I have finished the 81st book for the book challenge. It was Bless The Bride (Molly Murphy Mysteries) by Rhys Bowen.
Molly Murphy is preparing for her upcoming wedding to police captain Daniel Sullivan. She is staying in Westchester with her mother-in-law to be and sewing her wedding clothes and not doing a very good job of it. Her friends Sid and Gus have sent word that they would like to give her a party before the wedding and need her help in planning in, so Molly goes back to the city to help with the preparations. She decides to check her post office box for jobs before she closes it down and finds a job waiting for her. It is from a Mr. Frederick Lee in Chinatown who asks her to contact him.
Molly goes to Chinatown and finds Mr. Lee. It seems that he is the secretary to Lee Sing Tai, a powerful man in Chinatown. He is the man who wants to hire her. He wants her to find a missing jade pendant. Molly sets out to find this jewelry in all the pawn shops around town with no success. She goes back to Lee Sing Tai and tells him that she has not been successful. He tells her that he is really looking for a person, his bride. He shows her a picture of his bride, Bo Kei. She has run away. He wants Molly to find her. Molly is not so sure about this new quest.
Molly meets an Irish woman, Aileen Chiu, who is married to a Chinese man in Chinatown. She tells her information about Chinatown and the missions where a young woman might go. Molly finds the young woman Bo Kei in a Catholic church in Chinatown. She does not want to go back to Lee Sing Tai. He is a cruel man. She would not be his wife, only a concubine. She has fallen in love with Frederick Lee on the trip from San Francisco. She is also frightened of Lee’s paper son Bobby Lee. Molly makes arrangements to hide Bo Kei at one of the missions. Then Lee Sing Tai is found murdered. He has been thrown off the roof of his home in Chinatown.
Sid and Gus plan Molly’s party. It will be a costume party with paper lanterns and lots of good food. Molly finds that she cannot keep Bo Kei at the mission and asks Sid and Gus if they can hide Bo Kei at their home for a few days. They agree. She will be there during the party. Daniel is helping to investigate the Chinatown murder. Captain Kear is investigating it but he is taking bribes from Bobby Lee, and Daniel is also investigating this. Sarah, a friend of Sid and Gus, runs the mission where Bo Kei was hidden. Bo Kei’s cousin Annie is also hidden there. She too ran away from Lee Sing Tai. But she has been in a brothel and now has consumption.
Molly goes back to Lee Sing Tai’s roof top to investigate. She sees small Chinese woman’s footprints and large hobnail boot prints. She figures out that Annie has been on the roof top. But she hasn’t figured out who the boot prints belong to. Molly receives word that Frederick Lee has been arrested for the murder of Lee Sing Tai. But she knows that Frederick’s fingerprints are not on the statue that bashed in his head. Eventually Frederick is freed. Molly receives word that Annie has died. But when she goes to the mission, she realizes that Annie has been killed. She suspects Monty, Sarah’s fiancé. She has seen him coming from the opium dens. She also suspects him of killing Lee Sing Tai.
Molly confronts Monty in Lee Sing Tai’s house. He overpowers her and brings her to an opium den where he drugs her. She manages to escape and goes to Aileen’s house where she sends for Daniel and has him try to stop Monty who has gone to Canada. Monty dies of a drug overdose in Canada. Bo Kei and Frederick go to Canada to begin a new life.
Molly and Daniel finally are married in a grand wedding ceremony in Westchester. The reception is held at Mrs. Sullivan’s home. Sid and Gus are bridesmaids and little Bridie is the flower girl. But Molly’s days of being a private investigator are far from over.