I read the 31st book for the book challenge. It was the Molly Murphy novella/mystery The Face In The Mirror by Rhys Bowen.
Molly Murphy Sullivan is married to Daniel Sullivan and is a little bored and restless. She misses her old life as a private investigator. Her friends Sid and Gus invite her to attend their suffragette meeting at their house and she accepts, but tells her husband that it is a literary meeting. He would not want her attending a suffragette meeting. There she meeting a woman, Mrs. Clements, who seems a bit nervous and distracted.
The next day, Mrs. Clements arrives at Molly’s house. She has heard that Molly was a private investigator and she is having some disturbing things happening to her and she needs Molly’s help. She is seeing a face in her dressing table mirror, seeing the curtains move, and tasting strange tastes in her food. She fears she is going mad or someone is trying to make her think she is going mad. Can Molly investigate? She lives with her husband and her cousin who has recently arrived from Ireland. Molly says that she will go to her house and spend time with her and investigate.
Molly goes to Mrs. Clements’ house. They take tea and Mrs. Clements says her tea tastes bitter and throws it into the fire. She sees the curtains move, and sees a face in the dressing table mirror. Molly doesn’t see anything, but she believes that Mrs. Clements has seen something. Daniel doesn’t mind Molly going to the Clements’ home because he thinks she is making good friends with reputable people. Molly goes back to have dinner with them and Mrs. Clement says that her wine tastes bitter. Molly takes her wine glass to have it tested.
Molly decides to follow the husband and to find out more about him. She discovers that he likes vaudeville and the burlesque. He is fond of one particular girl but he hasn’t been seen lately and neither has she. Molly is suspicious, particularly when she learns that the girl was a magician’s assistant and that she has red hair, just like Mrs. Clements young cousin. She figures out that Mr. Clements and the young woman are lovers and that the young woman has been using magic tricks to fool Mrs. Clement into seeing the face in the mirror and to move the curtains and to taste bitterness. Molly exposes their scheme and and Mrs. Clement thanks Molly.
Molly returns home but doesn’t feel well. She discovers that she is pregnant. She and Daniel and very happy to be expecting their first child.
This was a quick and easy novella to read. It was a relatively easy case for Molly to solve once she suspected the husband and found out about the woman being a magician’s assistant. She put two and two together and voila.