The Ghost of Christmas Past

Rhys Bowen. Minotaur, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-12572-9
A moving opening compensates only in part for the uninspired plot of Agatha-winner Bowen’s 17th Molly Murphy mystery. In 2016’s Time of Fog and Fire, Molly miscarried while she was in San Francisco to save her husband, NYPD Capt. Daniel Sullivan, and she can now only view the world “through a black veil.” In December 1906, Molly, Daniel, and their two-year-old son, Liam, leave New York City for Westchester County to spend Christmas with Daniel’s mother, who’s recovering from a serious case of pneumonia. When she’s invited to Greenbriars, an old friend’s house on the Hudson, they join her there. At Greenbriars, Molly gets engrossed in a decade-old unsolved mystery: the disappearance of the then three-year-old Charlotte Van Aiken, the daughter of the house’s owner. The revelation of Charlotte’s fate relies on an extremely unlikely coincidence that diminishes the emotional aspects of the lingering wound her vanishing caused to her family; even series fans may find it a contrivance too far. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2017
Release date: 11/14/2017
Genre: Fiction
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-4342-7
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