George V. Reilly

Review: In Dublin's Fair City

In Dublin's Fair City
Title: In Dublin’s Fair City
Author: Rhys Bowen
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: St. Martin’s Minotaur
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 282
Keywords: mystery, historical
Reading period: 15–18 June, 2008

Molly Murphy, an early twentieth-century private detective, returns from New York to her native Ireland, in order to track down her client’s long-lost sister. Along the way, she encounters a dead body in her cabin, rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies in Dublin, and (briefly) James Joyce.

Molly is engaging and quick-witted, with a contrarian streak that gets her into trouble. Bowen evokes the early 20th century from bustling New York to the social strat­i­fi­ca­tions of a liner, to British-occupied Dublin.

The book is marred by some elementary ge­o­graph­i­cal errors: the River Liffey, not Liffy; Dublin is on the Irish Sea; the North Sea is on Britain’s eastern coast.

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