Books by Rhys Bowen

LOVE AND DEATH AMONG THE CHEETAHS  by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 6, 2019

"Bowen provides more social commentary than usual in this lighthearted series, revealing the careless bigotry and racism of the aristocratic Brits in Kenya, and the tale is all the better for it."
Exotic animals, unbridled sex, and murder provide all the necessaries for a perfect honeymoon. Read full book review >
FOUR FUNERALS AND MAYBE A WEDDING by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 7, 2018

"Another stiff-upper-lip novel full of charm, romance, and a smidgen of mystery that's altogether delightful."
Wedding preparations may be the death of a distant heir to the British throne in this 1930s period piece. Read full book review >
THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A difficult case that evokes old-time Christmas traditions and a solution that will warm the heart."
Depression can't keep an intrepid sleuth from solving crimes. Read full book review >
ON HER MAJESTY'S FRIGHTFULLY SECRET SERVICE by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"Bowen's reliably lighthearted tone has the added fillip of the looming shadow of Nazi terror."
Who knew that being 35th in line for the British crown could be a major impediment to marriage? Read full book review >
TIME OF FOG AND FIRE by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2016

"Mystery takes a back seat to history in Molly's 16th adventure (Away in a Manger, 2015, etc.), in which real-life tragedies jostle with lucky escapes for our heroine."
An amateur sleuth goes the extra mile to aid her police officer husband. Read full book review >
AWAY IN A MANGER by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"Although this heartwarming story of the Christmas spirit doesn't rank with Molly's best cases, it details the deplorable conditions poor children suffered a century ago."
As Christmas 1905 approaches in New York City, the fates of two children hang in the balance. Read full book review >
THE EDGE OF DREAMS by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 3, 2015

" Bowen shrewdly explores the tension between a husband and his very independent wife as they both work to solve a complicated series of murders. One of Molly's best."
Turn-of-the-century New York is plagued by an elusive serial killer. Read full book review >
QUEEN OF HEARTS by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 5, 2014

Being 35th in line for the British throne is no guarantee of a peaceful life for an inveterate amateur sleuth.

Lady Georgiana "Georgie" Rannoch has had much better luck solving mysteries than finding security. Poor as a church mouse, she continues to struggle while her glamorous actress mother, Claire Daniels, roams Europe shedding husbands and lovers. Claire drops into Georgie's life, pressing her to accompany her to Reno for a quickie divorce so she can marry her wealthy German lover. A fast shopping trip for some decent clothes, and Georgie and her remarkably inept maid, Queenie, are on the Berengaria headed for New York. Georgie is thrilled to discover that her mother's unofficial fiance, Darcy O'Mara, an Irish aristocrat with many secretive jobs, is on board trying to capture a jewel thief. Dining at the captain's table, Claire and Georgie, her marriage plans on hold until Darcy can make his fortune, meet fabulously wealthy filmmaker Cy Goldman, fresh from buying more treasures for his California mansion. Also at the table are his mistress, movie star Stella Brightwell; Promila, an Indian princess whose ruby is soon stolen; and the notorious Wallis Simpson, who may also be traveling in search of a divorce. All of them but Mrs. Simpson and Promila end up in Hollywood, where Cy talks Claire into starring in his new movie and even offers the handsome Darcy a job. Suspecting Stella of being the jewel thief, Darcy is especially pleased to accept an invitation that reunites most of the leading characters at Cy's hideous country castle. Georgie finds herself back in the familiar role of sleuth when Cy is murdered and the only suspects are the staff and the guests.

Georgie's charming eighth (Heirs and Graces, 2013, etc.) subordinates its modest mystery to romance, local color and historical tidbits. Read full book review >
CITY OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 4, 2014

"Molly's adventures (The Family Way, 2013, etc.) never disappoint, even when a vacation in Paris embroils her in murder."
Paris in the spring: delightful but for the little matter of murder. Read full book review >
HEIRS AND GRACES by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"Bowen's seventh Royal Spyness mystery (The Twelve Clues of Christmas, 2012, etc.) is loaded with country-house charm and capped by an unexpected denouement."
Grooming an Australian heir to a dukedom turns into a murder investigation for a very minor member of the royal family. Read full book review >
THE FAMILY WAY by Rhys Bowen
Released: March 5, 2013

"Feisty Molly (Hush Now, Don't You Cry, 2012, etc.) unravels another knotty case while providing insight into life just after the turn of that other century."
Neither retirement nor pregnancy can put a good detective out to pasture. Read full book review >
THE TWELVE CLUES OF CHRISTMAS by Rhys Bowen
Released: Nov. 6, 2012

"The sixth in Bowen's delightful Royal Spyness mysteries set in the 1930s (Naughty in Nice, 2011, etc.) gives readers a blueprint for an old-fashioned English Christmas, complete with traditional recipes, games, drinks and homicides."
Being 35th in line for the British throne is no sinecure. Read full book review >
HUSH NOW, DON'T YOU CRY by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 13, 2012

"The latest addition to Molly's case files (Bless the Bride, 2011, etc.) offers a charming combination of history, mystery and romance."
A police captain and his sleuthing spouse investigate a murder while on their honeymoon in early-20th-century Newport. Read full book review >
NAUGHTY IN NICE by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 6, 2011

"Georgie's latest adventure is charming and lighthearted as ever, though the 1930s setting carries ominous hints of the future."
Nice is nice if you're not a murder suspect. Read full book review >
BLESS THE BRIDE by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2011

"The latest of Molly's fin-de-siècle adventures provides insight into the plight of the Chinese community along with a nice romantic mystery."
The preeminent female private eye in 1903 New York prepares to wed. Read full book review >
ROYAL BLOOD by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 7, 2010

"A lighthearted pastiche of pre-World War II mysteries, enjoyable for readers who know not to take the dark doings too seriously."
A member of the British Royal Family travels to Transylvania for a wedding beset by werewolves and murder. Read full book review >
THE LAST ILLUSION by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 2, 2010

"Bubbly, liberated Molly's latest adds interesting historical insights to the usual pleasant mystery-mongering."
Molly Murphy meets Harry Houdini and murder in early-20th-century New York. Read full book review >
ROYAL FLUSH by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 7, 2009

"Fans of Georgette Heyer will enjoy the nice mix of romance and mystery in Georgiana's third adventure (A Royal Pain, 2008, etc.) from the period between the wars."
A penniless aristocrat has a wild adventure in the Highlands of Scotland. Read full book review >
IN A GILDED CAGE by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 17, 2009

"Mystery mavens will spot the killer early, but feisty, independent Molly and the historical New York background give good value."
Molly Murphy takes up the suffragette cause and lands two new cases. Read full book review >
A ROYAL PAIN by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 2008

"A pre-World War II mystery with a touch of romance that adds another winner to Bowen's accomplishments."
A royal relative turns sleuth when murder haunts her household. Read full book review >
TELL ME, PRETTY MAIDEN by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 4, 2008

"Not as satisfying as Molly's last adventure (In Dublin's Fair City, 2007, etc.), but bolstered by sharp historical backgrounds and wacky adventures."
Molly Murphy's detective agency suddenly has too many cases for the independent Irish lass to solve alone. Read full book review >
IN DUBLIN’S FAIR CITY by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 8, 2007

"The feisty Molly rarely disappoints in this rousing yarn seasoned with a dash of Irish history."
"May you die in Ireland" may be more than just a toast. Read full book review >
EVANLY BODIES by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 14, 2006

"The murder plot is derivative, but the wider playing field for the clever, appealing Evans brings both his social and detective skills to the fore."
Constable Evan Evans's promotion to the Plain Clothes Division gives him the chance to investigate a strange series of murders. Read full book review >
OH DANNY BOY by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 16, 2006

"Reliable period thrills for Molly's fans. A bonus is the introduction to historic personage Sabella Goodwin, who really was promoted to police detective in 1910."
Murder, mayhem, disease and death: just another summer season in turn-of-the-century New York. Read full book review >
EVAN BLESSED by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 8, 2005

"Bowen builds tension with every page simply by making Evan and Bronwen (Evans to Betsy, 2001, etc.) so likable and resourceful that you pull for them all the way. "
Detective Constable Evan Evans has no time for prenuptial jitters. He's just finished hauling his fiancée Bronwen's possessions up to their mountain cottage when a young hiker arrives claiming to have misplaced his girlfriend on the slopes of Snowden. Read full book review >
IN LIKE FLYNN by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 17, 2005

"For good measure, Bowen (For the Love of Mike, 2003, etc.) tosses in a typhoid scare, an illegitimacy, the Black Hand, the Orphan Train, enough upstairs/downstairs door-slamming for a French farce and her heroine's love life, overdone as a Victorian valentine."
A turn-of-the-century private investigator puts on her bloomers and goes sleuthing. Read full book review >
FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 8, 2003

"Molly grows ever more engaging against a vibrant background of New York's dark side at the turn of the century."
Pioneering private eye Molly Murphy's third adventure allows both her and her author to take wing amid the seediest settings. Read full book review >
DEATH OF RILEY by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 16, 2002

"Molly is a bit too clever and reckless to be totally convincing, but Bowen's highly detailed picture of New York at the turn of the century is a delight."
A second sabbatical from her Welsh policeman hero Evan Evans (Evans to Betsy, 2001, etc.) takes Bowen back to the summer of 1901 for a second chapter in the life of Molly Murphy (Murphy's Law, 2001). Months after arriving from Ireland to New York, Molly still hasn't found a suitable job until she takes the suggestion of police captain Daniel Sullivan, her friend and, she hopes, more, and becomes companion to cranky old Miss Van Woekem. But when a chance encounter brings to Molly's attention Miss Van Woekem's niece Arabella—and the unhappy news that she's engaged to Daniel—Molly loses no time in quitting the job. Determined to become an investigator, she seeks out private detective Paddy Riley, persuading him to hire her, if only to keep his office clean. It takes only a few short days, however, for her ship to come in. One morning she arrives at the office to find Riley dying and herself sharing space with the killer, who slams her to the floor and makes his escape. All Molly's energies are now devoted to finding the assassin, starting with clues from Riley's correspondence, notebooks, and camera and ending, of course, with timely assistance from Daniel. Read full book review >
EVANS TO BETSY by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 18, 2002

"Too much plot and not enough Evan in this readable but overambitious outing."
Another return to Llanfair and affable Constable Evan Evans (Evan Can Wait, 2001, etc.). The North Wales village has a visitor from the US: Emmy Church, staying in the room at Mrs. Williams's house just vacated by Evan while she does research for her Ph.D. thesis on psychic ability. Emmy's focus appears to be the Sacred Grove, a few miles from Llanfair—a New Age center recently established on the estate inherited by Lady Annabel Bland-Tyghe, newly married to her third husband, well-known American psychic Randy Wunderlich. Lady Annabel's son Michael works there too. Convinced by Emmy that she has psychic powers, Betsy Edwards, barmaid at Llanfair's Red Dragon pub, has joined the domestic staff at Sacred Grove. Evan, meanwhile, is trying to trace Rebecca Reisen, an American girl missing for two months whose parents are in Llanfair seeking help. After Betsy's dream, in which she sees Wunderlich dead in a cave on the grounds of Sacred Grove, proves all too prophetic, a postmortem uncovers a lethal dose of drugs in the victim's body. Evan, following a lead involving yet another missing girl, this one vanished from Oxford, returns to Sacred Grove just in time to prevent further carnage and find the answers to some crucial questions. Read full book review >
MURPHY’S LAW by Rhys Bowen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 2001

"Molly is a charming if pushy heroine who eventually earns Sullivan's appreciation. The plot is perhaps too thick with red herrings, but the portrait of the ocean voyage, Ellis Island, and the early wave of Irish settlers in New York is fascinating."
Taking a sabbatical from her usual protagonist, Constable Evan Evans (Evanly Choirs, 1999, etc.), Bowen introduces a new sleuth in a 19th-century setting. Molly Murphy, living in Ballykillin village in Ireland, has just killed Justin, a son of the gentry, when he tried to rape her. Now she's on the run, planning to board a ship to England. At the dock, she's approached by Kathleen O'Conner, mother of two, hoping to board the Majestic to New York to join her husband Seamus. Unfortunately, the mandatory physical exam has revealed that Kathleen has tuberculosis, and she is forbidden from sailing. So she begs Molly to take her name and bring the children to their father. Naturally, Molly agrees with alacrity, and is soon caught up in the misery of an ocean trip in steerage—to say nothing of the unwelcome attentions of the brutish troublemaker O'Malley, who seems to have known the real Kathleen. After the landing at Ellis Island, O'Malley is found stabbed to death. Police detective Daniel Sullivan questions Molly, little knowing how deeply the murderer's identity is buried in past events and acts of betrayal. Read full book review >
EVAN CAN WAIT by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"Denser and more detailed than Evan's first four adventures, but the action is crisp, the small-town atmosphere and characters as appealing as ever. Though Evan's superiors are as usual unimpressed, his coterie of fans will be pleased—and enlarged."
Back in the North Wales village of Llanfair, where nothing ever changes except for the dropping population count, bachelor constable Evan Evans (Evan and Elle, 2000, etc.) once again meets murder. This time, his higher-ups have directed Evan to make himself available to an English movie team about to produce a documentary based on the raising of a German WWII bomber plane from nearby Llyn Llylaw Lake. Well-known director Howard Blauer heads the team of divers and photographers, along with WWII buff Edward Ferrers and handsome, smarmy producer Grantley Smith. Evan's first foray into the past discloses a surprise that has nothing to do with the war: Ferrers was once married to Bronwen Price, Evan's schoolteacher girlfriend. Sticking more closely to the business at hand, Smith is busy trying to enlarge the movie's scope with war stories from the locals, some of whom worked in the town's slate mine during the war. One of those is the old and ailing Trefor Thomas, once deeply involved with the National Gallery artworks stored for safety deep in the mine through the war years. Smith's inquiries into the past eventually take him too far, and he disappears, his body turning up in a lake deep inside the mine. It takes all of our hero's sleuthing skills and a brush with death to solve his murder. Read full book review >
EVAN AND ELLE by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 1, 2000

"of the mystery's mind-boggling confusion."
Constable Evan Evans of the North Wales Police, a one-man force in tiny Llanfair (Evanly Choirs, 1999, etc.), is intrigued Read full book review >
EVANLY CHOIRS by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 4, 1999

In the tiny Welsh village of Llanfair, the Reverend Edward Powell-Jones and his wife have decided to rent their home for the summer, for a huge fee, to famed opera star Ifor Llewellyn and his wife Margaret. The great man's doctor has advised rest. Mrs. Powell-Jones will move in with her mother to help her recover from hip surgery, and the Reverend will room and board with Mrs. Williams, landlady also to Constable Evan Evans. (Evan Help Us, 1998, etc.). Ifor's first trip to the Red Dragon reacquaints him with onetime fellow student Mostyn Philips, head of the local choir and soon to compete in the annual eisteddfod, a music festival in nearby Harlech. Mostyn gets up his nerve to ask Ifor to sing with the choir—a request that Ifor graciously agrees to. Meanwhile, his behavior in Llanfair is frowned on by Gladys, the Powell-Jones maid: there are screaming fights with his wife, too-frequent trips to the Red Dragon, and too many flirtations in Llanfair and elsewhere. None of this is preparation, though, for the day Margaret finds Ifor's dead body on the living room floor, glass in hand. Evans, working with Sergeant Watkins at headquarters in Caernarfon, turns up an overload of suspects: Margaret, thinking of divorce (and of her boyfriend), for one, and Ifor's son Justin and daughter Jasmine, among others. Then there's the matter of the housemaid Gladys, who's killed in a hit-and-run accident. Evans has his own scenario and, no matter how outlandish, it works. The author's cozily intimate style, unusual setting, and modest, down-home hero, back for a third outing, make for satisfying entertainment. Read full book review >
EVAN HELP US by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 14, 1998

The Welsh village of Llanfair is abuzz with gossip about recent events. There's the ancient ruin found by Colonel Arbuthnot, an impoverished 88-year-old who has visited from London every summer since the death of his Welsh wife. Then there's the town meeting at which native son Ted Morgan, reportedly a London tycoon but unseen in Llanfair for the last 20 years, expounds on his plans for turning the old slate mine into a Disney-esque theme park—a plan that enrages local butcher Evans-the-Meat. Even the arrival of Annie Pigeon and her small daughter Jenny causes talk, especially when Annie seems bent on attracting the unmarried, gentle Constable Evan Evans. More serious stuff ahead for Evan, though: mainly the discovery of the Colonel's body (drowned, with a nasty head wound) and, soon after, the shooting death of Ted Morgan—with Evans-the-Meat, over Evan's objections, arrested for the killing. Not until Evan and his division's Sergeant Watkins pay a visit to London does a trail emerge. It leads back to Wales and a neat if overcontrived denouement. A second outing (Evans Above, not reviewed) for the pseudonymous Bowen (—author of nearly one hundred books for children and young adults—). Her Evan Evans is a worthy entry in the warm tradition of M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth and others. An easy-to-take mix of literate style, charming hero, and quiet mayhem. Read full book review >
EVANS ABOVE by Rhys Bowen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 11, 1997

A pleasingly unpretentious debut that introduces Constable Evan Evans, newly arrived in Llanfair, a village at the foot of Mount Snowden in North Wales. Evans, in police training in the busy city of Swansea, opted for the quiet life after his father, also a policeman, was killed in the line of duty. That quiet life becomes illusory, however, when the bodies of two strangers, Thomas Hatcher and Stewart Potts, are found on the mountain, seemingly killed in separate accidents. A recovered postcard indicates that they'd come to the mountain in memory of their Army buddy Danny Bartholomew, who died there during Army traianing six years before. Evans isn't convinced the deaths were accidental and, working on his own, finds bits and pieces of inconclusive evidence. But his murder scenario gains strength when a young climber is found, his throat slashed, in a mountain cave. A not-too-polite struggle between lusty barmaid Betsy and schoolteacher Bronwen for Evans's attention, and sporadic calls from preacher's wife Mrs. Powell-Jones about her vanished apple pie and damaged garden plants, give Evans some lighter moments. Then comes yet another hike up the mountain and a confrontation that finally links the past to the violent events of the present. The plotting is far from airtight, but the writing is tidy and straightforward. Llanfair, with its challenging mountain and well drawn locals, is appealing, as is Constable Evans, a kind of Welsh version of M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth. Read full book review >