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Author: Rhys Bowen Title: Tell Me, Pretty Maiden Publisher: Minotaur Books Publish Date: March 2008 Buy: Amazon Book Blurb: It’s wintertime in New York, and for the first time since Irish immigrant Molly Murphy started her early-twentieth-century detective agency, she is completely snowed in with work. While she’s proving to be quite the entrepreneur and is very much in demand by some of Broadway’s brightest stars and Fifth Avenue’s richest families, she has to grudgingly admit that if she’s going to work more than one case at a time, then she’s going to need some help. Molly’s beau, the recently and wrongly suspended police captain Daniel Sullivan, would make an ideal associate, but before they can agree on the terms of his employment, they stumble upon a young woman lying unconscious in the middle of a snow-covered Central Park. When the woman wakes up she is disorientated and has and lost her ability to speak, the authorities are about to pack her off to an insane asylum when Molly can’t help but step in and take on yet another case.
Review: I am a huge fan of Rhys Bowen's 'Her Royal Spyness' series. My library doesn't have the first books in this series, so I'm starting at book 7.
I can safely say you can read these out of order. There is enough back story given so that you won't feel lost.
There is a lot going on in this story. Molly is a very busy private detective. She has at least three cases going on including the young woman that she finds in the snow drift in Central Park. It is Ms. Bowen's ability to have all these things going one without confusing her reader or let the story suffer, but that never happens here. Even the more insignificant case is important and oddly all of them tie together, and that's really what makes this an excellent read.
If you aren't familiar with the series, Molly Murphy is a young Irish private detective. She's very independent for a young woman in the early 1900s. Daniel is her beau. He's more old fashioned and definitely one that isn't fond of women working. There are times when his attitude is a little hard to take when combined with Molly.
When her caseload gets to be a bit much, Daniel takes on watching over a young gentleman to see if he is worthy of the young woman that desires to marry him, that way she's free to work for Blanche Lovejoy and her haunted theater. This case reminds me a bit of "Phantom of the Opera" or at least Phantom of the Musical. It is through this case that she gets information on the young man she was investigating.
Then she's looking to clear the name of a young Yale student who is accused of stealing from a friend and killing the butler.
I loved how the piecing together of this mystery helps uncover the identity of the girl from the snow drift.
I really liked Molly. Her beau, Daniel not so much.
I'm looking forward to continuing this series to see how their relationship progresses.