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Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  8,886 Ratings  ·  854 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, under cover of a false identity, for the anonymous shores of late nineteenth-century America. When she arrives
Paperback, Plus 18-pg preview #2 Death of Riley, 226 pages
Published December 2002 by St Martin's Minotaur (first published October 2001)
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Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Women's history month is here and I decided to start the celebration with a bit of Irish spunk. Rhys Bowen is a celebrated writer, and my mother has been touting her Molly Murphy series for awhile now. As Irish luck would have it, my retro chapter chicks group is focusing on Irish women for the month of March. I decided that it was long overdue that I read Murphy's Law, the first of Molly Murphy's historical adventures.

Molly Murphy was never a traditional girl. She enjoyed swimming in the Atlan
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed that one. So much so that I'm going to treat myself to # 2. Light reading but very entertaining.
This was one of those stories that GRs kept sending me a recommendation because I enjoy historical mysteries. That said.....

'Lord knows I never meant to kill him.'

A native of Ireland, Molly Murphy was on the run after thwarting an attack by one of the local gentry. As luck would have it, she had taken on the identity of a young mother before sailing for America and a new life. Before the voyage to her adopted country was over, she earned a friendship and made an enemy. Then a gruesome murder too
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
Sep 19, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me into how one heroine feels, with unhampered description, dialogue, and originality and I'm carried away. I am pleased to find authors who achieve this balance and surprised by “Murphy's Law”. In 2001, it débuted Rhys Bowen's New York series, set in March 1901. It is “cozy” solely in its light tone. The history into which we are immersed is stunningly realistic and more acutely educational than we expect. Reminiscent of Anne Perry's Thomas Pitt hero, Molly was educated with the children of ...more
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

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.

Stacie  Haden
I look forward to the rest of this series.

New York, 1901
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
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
Moonlight Reader
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Mar 18, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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?
3.5 stars
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
3.8 Stars...for this first book in a new mystery series starring Molly Murphy...who finds that she must escape from Ireland in 1901 or face charges for killing a man who tries to rape her. She finds passage to America as the caretaker of two small children whose father awaits them in New York. Upon arrival, Molly finds life in the big city far from magical as she sets out to make a new life but first finds herself tangled up with murder, shady politics and the "charmingly-frustrated-with-her" NY ...more
May 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: z2015-reads, mystery
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
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
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nice smooth and daring book written about an Irish woman who ends up in New York in a special way. We become involved in a murder and eventually help a detective. Beautifully written and with a strong storyline. Curious about more books from this author.
Elizabeth Camden
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rhys Bown is a new-to-me author and I can't wait to dive in! I loved the era (early 20th century NYC) and the hero. There were a few too many coincidences for my taste, but hey....I lapped this one up and can't wait for more.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm hooked. This is my new favorite genre. Female detectives in an historical fiction mystery.
Nancy Haddock
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I finally gave the Molly Murphy series a try, and I love it! I highly recommend it - this book and the series!
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
3.75. Very interesting character in Molly Murphy, and great chemistry between her and "her" detective.
The little romance with him was sweet, with just the right amount of balance between that and the mystery itself. However, there was one part in content that I would take exception to: (view spoiler)
I'm unwell today so my review will not be as scintillating as usual. I'm kidding. But I have to remind myself that reading this book made me forget my illness. This book is just what the doctor ordered. It's to my complete liking. I loved that the author didn't tarry on the many architectural upheavals of post famine New York. Some authors, like Ian Rankin, know how to describe a city. However many of these authors fail in maintaining the plot to the fore and core. But I liked Murphy's Law as t ...more
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.
Nancy Ellis
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Molly Murphy is running from the law in Ireland after killing (in self-defense) the landowner's son. Who is going to take the word of a worthless girl, so she escapes to England where she is befriended by a young mother and persuaded to use her identity to take her two young children to America to their father. (The mother has TB and would not be allowed to enter America.) Molly makes it to Ellis Island where a man who threatened her on the voyage is murdered. Molly eventually assists the young ...more
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Crime, Mysteries ...: Murphy's Law - June 2013 16 85 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 17 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)
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