Tuesday, March 04, 2014

City of Darkness and Light by Rhys Bowen

First Line: Like many Irish people I have always been a strong believer in a sixth sense.

The New York City police commissioner has decided to crack down on Italian gangs, but when one retaliates against Daniel Sullivan, his wife Molly and their infant son Liam find themselves on their way to Paris, France, to stay with Molly's friends, Sid and Gus.

Although filled with fear for her husband who remains behind, Molly can't help but be a bit thrilled at the thought of going to Paris. But when she gets there, nothing goes according to plan. Sid and Gus have disappeared, and Molly has her hands full with the care of a baby and the search for her friends. Her search not only leads her through all levels of Parisian society, it leads to a dead body as well, and no one can blame Molly for beginning to think that Paris may be even more deadly than New York City.

It's been a long time since I've visited with Molly Murphy, and a lot has changed in her life. After reading City of Darkness and Light, I wonder why it took me so long to renew my acquaintance. Molly has been independent, she's been a private investigator, and I was interested to see how she was adapting to married life. We've barely scratched the surface of her new role as wife and mother when the world explodes around her in a thrilling-- and heartbreaking-- scene, and she and infant son Liam find themselves on the way to Paris.

Molly always seems to find interesting people wherever she goes, and this book is no exception. Whether it's a group of women on board ship, or the shop keepers and artists of the streets of Paris, City of Darkness and Light is filled with savory characters. Several of them are famous, and not all of them are named-- Molly wouldn't know them all, would she?-- and part of the enjoyment of reading is trying to put names to all them all.

Yes, I did love conducting my very own identity parade while I read, but some of my favorite scenes in the book involved Molly dealing with the mundane: if you don't know anyone in Paris and you don't speak the language well, how are you going to deal with a cantankerous landlady? How are you going to find a place to stay? Where is your food coming from? Who on earth is going to care for your baby while you're out trying to find your friends?

It's this mix of finding a murderer, rubbing elbows with the great and not-yet-great in the Parisian art world, and changing diapers that makes this latest Molly Murphy mystery so much fun to read. Molly's fans will be enchanted... and newcomers may very well be hooked. 

City of Darkness and Light by Rhys Bowen
ISBN: 9781250011664
Minotaur Books © 2014
Hardcover, 320 pages

Historical Mystery, #13 Molly Murphy mystery
Rating: B+
Source: the author 


  1. Cathy - I need to follow up on this series too. Rhys Bowen is really talented, and I give her credit for having done several different kinds of series. Thanks for remidning me of this one.

    1. You're welcome! Rhys is a very talented writer, and I've read books in all her series, although I have to profess a special fondness for Georgie.

  2. I absolutely love this series. Cannot wait to read this newest edition. Just have to wait for my library to catch on and get it. Thanks for the review.


    1. You're very welcome, Kimberlee. Thanks for stopping by!


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