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The Amersham Rubies

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Molly Murphy, residing in a humble cottage, is hired by Lady Hartly to help at a party. When heirloom rubies vanish from Lady Amersham’s neck, Molly relies on her wits to solve her first case. A short story prequel to mystery series.


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Molly Murphy, residing in a humble cottage, is hired by Lady Hartly to help at a party. When heirloom rubies vanish from Lady Amersham’s neck, Molly relies on her wits to solve her first case. A short story prequel to mystery series.

30 review for The Amersham Rubies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

    3.5★ While on holiday I couldn't settle to anything "heavy" so I thought it was time I tried out something by Rhys Bowen. & for a kindle freebie it was quite good. Bowen managed to give Molly some good character development (no doubt helped by this prequel being written after some of the Molly Murphy books) & I enjoyed Bowen's writing style. It is just that the (weak) ending was on you before you knew it, leaving me with a slightly unsatisfied feeling. But it was just good enough that I will try m 3.5★ While on holiday I couldn't settle to anything "heavy" so I thought it was time I tried out something by Rhys Bowen. & for a kindle freebie it was quite good. Bowen managed to give Molly some good character development (no doubt helped by this prequel being written after some of the Molly Murphy books) & I enjoyed Bowen's writing style. It is just that the (weak) ending was on you before you knew it, leaving me with a slightly unsatisfied feeling. But it was just good enough that I will try more of Bowen's work!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gary Sundell

    A nice little short story preceeding the Molly Murphy novels set in Ireland before Molly heads to the US.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    The problem with this "prequel" is not that it is short (although it's much shorter than anticipated,) but that it is stupid. The young, poor, put-upon heroine figures out a deep and complicated mystery, from a mark, a bruise (that shouldn't be showing yet,) and a passing sentence. It was just a little too Encyclopedia Brown. Not only that, but on the sheer strength of her character (as a poor working class servant,) threatens and shames the wealthy upper class into admitting their crimes. WOULD The problem with this "prequel" is not that it is short (although it's much shorter than anticipated,) but that it is stupid. The young, poor, put-upon heroine figures out a deep and complicated mystery, from a mark, a bruise (that shouldn't be showing yet,) and a passing sentence. It was just a little too Encyclopedia Brown. Not only that, but on the sheer strength of her character (as a poor working class servant,) threatens and shames the wealthy upper class into admitting their crimes. WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. The other problem with this so-called prequel is that 65% of the Kindle book is taken up with a tease for another book. IMO, that's a blatant bait and switch, especially since there's no mention of the teaser. I know that authors of series often put out little short stories and scenes, like easter eggs, for regular readers of the series novels. I like them. But at least make some attempt to make the stories coherent and complete within the short story format. The story itself should be the hook, not the extended surprise teaser. The story should be smart enough, or funny enough, or scary enough... according to the genre, to make me want to seek out those characters. Instead, in this short, we have a young, female character with entitlement issues, who figures out a mystery with a few glances, from facts not in evidence to the reader, and totally wins the "make the rich men confess" game. Yeah, that makes me want more. *rolls eyes so hard they pop out*

  4. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

    3,25 stars English Ebook 🍀🦋🌹 “from the big house,” Liam my brother said. “From the mistress herself.” His short story is the opening of the Molly Murphy mysteries. It plays in 19th century County Mayo, Ierland. Molly is ask to assist dressing Lady’s for a ball and because she uses her brains solves a mysterie of the missing Ruby’s. Enjoyed this first book of the series. Would like to read the next book soon. 🌹🦋🍀

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Just a sad excuse for a short teaser story and an introduction to the Molly Murphy series. The young girl makes these ridiculous jumps to conclusions that the reader can't even begin to understand due to the lack of evidence. How the character made her assumptions, that she believed to be right and to solve the "mystery" is not made very clear. And given the mediocre writing, I'm not sure had it been much longer of a story that the writer could have accomplished showing how the character made he Just a sad excuse for a short teaser story and an introduction to the Molly Murphy series. The young girl makes these ridiculous jumps to conclusions that the reader can't even begin to understand due to the lack of evidence. How the character made her assumptions, that she believed to be right and to solve the "mystery" is not made very clear. And given the mediocre writing, I'm not sure had it been much longer of a story that the writer could have accomplished showing how the character made her leaps in the first place. Although there was a teaser chapter included with the free download, I didn't bother. This was supposed to be set in the late 19th century but it does not read as such whether in the way the characters speak, nor in the attitude of the characters. It appears that aside from a pretty cover this story did little to encourage further reading. Thank goodness it was a freebie for the kindle!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nola Arganbright

    Molly's first mystery A very short prequel to the Molly Murphy mystery series. A quick but good story which introduces the reader to the outstanding series. Molly's first mystery A very short prequel to the Molly Murphy mystery series. A quick but good story which introduces the reader to the outstanding series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    The Amersham Rubies is a (very) short story prequel to the Molly Murphy series that gives readers just the tiniest glimpse into Molly's life prior to hopping on a ship and crossing the Atlantic. Aside from it being "okay," there isn't really much else to say about it, since it was over before I even got into the story. A flash of action, the crime occurs and then Molly's figured it out and unmasked the criminal - all before readers have even been given the clues. Since we were given none of the d The Amersham Rubies is a (very) short story prequel to the Molly Murphy series that gives readers just the tiniest glimpse into Molly's life prior to hopping on a ship and crossing the Atlantic. Aside from it being "okay," there isn't really much else to say about it, since it was over before I even got into the story. A flash of action, the crime occurs and then Molly's figured it out and unmasked the criminal - all before readers have even been given the clues. Since we were given none of the details, none of Molly's "explanations" made much sense and it ended up being more of a showcase of Molly's intelligence than a truly satisfying mystery. I also question one loose end: (view spoiler)[Molly overhears a snippet of conversation between Justin Hartley and the criminal which implies that Justin might be aware of what's going on, but Molly doesn't seem to make any mental note of the overheard conversation and it's never mentioned again. (hide spoiler)] What gives? And let's not even talk about how unrealistic it was that she could (view spoiler)[so easily convince the criminal to right the situation... by threatening him with having the matter exposed to other aristocrats. AS IF ANYONE WILL BELIEVE HER (hide spoiler)] . Molly's brief return to the Hartley's house and struggle with the realization that she's more of a servant than a friend of the family (as she'd happily believed) was intriguing, but that only served as lead-up and is put aside once the "mystery" begins, which is a shame. This short story is probably best for long-time Molly enthusiasts eager to snap up more Molly stories, rather than as an introduction for new readers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    Enjoyable short mystery story. This is a prequel to the Molly Murphy series and would probably be more fun for someone who is already familiar with the series. But it did leave me wanting to read more...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Good short anecdote about Molly before New York. However, it was much too short and it felt anticlimactic.

  10. 5 out of 5

    graveyardgremlin

    I honestly don't understand the need for this prequel "story." It doesn't add to the character or series, it's over in a flash as it only takes about five minutes to read, and is rather ridiculous. Plus, there's a character who apparently doesn't remember Molly at all when they meet in the fourth book, In Like Flynn, which was odd. While it was short (and free), The Amersham Rubies was just unnecessary and pointless. I honestly don't understand the need for this prequel "story." It doesn't add to the character or series, it's over in a flash as it only takes about five minutes to read, and is rather ridiculous. Plus, there's a character who apparently doesn't remember Molly at all when they meet in the fourth book, In Like Flynn, which was odd. While it was short (and free), The Amersham Rubies was just unnecessary and pointless.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wow. If I had read this short story prior to reading the first book I would never have started the series. Molly tells the blackmailer he has to give the money back or she'll tell the women's husband? Molly doesn't really understand the whole concept of blackmail, which makes me think she is not as smart as she thinks she is. She also comes across as too self righteous. Wow. If I had read this short story prior to reading the first book I would never have started the series. Molly tells the blackmailer he has to give the money back or she'll tell the women's husband? Molly doesn't really understand the whole concept of blackmail, which makes me think she is not as smart as she thinks she is. She also comes across as too self righteous.

  12. 4 out of 5

    SheLove2Read

    I would have rated this higher but at 14 pages there is not enough room for me to decide how good it actually is. I liked the young heroine and I think this series has potential but I'll need to read more to decide. Nook ebook I would have rated this higher but at 14 pages there is not enough room for me to decide how good it actually is. I liked the young heroine and I think this series has potential but I'll need to read more to decide. Nook ebook

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    An nice little prologue to the Molly Murphy mysteries. Not really enough to judge but I liked it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This really didn't add anything worthwhile to the Molly Murphy series. It was too short to advance the story. This really didn't add anything worthwhile to the Molly Murphy series. It was too short to advance the story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maxine

    The Amersham Rubies is a short story prequel to Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy series. Set in Ireland at the end of the 19th c.. Molly is asked to help the guests at a party put on by the local lord. A ruby necklace is stolen and Molly is determined to find who is responsible. This is a very short story and is a fine example of why I am not a big fan of short stories. The many leaps of logic and faith required in accepting how Molly solved the case stretched my willing suspension of disbelief way beyo The Amersham Rubies is a short story prequel to Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy series. Set in Ireland at the end of the 19th c.. Molly is asked to help the guests at a party put on by the local lord. A ruby necklace is stolen and Molly is determined to find who is responsible. This is a very short story and is a fine example of why I am not a big fan of short stories. The many leaps of logic and faith required in accepting how Molly solved the case stretched my willing suspension of disbelief way beyond its breaking point. Don’t get me wrong. I have read other historical mysteries by Bowen and enjoyed them but had I read this story first, it is unlikely I would have read another.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I'm enjoying the first Molly Murphy mystery so couldn't resist this prequel, which was free on Amazon, but it is very short, only taking a few minutes to read, and didn't tell me much about Molly's life before the first full book. I'm enjoying the first Molly Murphy mystery so couldn't resist this prequel, which was free on Amazon, but it is very short, only taking a few minutes to read, and didn't tell me much about Molly's life before the first full book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Hmmm, a cozy mystery series I might like. This little story was quite good. It moved along quickly and I now want to read the next in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Timeforme

    Main Character: Molly Murphy - A young Irish woman helping out at a ball Synopsis: Before Molly Murphy crossed the Atlantic or even had an inkling that she might someday become a much sought after private investigator in New York City, young Molly lived in Ireland in a small cottage with her father, brothers and little else. While keeping herself and her home together, Molly receives a request from Lady Hartley—the lady of the country estate where Molly lives, and the family that employs Molly’s fat Main Character: Molly Murphy - A young Irish woman helping out at a ball Synopsis: Before Molly Murphy crossed the Atlantic or even had an inkling that she might someday become a much sought after private investigator in New York City, young Molly lived in Ireland in a small cottage with her father, brothers and little else. While keeping herself and her home together, Molly receives a request from Lady Hartley—the lady of the country estate where Molly lives, and the family that employs Molly’s father and brothers. The Hartleys are hosting a ball at their manor house, and there will be so many fine gentlemen and ladies in attendance that Lady Hartley needs Molly to help some of her guests prepare for the ball. Beautiful debutantes, dresses of the finest fabrics, and sparkling chandeliers are all on display, as are heirloom jewels like the Amersham rubies—a stunning and priceless ruby necklace that has been in the Amersham family for generations. When the rubies go inexplicably missing from Lady Amersham’s neck in the middle of the party, the high-spirited Molly must rely on her wits to solve her first case in Rhys Bowen’s charming prequel to her beloved Anthony and Agatha Award–winning historical mystery series. My Thoughts: I haven't read any books in this series but I wasn't really very impressed with this short story so I probably won't pursue one of the novels.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kat LeMaster

    Very (surprisingly) quick "prequel" mystery to the Molly Murphy series (in fact only 34% is the short story, the rest is passages from Bless the Bride). But even with it's few pages, it seemed off. I read this after reading the first eight books. She seems a lot smarter and observant at 18 than she is at age twenty something after living in New York on her own for two years. As it said in one of the books, she solves her mysteries mostly on luck, not deducing actual evidence. Evidence can be scr Very (surprisingly) quick "prequel" mystery to the Molly Murphy series (in fact only 34% is the short story, the rest is passages from Bless the Bride). But even with it's few pages, it seemed off. I read this after reading the first eight books. She seems a lot smarter and observant at 18 than she is at age twenty something after living in New York on her own for two years. As it said in one of the books, she solves her mysteries mostly on luck, not deducing actual evidence. Evidence can be screaming in Molly's face and she wouldn't get it, so how did she solve this mystery by a black mark on neck and a simple comment? The dialogue between Molly and Lady Amersham also felt awkward and out of place. Even the great confident Molly Murphy couldn't get away with that tongue. Sadly there was just no connection between this short story with the novels in the series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maren

    At first I thought this was a great idea: Write a short story and offer it as a free ebook, hooking people into an existing series of books. If I read a short story and loved it, I would totally look for other books by the author. Unfortunately, this story is way too simple, boring, and doesn't provide enough character detail to get you hooked and make you want more. If I wasn't already a fan of the Molly Murphy mysteries, I certainly wouldn't have started reading them after reading this story. At first I thought this was a great idea: Write a short story and offer it as a free ebook, hooking people into an existing series of books. If I read a short story and loved it, I would totally look for other books by the author. Unfortunately, this story is way too simple, boring, and doesn't provide enough character detail to get you hooked and make you want more. If I wasn't already a fan of the Molly Murphy mysteries, I certainly wouldn't have started reading them after reading this story. Rhys Bowen wasted the 5 minutes that she probably spent writing this story. I wasted the 15 minutes that I spent reading it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Villery

    The Amersham Rubies started off pretty interesting. I was drawn in and my curiosity was piqued. Unfortunately, the conflict wasn't resolved in a realistic fashion and I found the resolution too abrupt. This is another one that is meant to draw the reader into the series and not necessarily this story. Does this technique work? I love historical fiction mysteries but this novella didn't draw me in. There was little character development but it was adequate for the short story mystery presented. I The Amersham Rubies started off pretty interesting. I was drawn in and my curiosity was piqued. Unfortunately, the conflict wasn't resolved in a realistic fashion and I found the resolution too abrupt. This is another one that is meant to draw the reader into the series and not necessarily this story. Does this technique work? I love historical fiction mysteries but this novella didn't draw me in. There was little character development but it was adequate for the short story mystery presented. I was into it until the solving of the mystery.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robin (Saturndoo)

    This was a very short story that leads up to the full length novels about Molly Murphy. This was so short that it actually should have been included in the first novel. There was not really anything to this story and the tone certainly didn't match the time frame of the book. The characters were undeveloped and the story pretty much went nowhere. So the buck stops here as this story doesn't encourage me to move any further into the series. Pretty much a waste of time. Thank goodness is was free! This was a very short story that leads up to the full length novels about Molly Murphy. This was so short that it actually should have been included in the first novel. There was not really anything to this story and the tone certainly didn't match the time frame of the book. The characters were undeveloped and the story pretty much went nowhere. So the buck stops here as this story doesn't encourage me to move any further into the series. Pretty much a waste of time. Thank goodness is was free!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erin Lee

    I was tickled pink to see this Molly Murphy prequel being offered for free with the Kindle Cloud Reader. I knew it was a short story, but I wasn't prepared for just how short it would be. Pretty typical Molly, butting in where she doesn't belong and believing that she can do anything, regardless of tradition, class, or expectations. Kind of melodramatic and not up to Rhys Bowen's normal flair, but I can't really complain about a free Molly Murphy short story. I was tickled pink to see this Molly Murphy prequel being offered for free with the Kindle Cloud Reader. I knew it was a short story, but I wasn't prepared for just how short it would be. Pretty typical Molly, butting in where she doesn't belong and believing that she can do anything, regardless of tradition, class, or expectations. Kind of melodramatic and not up to Rhys Bowen's normal flair, but I can't really complain about a free Molly Murphy short story.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Simoneau

    Poorly Written This book - or rather, short story - has a fair premise, but the format felt too brief to be a satisfying read. I think it might have been better if it was fleshed out into a whole novel. Also, it could use more editing in the area of punctuation. I did not read the included excerpt from a subsequent book, so I can't comment on that. Poorly Written This book - or rather, short story - has a fair premise, but the format felt too brief to be a satisfying read. I think it might have been better if it was fleshed out into a whole novel. Also, it could use more editing in the area of punctuation. I did not read the included excerpt from a subsequent book, so I can't comment on that.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laural

    This was my first read by this author and though I really wanted to be impressed I just wasn't. I think my teenager has written better developed short stories! The whole thing felt too rushed and assumed. Bleh This was my first read by this author and though I really wanted to be impressed I just wasn't. I think my teenager has written better developed short stories! The whole thing felt too rushed and assumed. Bleh

  26. 5 out of 5

    C-shaw

    This was interesting, but hardly more than a short story about a peasant girl who thwarted a high-born folks' crime. This was interesting, but hardly more than a short story about a peasant girl who thwarted a high-born folks' crime.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frank Carver

    This book is a promotional teaser for a cozy mystery series. It’s very short, at around 4500 words including adverts for other books and so on. I got it for free, and as it is so brief, I would imagine that it will stay free. The story begins by introducing Molly Malone, Eighteen years old and caring for her younger brothers after their mother died. They live in rural Ireland and their father has taken to drinking away all the money he earns. It looks as if Molly will be stuck in this life foreve This book is a promotional teaser for a cozy mystery series. It’s very short, at around 4500 words including adverts for other books and so on. I got it for free, and as it is so brief, I would imagine that it will stay free. The story begins by introducing Molly Malone, Eighteen years old and caring for her younger brothers after their mother died. They live in rural Ireland and their father has taken to drinking away all the money he earns. It looks as if Molly will be stuck in this life forever. However, it turns out that when Molly was younger she was a charming and bright young girl and spent time as a companion to the daughters of Lady Hartley at “the big house”. When Lady Hartley arranges a lavish party for her daughter’s “coming out” ball, she asks Molly to help with looking after and dressing one of the guests, Lady Amersham. During the ball everything seems to be going well until there is an accident with a candelabra, and then Lady Amersham cries out that her priceless ruby necklace has been stolen. There is a furious search, but only Molly, who has been watching the ball from the sidelines works out the answer, and she sets off to confront the villain. The story is very straightforward in mystery terms. Most of the book is spent describing the setting and the characters. Molly works out the solution very quickly and without any need to look for clues or talk to anyone. That’s just about acceptable for this very brief introduction, though. In many ways it reminds me of the first chapter of “Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates” by Kerry Greenwood, which I read back in 2018. It’s hard to tell from this short sample whether the later books in the series will have more interesting mysteries, or whether Molly will take a more active part in the stories. The writing is workable but not sparkling, and feels more like a paste copy than a real jewel, but that may be just because it has been trimmed to fit this very short length. If I happened across one of the full length books I would probably consider reading it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Review of eBook Molly Murphy, living in a small peasant cottage in County Mayo, Ireland with her father and brothers, receives a request from Lady Hartley, the mistress of the estate where her father and brothers work. As a child, she’d taken lessons with the Hartley girls, Vanessa and Henrietta. Molly knows there will be a coming-out ball for Henrietta; she wonders if Lady Hartley wants her to attend. But Lady Hartley seems to have forgotten about the time the three girls spent together; since th Review of eBook Molly Murphy, living in a small peasant cottage in County Mayo, Ireland with her father and brothers, receives a request from Lady Hartley, the mistress of the estate where her father and brothers work. As a child, she’d taken lessons with the Hartley girls, Vanessa and Henrietta. Molly knows there will be a coming-out ball for Henrietta; she wonders if Lady Hartley wants her to attend. But Lady Hartley seems to have forgotten about the time the three girls spent together; since there will be a shortage of maids, she wants Molly to assist some of the ladies with their preparations prior to the ball. Molly agrees and, on the evening of the ball, finds herself assisting Lady Amersham. But when the priceless family heirloom Lady Amersham is wearing suddenly disappears, can Molly help solve the case and find the ruby necklace? A prequel to the author’s popular, award-winning Molly Murphy series, this short story introduces Molly and sets the stage for her career as a private investigator. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing Molly solve her very first case. As for the story itself, things fall into place a bit too easily for Molly, who solves the case because of her careful observation of people and events [definitely a hallmark of a good detective]. Readers may be disappointed that there’s not a bit more to the telling of the tale [and the rather abrupt ending], but meeting Molly and discovering her propensity for observation and case-solving is a treat for those who enjoy the series and have followed the young woman’s adventures. A three-chapter preview of the sixteenth book in the series, “Time of Fog and Fire,” is included with this prequel story. Recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    D. Starr

    Molly Murphy Prequel Free on Kindle SHORT STORY. I think it took me less than 1/2 hour to read. On Kindle it ended at maybe 60%, so I gave it 4 out of 5 stars for the annoyance factor. The rest of the "book" was excerpts from other books. Since it was free, I probably shouldn't complain, and it was my own fault for not reading the description and reviews more carefully. No sex No Violence No harsh language No suspense - just a puzzling set of events. Setting - Ireland before Molly went to America Molly Molly Murphy Prequel Free on Kindle SHORT STORY. I think it took me less than 1/2 hour to read. On Kindle it ended at maybe 60%, so I gave it 4 out of 5 stars for the annoyance factor. The rest of the "book" was excerpts from other books. Since it was free, I probably shouldn't complain, and it was my own fault for not reading the description and reviews more carefully. No sex No Violence No harsh language No suspense - just a puzzling set of events. Setting - Ireland before Molly went to America Molly is called upon to help out as a lady's maid at a party. A valuable necklace is stolen. Molly uses her wits and observations to figure out what happened and how. Suitable for upper elementary - adult

  30. 5 out of 5

    Debra Jeakins

    THE AMERSHAM RUBIES IS #0.5 IN THE MOLLY MURPHY MYSTERIES BY RHYS BOWEN. This is the first exposure to the character Molly Murphy, Irish , poor and mystery solver. I found THE AMERSHAM RUBIES short enough to curl up with in the evening and a pretty fair intro to the Molly Murphy series. I have just begun reading and enjoying Rhys Bowen's works and this was a pretty good way to be introduced into another one of her series. THE AMERSHAM RUBIES IS #0.5 IN THE MOLLY MURPHY MYSTERIES BY RHYS BOWEN. This is the first exposure to the character Molly Murphy, Irish , poor and mystery solver. I found THE AMERSHAM RUBIES short enough to curl up with in the evening and a pretty fair intro to the Molly Murphy series. I have just begun reading and enjoying Rhys Bowen's works and this was a pretty good way to be introduced into another one of her series.

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