Lively and colorful, full of absorbing historical detail and delightful characters, Tell Me, Pretty Maiden is another gem in Rhys Bowen's multiple award-winning series.
It's wintertime in New York, and for the first time since Irish immigrant Molly Murphy started her early-twentieth-century detective agency, she is completely snowed in with work. While she's proving to be quite the entrepreneur and is very much in demand by some of Broadway's brightest stars and Fifth Avenue's richest families, she has to grudgingly admit that if she's going to work more than one case at a time, then she's going to need some help.
Molly's beau, the recently and wrongly suspended police captain Daniel Sullivan, would make an ideal associate, but before they can agree on the terms of his employment, they stumble upon a young woman lying unconscious in the middle of a snow-covered Central Park.
When the woman wakes up she is disorientated and has and lost her ability to speak, the authorities are about to pack her off to an insane asylum when Molly can't help but step in and take on yet another case.
Several cases keep Molly Murphy busy in Agatha-winner Bowen's winning seventh mystery to star the Irish immigrant PI (after 2007's In Dublin's Fair City). In December 1902, Molly and her beau, suspended New York City police captain Daniel Sullivan, stumble on a near-dead young woman in a Central Park snowdrift. Her passions roused, Molly sets out to discover the identity of the poor traumatized creature and that of whoever cast her into the snow "clad only in a flimsy white dress." Meanwhile, leading actress Blanche Lovejoy hires Molly to look into the ghostly shenanigans that threaten disaster for Blanche's soon-to-open new play. Molly also agrees to help a wealthy society matron who wishes to know if her missing Yale student nephew has vanished because of the murder he's suspected of committing. Theatrical life becomes the hinge on which everything swings, and Molly gamely takes to the stage as part of her assignment. It's all in a day's work for this delightfully spunky heroine.