The Edge of Dreams by Rhys Bowen

I am a relative newcomer to Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy mystery series. I absolutely devoured her Royal Spyness series, and finding myself in need of more delightful mysteries, I moved on to Molly Murphy. When I saw an opportunity to receive a copy of The Edge of Dreams in exchange for a fair and honest review, I eagerly submitted a request. To make a long story short, my review copy was lost in the 100 inches of snow that the Boston area received in the month of February, but Ms. Bowen was gracious enough to send out another copy.

The Edge of Dreams is the fourteenth Molly Murphy mystery. Molly is still happily married to NYPD Captain Daniel Sullivan, and their son Liam is approaching his first birthday. Molly and Liam have returned from Paris, and are preparing to move back into their home. Daniel has been receiving notes from a deranged individual who claims responsibility for deaths that had appeared to be accidents. But the older woman was pushed in front of the carriage, the student was poisoned, etc. There is no obvious connection between the victims, and Captain Sullivan is stumped.

Things become personal when Molly and Liam are involved in a train accident, and Daniel receives a note from the perpetrator. Were Molly and Liam supposed to be the next target? Even though Molly promised to give up her detective work after her marriage and the birth of her child, she cannot stand idly by as a deranged maniac plans their demise.

Molly’s good friends Sid and Gus have also returned from Europe. They have spent time with Dr. Freud in Vienna, and are very interested in dream analysis. At first, this seems like another of Gus and Sid’s fanciful pastimes, but Molly quickly realizes that paying attention to dreams just might be integral in solving her latest case.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Edge of Dreams, which takes place in 1905. The historical setting adds an interesting element to the plot. I was particularly intrigued by the treatment of mental illness and the new practice of psychiatry.

Although I am relatively new to the series, I still enjoyed seeing familiar characters. Sid and Gus are as zany as ever, but they are faithful friends who are eager to listen to Molly and offer insight. Mrs. Sullivan, Molly’s mother-in-law, has softened, but she is quick to proclaim that she would never dream of involving herself in police work. Young Bridie is growing up, and she loves to play with little Liam.

The mystery itself is quite satisfying. Molly pursues the case relentlessly, much to the chagrin of her husband, who wants nothing more than for his wife to remain at home. But Molly uncovers clues that Daniel has missed, and remains persistent in her attempts to help. It is a little surprising how unsupportive Daniel can be, but he is a product of his environment. One must remember that Molly is progressive, and rather unconventional for 1905.

I would absolutely recommend The Edge of Dreams. While it cannot be denied that it is satisfying to read a series in the correct order, I can personally attest that the Molly Malone mysteries can be read out of order. The characters are delightful, and I am looking forward to reading more of Molly’s adventures.

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