I have been enjoying Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy mystery series for a couple of years. These books follow young Irish immigrant Molly Murphy who works as a detective in turn of the century New York City. I started reading this series after discovering the Royal Spyness books, which are one of Bowen’s other series. I’ve been reading the books out of order; I’ve read all of the recent ones, and now I’m going back to the beginning of the series.
For The Love of Mike is the third book in the Molly Murphy series. Molly is quickly realizing that it is a lot more difficult for a woman to be a private investigator, but feels fortunate when she receives requests for help with two very different cases. The first case comes at the request of a garment factory owner. He suspects that a rival has been stealing his designs, and he needs Molly’s help to figure out how this is happening. Molly must infiltrate the factory and work as a garment worker. This is difficult work, and does not leave Molly much time to work on her second case: an English gentleman has written to her requesting help locating his daughter. The young woman ran away from the family’s Irish estate with a charismatic household servant. How can Molly find one missing girl in such a huge city?
This is a great entry in the series. Bowen continues to build upon Molly’s desire to become an investigator. Molly experiences some setbacks, but is not dissuaded. The story takes place close to a decade before the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and it was interesting to see Molly working in the same sort of deplorable working conditions. Familiar characters from previous books make an appearance, and we are also introduced to some new characters, including a possible love interest for Molly.
I would recommend For the Love of Mike. Bowen includes background information to assist new readers with understanding some of the backstory, but I do think the series makes more sense when the books are read in the order in which they were written. I listened to the Audible edition of this book, and narrator Nicola Barber does a wonderful job with bringing Molly to life.