The Edge of Dreams, by Rhys Bowen

March 3, 2015 Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

The Edge of Dreams, by Rhys BowenThe Edge of Dreams by Rhys Bowen
Series: Molly Murphy #14
Published by St. Martin's Press on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Historical Mystery
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Goodreads
four-stars
Also in this series:
Also by this author: The Twelve Clues of Christmas, Heirs and Graces, , In Farleigh Field

Molly Murphy Sullivan’s husband Daniel, a captain in the New York City police force, is stumped. He’s chasing a murderer whose victims have nothing in common—nothing except for the taunting notes that are delivered to Daniel after each murder. And when Daniel receives a note immediately after Molly and her young son Liam are in a terrible train crash, Daniel and Molly both begin to fear that maybe Molly herself was the target.

Molly’s detective instincts are humming, but finding the time to dig deeper into this case is a challenge. She’s healing from injuries sustained in the crash and also sidetracked by her friends Sid and Gus’s most recent hobby, dream analysis. And when Molly herself starts suffering from strange dreams, she wonders if they just might hold the key to solving Daniel’s murder case.

Rhys Bowen’s characteristic blend of atmospheric turn-of-the-century history, clever plotting, and sparkling characters will delight readers in The Edge of Dreams, the latest in her bestselling Molly Murphy series.

I received a review copy of this book from .

Review

I’ve been a fan of Rhys Bowen since I first stumbled across one of her Constable Evans books in a library about 15 years ago. So it’s a mystery to me why I’ve never read any of her Molly Murphy books – especially since I love historical mysteries and the Victorian/Edwardian era as well. Luckily for me, I was given the chance to read the most recent book in the series, The Edge of Dreams, for a tour. Now I’m well and truly hooked.

To begin with, I really like Molly. She’s an independent and strong-willed young woman, adjusting with some difficulty to the social confines of married life. Although she has given up her career as a private detective, old habits die hard, and her husband’s job as a police detective keeps her in touch and involved – not always iwth Daniel’s approval. Molly has a touch of the Sight, too, but it doesn’t play a big role in her mystery solving, at least in this book.

I like Daniel, too; he’s not terribly happy about Molly pursuing her inquiries, especially if it’s dangerous or involves his case(s), but he loves her and he’s honest enough to respect her abilities. Their marriage, like society at large, is finding its way between the expectations of the past century (the book takes place in 1905) and the changes of the present – including women’s growing push for independence and equal rights.

There are several well-drawn supporting character, ranging from Molly’s friends and neighbors, the unconventional Sid and Gus, to her young son and mother-in-law. It’s an engaging milieu, with realistic affection and tension between Molly’s mother-in-law and Molly. Even suspects and minor characters ring true; no one feels flat or caricatured.

The mystery itself is well-plotted and satisfyingly difficult to solve: a string of seemingly motiveless and unrelated  deaths, tied together only by the notes the murderer sends to Daniel. It was ages before I began to have even a glimmer of who the culprit might be. This isn’t one of those books where you know all the suspects up front (or nearly so); it’s more like a real investigation, in which the clues are slowly uncovered through persistence and, sometimes, luck. Bowen also weaves in the new science of psychology (alienism), particularly dream analysis, and the dreams of both Molly and a young girl, adding both atmosphere and perhaps clues to the mystery.

The overall tone of the Molly Murphy novels is more series than Georgie’s delightfully madcap adventures in Bowen’s other series, Her Royal Spyness. That’s not to say there aren’t moments of humor in the Molly books, but if you prefer your mysteries to be on the realistic side, this series definitely delivers. Personally, I enjoy both, so I will happily continue reading the Royal Spyness books while I catch up on the Molly Murphy series!

TOUR & GUEST POST by Tasha Alexander and Rhys Bowen, with joint review

Challenge eligibility: Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies; PopSugar (book by a female author)

four-stars

About Rhys Bowen

Rhys Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of over thirty mystery novels. Her work includes the Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1900s New York City, and the lighter Royal Spyness novels, featuring a minor royal in 1930s England, as well as the Constable Evenas mysteries about a police constable in contemporary Wales. Rhys’s works have won fourteen awards to date, including multiple Agatha, Anthony, and MacAvity awards. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she has fans from around the world, including the 12,000 who visit her Facebook page daily. She is a transplanted Brit who now divides her time between California and Arizona.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Cruisin' Thru the Cozies 2015
  • PopSugar 2015 Reading challenge
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