has several interesting cases going on in this seventh addition to the Molly Murphy series and it may be the best yet.

Molly has been hired to check out the background of Leon Roth, who is soon to be married.   His future in-laws want to be sure he is the right person for their daughter.  Molly is also hired by a famous actress to find the ghost that is haunting her new production.  Molly finds herself on stage and in costume and suffers a brief bout of stage fright.  She also becomes very familiar with “stage-door johnnies”.   Yet another case takes her to New Haven and the Yale campus.

What touches Molly’s heart is not one of the cases that she is being paid to investigate but the matter of the beautiful young girl she finds in the snow in Central Park.  The girl cannot or will not speak.  Molly is determined to solve the mystery of how this girl wound up in a snow bank wearing only a flimsy dress and delicate shoes.  Molly’s determination to find the answer puts Molly in grave danger.

Molly’s old friends Sid and Gus are still around and make for very interesting characters.  I would highly recommend this intriguing story and a peek at life in New York City in the early 1900’s.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, March 2008.