I’m totally engaged reading Rhys Bowen‘s Molly Murphy’s mysteries. Set in the early 1900’s, these books are more than just entertaining mysteries. For example: The sub-story is of New York City in by-gone days. Where Ellis Island disgorged immigrants by the thousands, dumping them on the streets of Manhattan, willy-nilly, to fend for themselves however they could. Few requirements were imposed; they had to have five dollars, be fairly healthy and free of consumption (tuberculosis). The immigrants could be wanted criminals back in their home country and still be admitted.
At the turn of the century, Greenwich Village was filled with “students, rowdies, Negroes, miscreants and anarchists“. (“For the Love of Mike”) Ha! The Village hasn’t changed much! Hell’s Kitchen and lower Manhattan were the “Irish Section” and filled with tenements and poverty. The discrimination of those times was not white against all the others but rather nationality against nationality. In the Jewish and Italian sections of town there were signs in the windows of shops stating “NO Irish need apply”. Only Italian and Jewish girls worked in the sweatshops of the garment district; and in Hell’s Kitchen and Five Points other ethnic groups (not Irish) who ventured into those neighborhoods did so at their own peril.
If you are at all familiar with the ‘neighborhoods’ of today’s Manhattan you will quickly see that the face of the city has not changed all that much. It is still an island of ethnic neighborhoods. Much to my satisfaction! That’s how I learned the city from 1991 to 2006….wandering (by design) the streets of each neighborhood so that we could taste the air there, eat the food and often chat with the inhabitants. I’ll never forget the time, in Chinatown, when I attempted to photograph the face of an ancient Chinese woman. She ran me off with her umbrella held high!
Now because of Rhys Bowen brilliant writing I get to revisit those neighborhoods (that I love) in a different era. My very own TIME MACHINE!
I so enjoyed Interviewing Ms. Bowen just recently.
Coming in August! A review of Ms. Bowen’s latest release, “Heirs and Graces” The Royal Spyness series
Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. A NEW SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner” INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!
I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview once a month .These authors have already responded and you can read their interviews by clicking on their name: : Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Robert McCammon, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Amber Winckler, Caroline Leavitt, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Karen Robards, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, Raymond Benson and many others.
So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create! July features Rhys Bowen. Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander. Jeffrey Deaver is November’s author and slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter. Loretta Chase will be featured later this year. Raymond Benson is January’s author.
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