Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Last Illusion

The Last Illusion

A Molly Murphy Mystery

Molly Murphy Mysteries (Volume 9)

Rhys Bowen

Minotaur Books


From the author of In Farleigh Field...

With wit, charm, and historical detail, multiple award winner Rhys Bowen makes early twentieth century New York come vividly to life in The Last Illusion.

Irish immigrant and PI Molly Murphy is thrilled to have a ticket to see the illusionists that are all the rage. Indeed, Harry Houdini himself has returned from Europe for a brief run on Broadway. But Houdini can’t even take the stage when, to the crowd’s shock, the opening act saws into his assistant—for real. The stunned performer accuses Houdini of tampering with his equipment, and he’s not the only one critical of “The King of Handcuffs” who, by raising the stakes in his shows, has put other acts out of business. With everyone on edge, Houdini’s wife hires Molly as an investigator and bodyguard...but how can she protect a man who risks his life every night?

New York City, July 1903
Ladies and gentlemen. For my final illusion I will perform a feat that will amaze and astound you—a feat never before attempted in the history of magic, a feat fraught with danger and horror." The showman, presented...

Praise for The Last Illusion

“This installment outshines the others…. Don't miss this great period puzzler reminiscent of Dame Agatha's mysteries and Gillian Linscott's Nell Bray series.” —Booklist on In a Gilded Cage

“Delightful … As ever, Bowen does a splendid job of capturing the flavor of early twentieth-century New York.” —Publishers Weekly on In a Gilded Cage

“Molly is an indomitable creature.… The book bounces along in the hands of Ms. Bowen and her Molly, and there is no doubt that she will be back causing trouble.” —Washington Times on In Dublin’s Fair City

“Readers will surely testify that Murphy has become one of their favorite characters.… This book is a keeper.” —Tampa Tribune on In Dublin’s Fair City

“Its enjoyable charm and wit will appeal to a cross-section of mystery fans.” —Baltimore Sun on Oh Danny Boy

Reviews from Goodreads

Rhys Bowen

Rhys Bowen is the author of the award-winning Molly Murphy and Constable Evans mysteries and In Farleigh Field. Her novels have garnered an impressive array of awards and nominations, including the Anthony award for her novel For the Love of Mike and the Agatha Award for Murphy's Law. Her books have also won the Bruce Alexander Historical Award and the Herodotus Award, and have been shortlisted for the Edgar, the Agatha, the Macavity, the Barry, and the Mary Higgins Clark Award.

She has also written Her Royal Spyness, a series about a minor royal in 1930s England, and she is the author of several short stories, including the Anthony Award–winning "Doppelganger." Her story "Voodoo" was chosen to be part of the anthology of the best of 50 years of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

Ms. Bowen was born in Bath, England, and worked as an announcer and studio manager for the BBC in London, before moving to Australia and then California. It was here she started writing children's and young adult novels, and then moved on to mysteries with the Constable Evans novels. When not writing she loves to travel, sing, hike, play her Celtic harp, and entertain her grandchildren. She lives in San Rafael, California.

image of Rhys Boweno
Photo: Robin Burcell



    Latest on Facebook


    Minotaur Books

    Latest on Facebook