The preeminent female private eye in 1903 New York prepares to wed.
Now that Molly Murphy is about to marry NYPD Captain Daniel Sullivan, she’s vowed to retire from detective work (The Last Illusion, 2010, etc.). But the time she’s spent in the country with Daniel’s carping mother drives her back to the city for one more case. It seems simple: Wealthy Chinese businessman Lee Sing Jai hires Molly to search for a jade necklace missing from his home. Molly scours the pawnshops near Chinatown to no avail until Lee admits that he’s really searching for a runaway bride. Molly thinks that the young woman may be seeking shelter at a mission. She’s right, but when she finds Bo Kei, a much more dangerous situation arises. Bo, who’s been sold by her family to Lee, is in love with his young assistant, who helped smuggle her in from Canada. The wealthy suffragette neighbors with whom Molly is staying while Daniel is updating her house agree to hide Bo. The stakes are raised, however, when Lee is murdered and Daniel discovers that Molly is involved. Molly is forced to acknowledge how important her work is to her. Can Daniel live with such an unusual bride?
The latest of Molly’s fin-de-siècle adventures provides insight into the plight of the Chinese community along with a nice romantic mystery.