Book Review: Rhys Bowen’s Bless the Bride

Posted June 26, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Rhys Bowen’s Bless the Bride

Bless the Bride


Rhys Bowen

historical mystery that was published by Minotaur Books on March 1, 2011 and has 261 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Evans Above, Evan Help Us, Evanly Choirs, The Last Illusion, Evan and Elle, Naughty in Nice, Evan Can Wait, Evans to Betsy, Evan Only Knows, Her Royal Spyness, A Royal Pain, Royal Flush, Evan's Gate, Royal Blood, Evan Blessed, Evanly Bodies, Rhys Bowen, Hush Now, Don't You Cry, The Twelve Clues of Christmas, The Family Way, Heirs and Graces, Queen of Hearts, Malice at the Palace, Crowned and Dangerous, On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service

Tenth in the Molly Murphy historical suspense series in the early 1900s in New York City.

My Take

Our Molly has only been in America a few years. After fleeing Ireland and trying a variety of the usual jobs, Molly dove into private investigation in the course of which she met Captain Daniel Sullivan. A good thing too as Capt. Sullivan has managed to bail Molly out of a few situations. But now, they are getting married at last, and Molly will be retiring from that dangerous life…or, at least, that’s what Molly has promised Daniel.

I do like Molly and her friends. They are quite independent women, especially for that time period. Molly is going to have a tempestuous marriage all things considered.

This particular story was fascinating for its history of the Chinatowns and what caused them to spring up, why they lasted as long as they did/have. Got my mouth watering for one of those ducks hanging in the window…it’s been a long while since I’ve had one…drool…

Another interesting bit of history was of the settlement house staffed by young volunteers from the upper strata of society. Quite useful that turned out to be. The whole series always makes me think of Jacob Riis and his photographs of the slums of New York. Bowen does a lovely job of describing Bowen does a lovely job of describing what Riis photographed.

The Story

Growing increasingly frustrated (and irritated) placating Daniel’s mother, Molly is thrilled when Gus and Sid write to tell her of a wedding party they plan to throw for her over the Labor Day weekend. And to add spice to their invite, Gus tells Molly of a mysterious, quite self-important visitor who is adamant that Molly take on an investigative job for his employer.

Who turns out to be Lee Sing Tai, a wealthy Chinese merchant who has lost a jade ornament. He says. After spending the day trudging to all the pawn shops and jewelers, Molly finds out the next day, that Mr. Lee was merely testing her resolve. The true lost treasure is a child bride whom Mr. Lee bought and smuggled to America. But Mr. Lee is desperate for a son. A Chinese son. Not the paper-son he has now.

Naturally, since Molly is involved, things go awry. Worse this time, as Molly had promised Daniel she would give up detecting once they were married and she has hidden, not only her quick trip to New York for the party, but that she accepted this job. A job which clashes with a major case in which Daniel is involved.

The Characters

Molly Murphy is a young Irish immigrant who earns her living as a private detective in New York City. Proud and independent, she has been very reluctant to give up her career. She certainly doesn’t intend to give up her house or her bohemian friends after they are married!

Captain Daniel Sullivan has been attracted to Molly from the first book, Murphy’s Law. He reluctantly helps Molly on her cases primarily because he can’t bear to think of her being hurt but also because Molly has good investigative instincts. An ability he draws on in Murphy’s Law, 1. A most singular man for his time period.

Gus (Augusta Walcott…of the Boston Walcotts, don’cha know) and Sid are partners who live in the house across the way from Molly in Greenwich Village. They love to put on parties for their wide-ranging circle of friends and dress to thrill. They adore Molly as Molly loves them. Daniel…well, Daniel does not so love them.

Mrs. Sullivan, Daniel’s mother, is not particularly welcoming of this bit of Irish “trash” so recently come over. She and her now-deceased husband had had such high hopes for their only son.

Bo Kei is the 15-some-year-old Chinese girl bought and paid for by Mr. Lee.

The Cover

The cover is lovely with Molly in a gorgeous all-over eyelet white gown holding a bouquet of peach roses and a huge fountain in the background.