This is Molly,” said Nightingale.“She does for us.”
“Whatever needs doing,” said Nightingale.
Molly is the Fae housekeeper, chef, and butler of the Folly (including the coach house). She appears as a silent lady dressed in an Edwardian maid's uniform. She is an excellent chef, skilled Haemomancy practitioner, and a constant presence in The Folly. Her age is unknown, but it is comparable to Thomas Nightingale's.
Since being brought to the The Folly in 1911, Molly has refused to leave the grounds of the building. Nightingale and Peter are unsure why this is, but they hypothesise she is afraid of imprisonment or subjugation by other fae. Nightingale describes her kind of fae as those who "were changed by magic, or they were born into lineages that have been changed. And as far as I know, this leaves them- incomplete." Peter further explains that with a bit of running translation, it was clear that "incomplete" people like Molly subject to abuse and exploitation by their more powerful supernatural bretheren and by practitioners with no moral scruples.
Although Molly does not speak, she is able to understand and write British English. She's capable of answering the phone and fetching the person the call is for (without speaking) and writing notes to the grocers for deliveries. She does make a rhythmic, hissing sound when she laughs. She has more teeth than a human, and the teeth are sharp and pointed. This difference often leads her to cover her mouth when it is open. She also has the ability to open her mouth wider than usual for humans. Despite her culinary skills, Peter observed she has a liking for raw meat.
Since coming to the Folly, Molly only takes two days off per year: when the clocks change for daylight saving time. During her vacation she spends the time in her room in the front basement of the The Folly.
In 1911, fueled by unsubstantiated rumours of white slave trading, Inspector Murville organised a raid in Limehouse, London. In the home of stage magician 'Manchu the Magnificent' (born Henry Speltz, in Canada), they found a little European girl whom no one had bothered to name cowering in a disappearing cabinet. Murville evacuated her to the Folly at Russel Square but knew there was something not quite right about her. Upon examination, she was found to be too abnormal to be fostered, The girl would have been placed at Coram's Foundling Hospital except but once she entered the Folly she refused to leave. Subsequently, she slept in the scullery and was brought up by the Folly staff in the tradition of 1910s-1920s domestic service.
During the 1920s-1930s she and a young Thomas Nightingale became friends. Hugh Oswald also recalls her 'terrorising' the young apprentices of The Folly in much the same way as she deals with Peter Grant.
Post-World War II
After the events at Ettersberg, British practicioner attendance and use of the Folly drastically diminished both because of the reduction in practicioners and the psychological ties survivors had with the building. Despite his own psychological trauma, Nightingale refused to leave Molly alone at the Folly building. She and Nightingale have a close relationship having lived together at the Folly for over 60 years (1945-2011/2012).
Molly seemed to be initially skeptical of Toby the dog. Since his introduction to The Folly in the Rivers of London they have developed an excellent relationship. Toby seems to have been trained or can take some commands from her, including retrieving a towel from Lesley May for return to the kitchen.
Although Molly does not physically leave the Folly, she utilises the computers in the 'tech cave' to lead an active online life that revolves around cooking and cuisine. Molly has both Facebook and Twitter accounts. Her Twitter account is @jollygoodcook and she tweets to @dyingforAfag. (In real life, neither of these accounts are actually owned by anything to do with Rivers of London). Abigail Kamara has also been instructing her in the art of online food photography using an old smartphone. Beverley Brook also implies that Molly has her own friends and social circle, when Peter suggests she is lonely and may like Not-Nicole for a friend.
She can perform Haemomancy and was able to transport Peter Grant back in time for his encounter with Henry Pyke. She can move at incredible speed if she needs to, and is stronger than the average human as evidenced by the ease with which she picks up a drunk Lesley May.
Her culinary skills are legendary but her repertoire of recipes consists of British Public School food from the early 20th century. Many of these recipes include offcuts of meat not commonly used in modern cooking such as sweetbread and offal.
After Peter and Lesley's arrival at the Folly Molly introduced more modern cuisine onto the menu, partially through their gifts of modern cookbooks and partially through her own hard work. Her current cooking and baking appears to be inspired by both Jamie Oliver and The Great British Bake Off. She is also aware of dietary and religious restrictions as she makes special halal sandwiches for Sahra Guleed.
Molly cares greatly for Nightingale which is fully reciprocated on his part, however the nature of their relationship is unclear. Hugh Oswald reminisced on the unique, but at-the-time scandalous, nature of Nightingale's affinity with Molly prior to WWII. Conversely Beverley Brook expressed distaste when Peter suggested an intimate relationship between Molly and Nightingale.
During the events of Lies Sleeping, Molly is reunited with a fae named Foxglove. They had previously been traded by their Queen to a human sometime in the 18th or 19th century. Molly and Foxglove were separated soon after this transaction, and Foxglove was kept in forced labour by various human practitioners for the next century. Peter Grant eventually aids his own and Foxglove's escape and reunites the two in The Folly where they share a tearful reunion. It is unknown if Foxglove is a blood relation or intimate partner, however Peter and Nightingale observe the two dancing in the moonlight soon after their reunion.
Peter discovers a nude impressionist painting of Molly holding a bowl of cherries or raw meat in the coach house. Shortly after he finds a full portrait of Nightingale looking older and painted in a different style. The artist of both these paintings is currently unknown.
- Bookhobbit. (n.d.). [Tumblr post]. Retrieved from http://bookhobbit.tumblr.com/post/149208652944/this-is-molly-said-nightingale-she-does-for. Created by tumblr user 'bookhobbit'
- Broken Homes
- Moon Over Soho,
- Moon over Soho
- Lies Sleeping
- Whispers Under Ground
- The Hanging Tree, page 322.
- The Furthest Station
- Body Work #2
- Foxglove Summer
- Rivers of London