Time of Fog and Fire

Private investigator Molly Murphy Sullivan has come a long way--from Ireland to New York to Paris--since she was introduced in Rhys Bowen's 2001 Murphy's Law. In Time of Fog and Fire, the 16th title in the series, Molly, her husband and their toddler, Liam, travel to San Francisco--just in time for the 1906 earthquake.

Readers meeting Molly will quickly catch up with her past, as Bowen weaves in details from earlier exploits. By 1905, she's officially a former PI, married to NYPD Captain Daniel Sullivan, and a full-time mother. Her instinct for investigation is aroused, however, when John Wilkie of the Secret Service visits their New York home and Molly is excluded from the conversation with Daniel.

Daniel has been asked to accept a special assignment, and although he respects Molly and her skills, he's sworn to secrecy. When Molly receives a cryptic letter revealing Daniel is in San Francisco and suggesting he needs her help, she packs, finagles tickets west, and sets off for the City by the Bay. But when she arrives, she discovers that there is far more trouble afoot than she could have imagined. And where is Daniel? Naturally, Molly goes into sleuth mode, but her quest is complicated by evasive police, corrupt city officials, a mysterious hostess--and the city's preoccupation with Enrico Caruso's visit.

Then the earthquake and fire hit. Bowen's historic details of the tragedy ring true, and Molly perseveres as the survivor her fans expect. Plot twists and surprise developments lead to unmistakable foreshadowing of more to come from the irrepressible Molly Murphy Sullivan. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco

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