Sunday, April 15, 2007

In Dublin's Fair City

I have a special affection for the song from the title today. It comes from the traditional Irish song Cockles and Mussels about Molly Malone, which is Molly's full name. Last night the Gambler's game was a blast. The turnout was just over 3000 people, but it was fan appreciation night, and they really went all out to make the crowd feel valued and a part of the game. Jess and I came home with coupons for free food at Taco Bell and Hardees. Autographed hats, T-shirts, and towels were thrown to the crowd. I am completely impressed by the ability of athletes; their skill and capability is so far removed from anything I could accomplish. Put me on ice skates and you have an opportunity to win some money on America's Funniest Home Videos. These guys do it while wearing pads and carrying sticks, and while watching the puck and their opponents and being ready to receive the puck at any time while trying to avoid other players who will beat you up if you get it. All while on ice skates! This is not a sport I would encourage my children to take part in. The Gamblers won 3-1, but in the last three seconds a fight broke out among several players that resulted in a Gambler going to the locker room with blood running down his face. The opposing team, the Chicago Steel, were such poor sports, they left the ice and refused to shake the Gamblers' hands. As a mom, if a player took a swing at my son, I would be flying over the plastic guard ready to tear them to bits with my hands. Molly's having some trouble with a girl at school right now, and I have to restrain the Mother Bear in me. As tough as it is, she has to handle this on her own.

In Dublin's Fair City by Rhys Bowen is the most recent book in the Molly Murphy mystery series. As often happens within a long-running series, Bowen removes Molly from her familiar environs to create new crises and advance character development. This works very well with Molly Murphy who returns home to Ireland to investigate a long-lost sister of a wealthy Irish-American theater producer. Molly needs the opportunity to get out of New York for awhile and reevaluate her feelings for her off-and-on paramour Daniel Sullivan. So she jumps at the opportunity to return to her homeland, and instead finds herself in the middle of a missing actress, a murdered maid, and the Irish movement for independence. Bowen juggles the multiple stories remarkably well and manages to ties them all together in an almost completely believable way. I love Molly's foibles and her refusal to be treated as second class. She realizes that she's not much of a detective but never gives up. She's one of the most realistic, truly human characters in cozy mysteries today. This was a fantastic read, one of those books that's hard to put down, but when I was done and preparing the review a few holes in the plausibility started showing. So it's one of those books to read and enjoy, and don't spend a lot of time thinking about later. But don't miss it, Molly Murphy (and Rhys Bowen) are truly a joy to read.

Check this out from Bantam House. They are offering Booked for Breakfast; give them your e-mail, and they will send you a five minute reading of mystery fiction in your inbox everyday. You can read samples from authors you love and new authors to fall in love with. HT to Laurie R. King for the heads up. Oh! And check out Blogging Chicks carnival today!

Mia came back from Mom's today smelling like the outdoors and looking like she had grown two inches and gained five pounds. She was asleep within an hour after she got home. There's nothing like a weekend at Grandma's.