Merry Wanderer of the Night + rhys bowen

In A Gilded Cage

Rhys Bowen's In a Gilded Cage

is part of the Molly Murphy Mystery series. Molly Murphy is an Irish immigrant living in New York City during the beginning of the suffrage movement. Her neighbors, Sid and Gus, are lesbians and women's right activists. They appear for short periods throughout the story to invite Molly to marches or parties, but their presence as never as heavy as it is in the beginning. Molly, Sid, and Gus march in a parade and are eventually thrown in jail. Molly is not afraid like many of the other women though because she is a detective and has been in jail before. Her boyfriend is also a police captain so she knows she as a way out. During this intense scene she meets Emily, a Vassar graduate who works at a pharmacy. When Emily finds out Molly is a detective a fire lights up in her eyes. She has a mystery she wants to be solved.

Emily hires Molly to find out the truth behind her parents. She grew up with her aunt and uncle. Her aunt died at a young age and her uncle was very cruel to her. She lived with them because her parents were missionaries in China who died, but that is all she has ever been able to find out. Molly is also approached by an elite wife named Fanny, who is actually Emily's college roommate. Fanny is convinced her husband is having an affair and hires Molly to track down who the mistress is. If Molly can find proof Fanny plans to divorce her husband. But shortly after Molly has started to figure the mystery out Fanny mysteriously dies of pneumonia. It doesn't take too long before all the women in Fanny's circle of friends are also dying. Molly tries to convince herself that it's just a coincidence, but she knows something is up.

This was a good read, although it was a little too detective story for me and not enough historical information. It was obviously well researched but I really was looking for a fiction novel set during the suffrage movement. All the information about the suffrage movement in this is pretty basic. Still, it is good for the kind of novel it sets out to be. A detective mystery is promised and it is delivered. Bowen has great dialogue, unlike so much fiction I never felt like things were moving too quickly. It was always suspenseful and never boring. I might even consider reading more of the Molly Murphy Mystery books because Molly's character is very lovable. She is fiery and a hard worker, plus she always try to do what is right for other people. She did give in a little too easily to her boyfriend at some points but there was a lot of tension between them which I enjoyed.

Pub. Date: March 2009
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: Hardcover, 288pp
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In A Gilded Cage + rhys bowen