Bowen's latest Molly Murphy mystery transports readers to early 20th-century New York City, where private investigator Molly again meets with her ex-beau, police captain Daniel Sullivan, who hires her to investigate, and hopefully expose, fraudulent spiritualists.

She is to pose as one of the many Irish cousins of Senator Barney Flynn and observe and investigate the Sorensen sisters, purported spiritualists who are helping Barney's wife communicate with her dead child, Brendan. A mere toddler when he was kidnapped five years prior, Brendan disappeared without a trace. It's the mystery behind his abduction that eventually consumes Molly when her quest for information seems fraught with danger.

Bowen brings alive this era of New York, complete with Tammany Hall political corruption and the evolution of the women's movement. The mystery is compelling, intriguing and includes a large cast of suspects, and there's also a healthy dose of romance. Though Daniel is engaged to a society miss, Molly finds herself drawn to the enigmatic cop. This series just keeps getting better. (Mar., 336 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick