Looking at a novel from a genre level

March 31st, 2011 Posted in 52 Books in one year challenge, Fiction, Kelly, Mystery

At first, I wasn’t going to blog about In Dublin’s Fair City. Not because it’s a bad book—it’s a solid cozy, I enjoyed it, and it was the perfect book to relax with after surgery—but I don’t blog about every book I read. But then I realized this novel complements Kim’s genre post.

In Dublin’s Fair City is the sixth Molly Murphy Mystery. The series is primarily set in New York City, although this novel also takes place in Ireland. The novel references events from earlier books which can be confusing if you haven’t read other books in the series, or don’t remember the details.

From a genre level, this novel checks two major boxes: historical fiction and mystery. It’s shelved with mysteries, which makes sense. The author, Rhys Bowen, is both an Anthony and Agatha award-winning author. I’d also guess this novel would appeal to mystery fans first and historical fiction fans second.

Does this novel succeed in both genres? I’d say yes. The mystery is solid; can Molly find the missing sister of her client? (Note: Molly is a PI.) Who killed Rose, the servant of a famous actress, and also—sort of—Molly’s client? Like the earlier books, a series of coincidences helps Molly solve the mysteries, although Molly is no slouch intellectually.

Does the historical aspects ring true, and does it add to the story? Yes, and yes. I’m not sure how realistic an early-1900 female private investigator is, but I’m willing to buy it. Seeing aspects of an English-occupied Ireland adds interesting flavor to the book.

To quote my comment about cozies in the genre post, this is the sort of novel I’d give to my mom. But I won’t give this particular book to my mother—I’m sure she’s already read it.

Title: In Dublin’s Fair City
Author: Rhys Bowen
Read: March 2011
Source: Public Library

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