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Cover image for The ghost of Christmas past
Format:
Title:
The ghost of Christmas past
ISBN:
9781250125729
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York : Minotaur Books, [2017]
Physical Description:
264 pages ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Summary:
"Semi-retired private detective Molly Murphy Sullivan is suffering from depression after a miscarriage following her adventure in San Francisco during the earthquake of 1906. She and her husband, Daniel, are invited for Christmas at a mansion on the Hudson, and they gratefully accept, expecting a peaceful and relaxing holiday season. Not long after they arrive, however, they start to feel the tension in the house's atmosphere. Then they learn that the host couple's young daughter wandered out into the snow ten years ago and was never seen again. Molly can identify with the mother's pain at never knowing what happened to her child and wants to help, but there is so little to go on. No ransom note. No body ever found. But Molly slowly begins to suspect that the occupants of the house know more than they are letting on. Then, on Christmas Eve, there is a knock at the door and a young girl stands there. 'I'm Charlotte,' she says. 'I've come home'"-- Provided by publisher.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
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MYS BOWEN
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MYSTERY - BOWEN
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Bowen, R.
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FIC (M) BOWEN 2017
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MYSTERY BOWEN
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MYSTERY Bowen, R.
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M BOWEN Rhys
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On Order

Summary

Summary

From Rhys Bowen, the author of In Farleigh Field, comes the next Molly Murphy mystery: The Ghost of Christmas Past.

Semi-retired private detective Molly Murphy Sullivan is suffering from depression after a miscarriage following her adventure in San Francisco during the earthquake of 1906. She and her husband, Daniel, are invited for Christmas at a mansion on the Hudson, and they gratefully accept, expecting a peaceful and relaxing holiday season.

Not long after they arrive, however, they start to feel the tension in the house's atmosphere. Then they learn that the host couple's young daughter wandered out into the snow ten years ago and was never seen again. Molly can identify with the mother's pain at never knowing what happened to her child and wants to help, but there is so little to go on. No ransom note. No body ever found. But Molly slowly begins to suspect that the occupants of the house know more than they are letting on.

Then, on Christmas Eve, there is a knock at the door and a young girl stands there. "I'm Charlotte," she says. "I've come home."


Author Notes

Rhys Bowen was born Janet Quin-Harkin in 1941 in Bath, England. She earned her bachelors degree from the University of London. Soon after graduation she worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation as a studio manager and writer. She then took a job working for a textbook company developing reading texts before writing her own books. Her first picture book - Peter Penny's Dance - was published in 1976 and changed her career to children's book author. The book earned praise and won numerous awards. In 1981 she wrote a teen novel entitled California Girl which became the first installment in Bantam's Sweet Dreams series. This series grew to include novels such as Love Match, Daydreamer, and Ten-Boy Summer. These Sweet Dreams books started a major trend in young adult publishing. they were praised as an encouragement to reading. Janet Quin-Harkin also authored non-series fiction for adolescents such as award winning novel Wanted: Date for Saturday Night and Summer Heat. She also wrote the young adult historical novels Madam Sarah and Fool's Gold. She then moved on to writng mystery novels whcih included her Constable Evans series. Her book Royal Blood made the New York Times Bestseller list.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Depression can't keep an intrepid sleuth from solving crimes.Molly Murphy Sullivan has had a hard year in 1906, barely surviving the big earthquake in San Francisco (Time of Fog and Fire, 2016, etc.), where she was spending time with her husband, a New York City cop on assignment for the U.S. Secret Service. Back in New York with Daniel and their son, Liam, she suffers a miscarriage and finds out that their beloved ward, Bridie, may be forced to return to Ireland. A last-minute invitation to join her mother-in-law at Greenbriars, a grand mansion on the Hudson where Mrs. Sullivan is visiting friends for Christmas, plunges Molly into a mystery that may just cure what ails her. Despite the festive preparations, all is not well at Greenbriars, where Winnie Van Aiken is unhappy with her stern father and her bossy husband, Cedric. Years ago, Winnie's young daughter vanished from their home at Christmastime and was never found. A knock on the door on Christmas Eve reveals a young girl claiming to be the missing Charlotte. Winnie is thrilled, but Cedric, suspecting the girl is an imposter, asks Daniel to investigate. If Molly can't figure out what happened in the past, a Christmas tragedy may strike again.A difficult case that evokes old-time Christmas traditions and a solution that will warm the heart. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Depressed after experiencing the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the devastating fires that followed, and her own miscarriage, Molly Murphy Sullivan is glad to be home to celebrate Christmas with her family and friends. But when her mother-in-law's old friend invites Molly and her family to spend the holidays with them, Molly reluctantly agrees, mainly to please her policeman husband Daniel. The atmosphere at the house is tense and uncomfortable, and Molly soon learns that their hostess Winnie's young daughter, Charlotte, disappeared without a trace one snowy Christmastime 10 years before. As an investigator, Molly feels compelled to try to solve this cold case. However, on Christmas Eve, a 13-year-old girl arrives claiming to be Charlotte. Winnie immediately accepts Charlotte as her daughter, but her husband, Cedric, is wary and asks Molly's husband, Daniel, to verify Charlotte's story. Molly ultimately unravels the truth but not before the entire household is put in serious danger. Well-drawn characters and setting, strong women, and crisp details of life in the early 1900s add to this historical mystery, though the novel is marred by one very large coincidence.--O'Brien, Sue Copyright 2017 Booklist


Library Journal Review

On the heels of her harrowing adventures in San Francisco (Time of Fog and Fire), this latest entry in a long-running series finds private detective Molly Murphy back home in New York but suffering from depression after a miscarriage. An invitation to spend Christmas in a mansion along the Hudson River promises a welcome distraction for Molly and husband Daniel. However, their hosts seem rather tense and at odds with each other. Molly soon learns why: the couple's daughter disappeared shortly before Christmas several years ago and was never found. When a teenage girl claiming to be the missing daughter turns up on the doorstep, they all wonder if it's a Christmas miracle or a hoax. VERDICT For series and historical mystery fans, it's a treat to return to historic New York during the holidays as the indomitable Molly investigates an unusual disappearance. [See Prepub Alert, 5/7/17.] © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.