The Last Illusion (Molly Murphy, #9)
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The Last Illusion (Molly Murphy Mysteries #9)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,241 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Irish immigrant and PI Molly Murphyis thrilled to have a ticketto the theater to see a trio of illusionists that are all the rage. Indeed,headlining is Harry Houdini, the most sensational of them all; he has just returned from entertaining European kings and queens for a brief run on Broadway.

But before Houdini can even take the stage, the opening act goes horribly wrong a...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published 2010)
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It looks as if Molly is going to choose diamonds over her detective agency. Too bad, because Daniel gets a bit tiresome in this installment. Practically all his lines command Molly to give up the PI business or forbid her to take risks. I would rather marry Lord Peter Wimsey, who tells his lady love, "If you have put anything in hand, disagreeableness and danger will not turn you back, and God forbid they should."
Luffy Monkey D.
It's almost always the case that I can recognize a book that will score 1/5 right off the bat. The author, Rhys Bowen, should be ashamed of forging ahead with a bad sketchy idea and wrongfully persevering in laying this bad egg. She is totally out of her element. She probably loved bad spy novels and pulp fiction and thought imitation was flattery.

The alarm bells started ringing when the big setup of the Scarpelli guy failed to impress on me. Usually Rhys Bowen's victims hit me hard, but not t...more
Rhys Bowen brings New York City and its people, famous and not, alive like no other author. She weaves well-known historical and entertainment figures into the Molly Murphy stories like a fine silk lining in a well-tailored jacket. In The Last Illusion, this reader was treated to a personality and profession I have long found fascinating, Houdini and the enigmatical art of the illusionist. I knew I was in for an exciting ride when the unconventional worlds of Molly Murphy and Houdini collided. A...more
It is summer in New York City and Molly and Daniel attend a performance of illusionist at Miner's Bowery Theater. During one of the opening acts for Houdini, a girl is being sawn in half when something goes horribly wrong and screams are heard as blood oozes from the box. Daniel takes charge of the investigation. In the aftermath of the tragedy Houdini the performer blames Houdini of tampering with the equipment he keeps under lock and key. Molly had gone onstage with Daniel and meets Houdini's...more
I like Rhys Bowen's historical fiction/suspense mix. She uses real historical characters with her fictional heroine, in this case it was Harry Houdini.
Molly Murphy gets acquainted with the world of illusionists when she gets a case from the famous Harry Houdini's wife and we get to see behind the scenes of some interesting magic tricks.

There's quite a bit of arguing between Molly and Daniel, who is pressuring her to quit being a detective and stay out of the suspicious accident they both witnessed in one of their outings at an illusionist show, where Houdini was supposed to perform. She seems to be unable to do that, since she's too curious by...more
Summary: The ninth book in the Molly Murphy, Lady Detective series. Molly is an Irish immigrant in NYC circa 1903. She is engaged to policeman Daniel Sullivan and in this installment is investigating mysterious happenings surrounding the magician Harry Houdini.

Why I Read: I've read many of the previous Molly books and I had not even realized there was a new book so I was very excited.

My Thoughts: While it was mostly enjoyable, I had a few problems. First I'm very angry at Daniel for his "malenes...more
Molly Murphy is an Irish immigrant to New York City who makes her living as a private investigator. This being 1903, this is most unusual. She also happens to be engaged to a New York police captain who would like her to give up her unconventional occupation. But tonight, they are just having a night on the town as they watch a trio of illusionists that are all the rage, including Harry Houdini, the most sensational of them all. But before Houdini can even take the stage, the opening act goes ho...more
Kathy Davie
Ninth in the Molly Murphy mystery series set in turn-of-the-century New York. Molly is a recent Irish immigrant who fell into the private detective business.

The Story
An illusion, cutting a woman in half, goes wrong during a magical performance, but fortunately, Daniel and Molly are in attendance and both leap up to the stage. Although ordered home by Daniel, Molly scrapes up an acquaintance with Harry Houdini's wife, Bess who hires her the next day to protect Harry.

A job that quickly involves Ge...more
Rena Maureen
Read this in two days. At the ending,I realized that there were a number of clues given along the way.
Molly Murphy is an independent woman at a time women were happy to get married,stay at home and wait on their husbands. The kind of friends she has and the danger she keeps getting herself into upsets and concerns her intended,Daniel Sullivan NYPD captain. Things still are not completely settled abut their future as they both try to find the answers to their cases.

A Molly Murphy mystery,with Iri...more
I thought a story about a spunky Irish female private investigator in early 1900's New York City sounded interesting. Especially since Harry Houdini was her client. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this.

The main character of Molly Murphy seemed continuously torn between being a modern, independant woman, and bowing to the expectation to become a docile, boring proper wife to her policeman fiance. While I understand that she probably would be facing such a choice, I just found that her constant angs...more
Mark Baker
The summer of 1903 finds Molly Murphy going undercover to help find out who is threatening Houdini. Can she do it before there is another accident at the theater? This book struck just the right balance between historical detail and mystery. I enjoyed every page.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Intrepid private detective Molly Murphy returns yet again to the theater to solve another mystery - this time involving the famous master illusionist Harry Houdini, whose wife fears his life is in danger, possibly from a rival magician. Molly has to figure out what is going on, protect Houdini, & attempt not to get in too deep herself, all the while dealing, as usual, with her fiancee Captain Daniel Sullivan's urgent desire for her to stop this dangerous nonsense, marry him, & settle dow...more
Yet another joyful ride with my favorite P.I. Molly Murphy... and Houdini? A perfect match! The book had me hooked, and so I turned early on to the the 'Historical Notes' but there was a stern order not to read it until the end. I was constantly wondering what was based off of actual research and what was created. Unfortunately it was very loosely based off of actual events, but Bowen did her research to portray real characters well.

The plot is a bit loose, with a vague 'mystery' to follow in t...more
Julia Hendon
The setting, turn of the century NYC, and MC, Irish immigrant Molly Murphy, seem promising. The mystery was weakly plotted and the inclusion of historical figures such as Houdini didn't add much. The author seriously downplays the ethnic prejudice and sexism that a female Irish private detective was likely to face.
Binx Gray
This was my first Molly Murphy, I prefer starting a series at the beginning, but while I obviously missed some main events (her former, diseased boss' death, the relationship with her current beau, etc.) it was still readable. But, I have to say that books that are "historical" (I only mean that it's placed in a particular period, not that it's patently historical, it IS a mystery) that imbue characters (Ms. Murphy specifically, and wouldn't she just love being called Ms.) speaks/thinks too much...more
Part of the fault might be mine for not enjoying this as much as I should have. Had I known at the time that this was part of a series, my expectations might have been different.

As far as the mystery was concerned, it started benignly enough with Molly being hired by Mrs. Houdini to look after her husband. It then takes a left turn as you discover that it was never about the illusions in the first place. The secondary mystery was, for me, where the whole book fell apart; the police, in coordina...more
I really enjoyed this book. The story was interested with Molly's fictional involvement with Houdini and his wife as well as the other illusionists. I was glad that Ms. Bowen included an afterword with more information on Houdini.
I wanted to give this 3.5 stars, but since I can't, I just rounded up. I really like Rhys Bowen, so I give her the benefit of the doubt.
I didn't like this book quite as well as some of the earlier ones in the series. As others have pointed out, Daniel, much as I have loved his character in the past, DOES get a little annoying at times. Still, I enjoyed the story and it kept me interested. (I think I read these books more for the history element than the mystery. Bowen is fabulous at bringing tim...more
I loved the detail she put into Houdini and his wife. I could tell she researched them to write about them accurately. One of the series that I found most interesting.
This is the 9th book in the Molly Murphy Mystery series and I believe it was my favorite one so far. The story opens with Molly and Daniel enjoying an evening out - they have gone to see the new illusionist, Harry Houdini. Unfortunately, something goes terribly wrong with the warm-up act and a young woman is killed on stage. Daniel, as a police captain, jumps into the investigation right away, with Molly in tow. Molly, much to Daniel's displeasure, also gets involved in the investigation when Mr...more
I love this series. This book was so much fun to read about the Illusionists in the 1900's. Oh I would love to meet someone like Molly Murphy she is such a hoot!
Benay P Stringer
Lighthearted and enjoyable

Well written, easy to read novel based on historical facts about New York City at the turn of the century.
Carolyn Rose
The book has a geat sense of the time (early 1900s), setting (New York City), and the communication limitations of a world where the telephone was a new invention. It was also fun to encounter Houdini and his family. Molly Murphy is an enterprising character, but I found her fiance annoying. I know he's a creature of that time and his views are those of men of that era, but he seemed to want things both ways, demanding that Molly be obedient to his wishes, but making the most of what she discove...more
Molly Murphy comes face to face with Houdini in this installment, an improvement over the previous one. But Daniel seems to be here to stay, which is downright depressing.
Ralynn Wilcock
I just really like this whole series just good wholesome mystery that leave you guessing till the end.
Not sure if I really believe that this is the last book in the Molly Murphy series, but it could be. The book starts out really quickly with a woman being cut severely during a magic trick in which she is to be cut in half. The book revolves around this event and the attempted murder of Houdini's wife as Molly tries to figure out what is going on. The book is well paced and a good read. I must say that Molly is dumb for marrying Daniel (agreeing to - no spoilers). I know it was a different time...more
Set in turn-of-the-century New York, this mystery continues the exploits of a young Irish woman who pursues a job as a private investigator despite being engaged to a city policeman who disapproves of her daring ventures. Molly Murphy becomes involved with illusionists whose onstage tricks are being sabotaged by an unknown person. Harry Houdini is a central character; his wife entreats Molly to find the identity of the treacherous assailant before Houdini is killed onstage. The author's writing...more
Once again - why oh why do I bother with mysteries? I'm almost always disappointed in them. But this was calling to me from the display in the library. I was attracted by the Irish heroine, Molly Murphy, although the only real evidence of her Irishness was an occasional "Mother of God" or "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph" thrown in for effect. I was also lured in by the topic of illusionists, having recently seen one of the of the best, Steve Cohen, in NYC. I didn't like this nearly well enough to ever...more
This is the best of this series so far.
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"I'm a New York Times bestselling mystery author, winner of both Agatha and Anthony awards for my Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1902 New York City.

I also write the Agatha-winning Royal Spyness series, about the British royal family in the 1930s. It's lighter, sexier, funnier, wicked satire. It was voted by readers as best mystery series one year.
I am also known for my Constable Evans books, set...more
More about Rhys Bowen...
Her Royal Spyness (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #1) A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #2) Royal Blood (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #4) Royal Flush (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #3) Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1)

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