THE FAMILY WAY
In Bowen’s highly entertaining mystery, Molly finds life as a pregnant idle housewife rather boring. Her curiosity leads her from the hustle and bustle of turn- of-the century New York to the serene countryside, where she pieces together a complicated mystery set against a rich historical backdrop.
Molly Sullivan, née Murphy, finds the summer heat and idleness of pregnancy maddening. When she receives a letter addressed to her former detective agency requesting her help in locating a missing Irish maid, Molly jumps at the chance to help find her. Her husband fears she is taking on too much and asks her to rest at his mother’s place in the country. While attending a tea there, she overhears the name of the household where the young Irish maid last worked. After visiting, Molly realizes that something does not add up with the maid’s disappearance, and the answers may be found at a local convent that houses pregnant single mothers. Pretending to be an unwed mother-to-be, Molly gains access, only to discover something very sinister is going on, and her life and her unborn child might be in danger. (MINOTAUR, Mar., 320 pp., $24.99)