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Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  7,166 Ratings  ·  684 Reviews
Murphy's Law is the captivating first entry of Rhys Bowen's New York Times bestselling Molly Murphy series

Molly Murphy always knew she'd end up in trouble, just as her mother predicted. So, when she commits murder in self-defense, she flees her cherished Ireland, and her identity, for the anonymous shores of America. When she arrives in new York and sees the welcoming prom
ebook, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published October 2001)
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May 06, 2016 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
*4.5 stars

I have been wanting to read this series for awhile now. I absolutely love the Royal Spyness novels by Rhys Bowen! So I couldn't wait to read her Molly Murphy books. Of course, I've waited a long time but I FINALLY got to the first one! I can honestly say I am not disappointed at all! I love RB's writing. She makes me want to read all her books. I adored Molly--she was a spunky, independent, red headed Irish lass. I also enjoyed Daniel Sullivan.... I can't wait to see where their relat
1.5 to 2 stars

This was just...not good. Maybe it's first book syndrome or maybe this was the author's first ever published book but whatever the case may be, it felt like it could have been written by a high school senior. The heroine, fleeing from the law in Ireland, manages to make her way to New York, in what I can only surmise is the late 1800s or early 1900s, through a series of highly (and totally unrealistic) fortuitous events. And that pretty much sums up Molly's experiences throughout t
Another entry into my historical mystery jag, this one was VERY similar to the other series I read, but for some reason I enjoyed it a bit less, which surprised me because I like this author's other historical series set in the 20's a lot.

Basically it started out really well, the heroine's journey to America, but for some reason after that she was a BIT too perfect and spunky for my tastes. And the love interest was really thinly drawn, which is probably my biggest criticism.

There's some intere
I have been meaning to read the Molly Murphy series by Rhys Bowen for quite a while. Finally, I have read the first book in the series, Murphy's Law, and I can't believe I waited so long. I love the character of Molly Murphy, an Irish young woman who unexpectedly finds herself running from the English police and on a boat to America. She makes a deal with another young woman who is trying to get her children to New York City to be with their father. Molly agrees to escort the children when the w ...more
I've read and enjoyed all of Ms. Bowen's Royal Spyness mysteries and have loved them, so when I was putting in my last order at my library I finally decided to include the first in her Molly Murphy series, which I'd heard nothing but good things about. I can say that I don't regret ordering them! This was a fun book that I read in one sitting.

In Murphy's Law Molly Murphy accidentally kills a man and because of her circumstances she must flee Ireland. She soon finds herself on a boat to America c

Spunky finesse - A quaintly entertaining whodunit.

Bowen has written a lovely, gentle mystery wrapped in historical fiction - hued with serendipitous shades - and with a dash of endgame romance. She does a lovely job exploring the Irish immigrant experience coming to America during the early nineteenth century; painting an emblematic portrait of the daunting process maneuvering through Ellis Island and on to the tempestuous streets and cramped tenement housing of Tammany-corrupt New York City.

My wife has been on a kick of late 19th century or early 20th century mysteries lately, often focusing on impetuous, clever, brave ladies solving mysteries in a world where women were supposed to be none of those things. Bowen's Molly Murphy series seems to be one of these. We read Murphy's Law together and it was an enjoyable romp.

Molly Murphy is on the run from Ireland when she stumbles into a way across the ocean, impersonating someone else on the boat trip to America. When they arrive in El
Jun 25, 2015 Betty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
The first book in the series. Molly Murphy fleeing for her life accepts an offer to take two children to America as their Mother. Arriving at Ellis Island she becomes a suspect in a murder of a follow passenger. Using her wits she must clear name. As an immigrate New York City is strange to her. Will she be able to clear name?
SUMMARY: From the creator of the much-loved Constable Evan Evans mysteries comes a colorful new series set in turn-of-the-century New York City. When spirited redhead Molly Murphy was growing up a peasant on the coast of Ireland she always imagined there was something more in store for her. She couldn't have known how right she was until the day she became a murderer, albeit in self-defense. Under drastic circumstances, Molly is forced to strike out into a new world. With the police right behind ...more
Moonlight Reader
Agatha winner from 2001. Set in turn of the century New York, Molly Murphy has fled her native Ireland after fending off the advances of a member of the landed gentry. She has the bad luck to have been the cause of bad fall, resulting in a dead English man.

I listened to this book. The narration was enjoyable. Molly was, sometimes, a bit overly clueless - the incident where she is nearly trapped into prostitution is silly. No one is that stupid. The love interest sounds adorable, but has little a
The mystery was probably the least interesting thing for me. I liked Molly, I liked Daniel and I loved the setting. Bowen really paints a vivid picture of NY at this time and how the Irish, Italians, Jews, etc., all formed their own tight-knit communities. The setting jumped off the page and was, in my opinion, the strongest thing about this book.

As for the mystery, everything relating to that felt a little too coincidental. I didn't really believe that so many things could align just right to
3.5 stars. I expected a lot from this series, as a huge fan of Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series as well as her Constable Evans books. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. Murphy’s Law is set in a really interesting time period, and it’s obvious that considerable effort was put into research since the book is wonderfully rich in historical detail. Ms. Bowen has a talent for making the reader feel like they’re right there walking alongside the characters; the setting and characterization ...more
Molly Murphy
4 Stars

On the run from the law, Molly Murphy escapes her native Ireland for the promise of 19th century New York. Unfortunately, trouble follows in Molly’s footsteps when a man with whom she had an altercation onboard ship is murdered at Ellis Island and she must use her sharp wits and Irish charm to clear her name.

The excellent historical background and vivacious heroine make up for the rather lackluster who-dun-it.

Despite its potential the mystery is underdeveloped. There are too
I liked the characters, especially the spunky and independent Molly Murphy, in this first book in a series. Overall the story, set in the very early 1900's just as Ellis Island has opened, was entertaining, and it was a fast and easy read. The coincidences happened a little too often, and too neatly, which detracted somewhat, but did not completely spoil the book for me. I will plan to read more of this series.
May 21, 2015 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2015-reads
like books set during the turn of the century from around the late part of the Gilded age on through the 20s. I especially like them set in New York during this time. One of the first books I ever read that spurred my interest in this time period was The Alienist

It can be challenging to find good genre fiction set during this time, so when I do I tend to try to read it.

I had good luck with The Nell Sweeney Historical Mysteries: A Six-Book Boxed Set Series so when these came across my radar, I d
Sep 18, 2016 Sabine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's the late nineteenth century: Molly Murphy flees her small hometown Ballykillin in Ireland to go to Belfast after having murdered a man who tried to rape her. With no money and the police on her heels, she lands at the doorstep of Kathleen O'Connor and her two little children Seamus and Bridie. Kathleen's husband fled to America two years ago and sent her three tickets for a ship to come and join him. But Kathleen has consumption and knows that they will not let her travel. So she offers her ...more
I enjoyed this book immensely! It is the first in a series to feature Molly Murphy, a beautiful young Irish girl who comes to New York, under desperate circumstances. She has fled Ireland because she accidentally killed a wealthy Irish land owner when he tried to rape her. She defended herself, and he fell, hit his head, and expired. So, her adventure begins. Molly is very likeable, and has a flair for getting into scrapes, but more importantly- she uses her wit, considerable intellect, and spun ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
[these comments are out of context from a mailing list discussion and contain spoilers]

[on historical novels in general]

I'm not a big reader of historical novels full stop, whether mysteries or otherwise. This is odd because many of my favourite books as a child were historical now I come to think of it and also because when I do read something historical I generally enjoy the change.

My expectations for a historical mystery are that they will be fact laden, boring and tediously correct and my

Sep 14, 2016 kari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
The start of another series by Rhys Bowen that I thoroughly enjoyed. The voice of Molly is very well done. While she is scared and alone, she still has courage and presses forward since there is no going back.
This takes place in New York around the start of the 20th century and I think the author does a great job of capturing the sense of that time, the crowding, the smells, the good folks and the not so good.
Molly is smart and educated more that would have been common for her time and place, bu
Nicola Barber’s narration is well done, she has many different accents in this book from Irish to American to a little Italian, and her male voices are also very good. I enjoyed her narration and I think it added to my enjoyment of this book.

Molly Murphy accidently killed a man after he attacked her it was self-defense but she ran away and ran all the way to America under an assumed name. While waiting to get through Ellis Island another man is murdered and Molly was seen arguing with him hours
Jun 09, 2013 Madonna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Rhys Bowen's writing style--I'm also a fan of her Lady G. series. I read this for a goodreads group and I'm glad we started with the first one since this series was new to me.
Molly is a smart and strong young woman, and I like her. She needed to be strong in Ireland--taking care of an all-male household has helped her become strong, I think. She needs to be strong in America since she's had a rocky start.
Bowen has great timing in Molly's meeting the policeman, finding reasons to talk wit
Jan 14, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this series though I've only read two books so far!

Molly Murphy has left Ireland before she could be arrested and hanged for murder. She is now in New York City trying to find her way. In order to make the trip she poses as the mother of two children who need to be renunited with their father, while their mother stayed in Ireland dying of comsumption.

As luck would have it Molly is the only witness to a murder on Ellis Island. When she discovers that her only friend from the tri
Apr 13, 2013 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mystery series set in immigrant rich NYC at the beginning of the twentieth century with a feisty female straight off the boat heroine. Who wouldn't want to read this??? I think that the only bad thing I have to say about the book is that it was predictable and the writing a tad bit juvenile (in other words, not great "literature.") However, that said, it was a fun read, and I intend to read the rest of the series. Obviously from my "read" list, I like anything Irish;I love reading about the Ir ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Jeni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Molly Murphy is a strong female character who I believe is at least a little anachronistic. She stands up for herself, she goes places where no respectable woman of her time would go, she deceives and spies and infiltrates. And she's completely likeable. In fact, she comes across not as a conniver or instigator, but as an advocate and supporter. Set in the early 1900s Murphy's Law tells the story of Ms. Murphy after she flees her native Ireland to live in New York City. This books fits in the ge ...more
Molly Murphy, hiding her fiery red hair but not her audacious ways, escapes from her Irish village after inadvertently causing the death of the young laird who tried to rape her. She finds herself in possession of a steerage ticket to New York and the custody of two small children when the kids' consumptive mother begs her to deliver the youngsters to their father in New York. The passage to America and the tumultuous events of Ellis Island, where another murder takes place, are vividly describe ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Jaclyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading a few duds lately, this book felt like a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed the main character, Molly, and I felt like her background story was interesting. I rooted for her from the beginning. The setting of NYC at the turn of the century made it even more interesting. I felt like I got a good picture of what it must have been like for immigrants coming to America. I wasn't expecting that aspect of the story, but it added a lot of depth. It bothered me the way Molly (and women in gene ...more
Angela Holland
Feb 06, 2012 Angela Holland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read Rhys' Royal Spyness series which I enjoyed and thought I would give this series a chance too. I fell in love with this series from page one. I will be continuing on with this series. Molly started out in a bad situation and then ended up helping a family by seeing the children to America to live with their father and then unfortunately Molly ends up in another bad situation.

Rhys gives you a few clues to try and guess who the murder was but you are really unable to figure it out until
Nov 09, 2010 Nell rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I like Bowen's Her Royal Spyness series, so tried this. No snarkiness here; it's more serious in tone and touches on issues, such as political corruption and the difficult lives of new immigrants to turn-of-the-century New York, but the plot hinges on more coincidences and lucky breaks than I found plausible. Let's face it, the whole conceit is implausible: a just-off-the-boat Irish immigrant with no money and nowhere to stay postpones looking for a job to do some detecting. Sounds like I need a ...more
Sep 21, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Judy by: Amanda
Shelves: mystery
Listened to this in my car and really enjoyed it. I suppose this would be classified as a "cozy" which I don't generally like but this one was a lot of fun. I'll probably listen to the whole series. Not great literature but a fun read.
Debbie Brown
Aug 10, 2016 Debbie Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
My sister told me about this series. I really liked it. I liked the setting (1900 New York) and the main character Molly. It reminds me of Maisie Dobbs. Young woman fending for herself and solving mysteries. I plan to read more of the series.
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Mysteries & Crime...: June Group Read: Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1) 16 82 Jun 24, 2013 05:55AM  
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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 about Rhys Bowen...

Other Books in the Series

Molly Murphy (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Death of Riley (Molly Murphy Mysteries, #2)
  • For the Love of Mike (Molly Murphy Mysteries, #3)
  • In Like Flynn (Molly Murphy Mysteries, #4)
  • Oh Danny Boy (Molly Murphy Mysteries, #5)
  • In Dublin's Fair City (Molly Murphy Mysteries, #6)
  • Tell Me, Pretty Maiden (Molly Murphy Mysteries, #7)
  • In a Gilded Cage (Molly Murphy, #8)
  • The Last Illusion (Molly Murphy Mysteries, #9)
  • Bless the Bride (Molly Murphy, #10)
  • Hush Now, Don't You Cry  (Molly Murphy, #11)

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