Rhys Bowen's name - her books have been recommended to me by patrons who know I enjoy mysteries. Bowen's latest book, The Edge of Dreams is the fourteenth entry in the Molly Murphy series - but a first for this reader - and it won't be my last!
Molly is the wife of Daniel Sullivan, a New York Police captain at the turn of the century. Even though this book is quite far along in the series, I was able to easily become familiar with the characters and their lives.
Daniel has been receiving taunting notes from a serial killer. The pressure is on the police to find him before he kills again. But when Molly is involved in a serious 'accident', the case may be getting too close to home. Although he is reluctant to bring his work home, he does share his concerns with Molly. Molly has a wonderfully nimble mind. Before her marriage, she worked as a private detective.
Bowen captures the time periods and its mores perfectly. Historical events are woven throughout the story. I loved the detail of time and place as well. Day to day activities, cooking and shopping and more paint a warm picture of days gone by. I quite enjoyed the polite sparring between Molly and her mother-in-law over what 'correct' behavior should entail.
Supporting characters 'Gus' and 'Sid' are wonderfully avant garde, living life according to their own rules. Gus has studied with Sigmund Freud exploring his dream theories. This study is called into play with the second plot line of The Edge of Dreams. A young woman's family has died in what initially appears to be a terrible accident. But was it? Why is she unharmed? She can't remember anything but fragments of dreams and nightmares. Can this new method unlock answers?
Molly investigates quietly and capably, without drawing attention to herself or stepping on her husband's toes, both personally and professionally. The relationship between Molly and Daniel is particularly well written - kind, loving and believable. I enjoyed the measured pace of the investigations and the 'old fashioned' methods employed to solve the mysteries.
Bowen has crafted a pair of good whodunits that were somewhat easy to solve, but it was fun to solve them along with Molly and Daniel. But, for this reader, it is the characters that will have me returning to this historical mystery series. Read an excerpt of The Edge of Dreams.
You can keep up with Rhys Bowen on Facebook, as well as on Twitter.