Molly and Daniel Sullivan are settling happily into the new routines of parenthood, but their domestic bliss is shattered the night a gang retaliates against Daniel for making a big arrest. Daniel wants his family safely out of New York City as soon as possible. In shock and grieving, but knowing she needs to protect their infant son, Liam, Molly agrees to take him on the long journey to Paris to stay with her friends Sid and Gus, who are studying art in the City of Light.
But upon arriving in Paris, nothing goes as planned. Sid and Gus seem to have vanished into thin air, and Molly's search to figure out what happened to them will lead her through all levels of Parisian society, from extravagant salons to the dingy cafés where starving artists linger over coffee and loud philosophical debates. And when in the course of her search she stumbles across a dead body, Molly, on her own in a foreign country, starts to wonder if she and Liam might be in even more danger in Paris than they had been at home.
As Impressionism gives way to Fauvism and Cubism, and the Dreyfus affair rocks France, Molly races through Paris to outsmart a killer in City of Darkness and Light, Rhys Bowen's most spectacular Molly Murphy novel yet.
©2014 Rhys Bowen (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
"Nicola Barber's clear, light voice and facility with accents, especially Irish and French, are well displayed in this latest chapter in the Molly Murphy mysteries, set in the early 1900s." (AudioFile)
I guess because I loved the "Royal Spyness" series, and thought this would be just as good.
That would be wrong.
Okay, so in 1905 NYC policeman Daniel sends Irish wife Molly off to Paris for her safety -- some gang warfare in NY he's trying to protect her from - together with baby Liam, which stretches credulity, right there. A woman and baby traveling alone to Paris is safer than remaining somewhere in the States?
But Molly arrives -- after both Molly and Liam suffer serious bouts of food poisoning and/or sea sickness, and have to wait several days after leaving the ship before traveling on to Paris. But alas, when Molly finally does arrive, the artist friends she was planning on staying with are missing. Gone from their apartment with no indication of where they went. Or why.
So this gives Molly the opportunity to engage in the activity that makes up maybe 60% of the book: she stashes Liam with the baker's wife, who just happens to double as a wet-nurse, then spends her time running around the city, seeking out other artists, presumably to ask if they knew her friends, and if so, where might they be.
For the reader who loves French painting and/or painters, maybe this is a treat, getting to listen in, so to speak, on fictional conversations -- make that rants -- from these various artists. I found it supremely boring. I am no Frankophile, but the unrelieved depiction of these artists as wild men, ranting and raving, every one of them with nothing to say other than to run down the artistic talents of other artists, to be more than a little overtly hostile. Together with the nasty and scheming French landlady, one gets the impression -- right or wrong, I have no idea -- that France has to be anger capitol of the world. Author Bowen doesn't miss a beat in making France unappealing -- all of one's anti-French prejudices are catered to, missing only the description of the stink that must have emanated from the cumulative armpits of these starving artists as they waved their arms around, describing in repetitive detail why no one else other than they deserved to be called "artist."
In fact, in artist Mary Cassatt's walk-on appearance, Bowen allows her to sum it all up. Cassatt, invited to a social event, declines to attend, saying, "I find these young artists to be supremely tedious."
Got it in one, Sister. "Tedious". That's it. This whole book is tedious. I quit listening two hours from the end, with a firm resolution to stick to the rather excellent -- and funny -- exploits of Lady Georgie instead. 'Feh' on Molly Murphy and her friends -- never again.
I'm Robert's wife, a retired physician and homeschool mom whose grown kids now love history, literature, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction
The saga continues successfully. I was afraid that the story would get dull once certain domestic milestones were reached but this one was going strong!! Loved it. Made me decide that I want to go back an listen to the whole series again.
I've read all the Molly Murphy books in print so this was my first audio of the series. I thought the narration was fine, though the story was mainly a lot of name-dropping and cameos by famous artists. I happen to enjoy reading anything that takes place in Paris, so that didn't bother me, but some things were pretty far-fetched. For instance, learning French as a schoolgirl some years before does not mean one can carry on complex conversations with natives. I'm sure I'll keep reading the series, but in print where it's faster and I can skim over the background material. But if you've been following the whole series on audio, you probably will like this. Daniel isn't around to get in the way for once.
I feel this has been the best story in the series so far. I would like to see more interaction between Daniel and Molly in at least one of the stories however. Hopefully one is coming.
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My 2015 reading list is starting off very Paris-heavy!!! First a biographical novel about Marie Antoinette, then a book about Baron Haussmann and the renovation of Paris, and now a Parisian vacation with Molly Murphy... I think my sub conscience is trying to tell me something.
This latest instalment in the continuing adventures of Molly Murphy wasn’t bad, not my favourite but still an enjoyable story with an extra excellent setting this time!
I am glad Daniel did not play a huge role in this book, I am really getting sick of him.
I enjoy these novels, although they are predictable still, nice for the commute! I hope she will write something new soon!
No. The narrator is very poor. Very girlish and fake Irish accident. She does not sound like the feisty character she is in the books. Also to be honest too much crying and screaming and worrying about the child to be interesting. This will probably be the last of this series I will read. It was much better when she wasn't married.
Very girlish. All the women sounded like they were 12 years old. No one sounded confident or like an adult. Bad accents
Nope. There are other books in the series that would make much better movies than this one.
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