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on 16 October 2017
In this episode of Phryne Fisher’s mysteries, set in 1920s Australia, she has decided to take her assistant Dot and her two adopted daughters, Jane and Ruth, for a quiet seaside holiday in Queenscliff. An acquaintance, Mr Thomas, has lent his substantial house to Miss Fisher, including his staff, Mr and Mrs Johnson, to take care of their domestic needs. However, there is no sign of the couple, their furniture is missing and the back door is wide open.

Soon there are other mysteries to solve. Who is the phantom pigtail stealer and why is Mrs Macmaster, who lives next door, with her son-in-law Dr Green, so nasty and so nosy? As usual in these stories, there are many other characters participating in the plot. Their other neighbour has two idle sons, with a particularly nasty friend, called Fraser staying with them. A film company is producing a silent movie on the beach and soon Phryne’s hopeless kitchen maid, Lily is starring in the film.

Kelly Greenwood spices her stories with rich description of the clothes worn by Phryne and Dot and the delicious food they eat. She also indulges herself with the pleasure of including aspects of 1920s life which she has researched. On this occasion she describes a party at the house of Madame Sélary, where the local surrealist club act as one might expect or perhaps as you might not expect.

A delightful new addition to Phryne’s household is poor young lad, Tinker. Hero worshipping Miss Fisher, he becomes a gem, assisted by stray dog, Gaston, in carrying out her orders and acting undercover to solve the mysteries in the style of Sexton Blake.

As always, this book is a pleasure to read and great escapism.
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on 5 December 2017
Phryne goes on a relaxing holiday with maid and family, not forgetting the dog.
The idyllic resort chosen isn't so idyllic when murder and mystery come knocking at her door!
Another great Phryne Fisher novel, long may they be written.
Very highly recommended.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Poisoned Pen Press via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review which I am very happy to do.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 2 March 2012
Phryne travels to Sydney - partly to watch the test match - but also to visit the university. Two of the students have secured an introduction to her and want her to try and find out who has stolen various items from a safe as they do not believe their friend, Adam Harcourt is guilty.

Phryne soon decides she agrees with them. There is a sub plot involving Dot Williams Phryne's companion and maid. Dot wants to visit her sister who lives in Sydney but finds she has disappeared and her husband does not know where she is.

There are some marvellous characters in this well written mystery story and many secrets will need to be revealed before the crimes are solved and people can get on with their lives. I enjoyed the background of Egyptian magic and ritual and Phryne makes a marvellous re-incarnation of the goddess Isis.

I thought the plot was more complex than some books in this series and I found I stayed up late to finish it because I had to know what happened and how it was resolved.

As ever Phryne finds a new lover and it isn't one of the most obvious candidates either. It was nice to see Dot playing a bigger part in the story and I thought the solution to her problems was very well done. This is an entertaining mystery which is part of a series but can be read as a standalone story.

The first book in the series is Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher Mysteries)
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 25 March 2012
Phryne Fisher has promised her family a holiday at Queenscliff where she is renting a house from an acquaintance. She has promised there will be no mysteries to investigate but when they arrive at the house and the housekeeper and her husband are not there to welcome them it seems as though her promise might not be fulfilled.

Pirates, buried treasure, locked rooms, missing people, a gang of louts and a mystery pig tail snipper not to speak of an elderly lady who sits at her window and watches the world go by and a house full of Surrealists make for a crowded and fast paces plot. This is a light hearted story with plenty to keep the reader interested. There are many amusing touches and I particularly enjoyed the evening Phryne spends with the Surrealists - her temporary next door neighbours.

I liked reading about Jane and Ruth, Phryne's adopted daughters and Dot also plays a bigger part in this story than she does in some of the books in the series. Her fiancé, Hugh Collins comes to visit on what turns out to be a busman's holiday for him. This is an enjoyable read which could be read as a standalone story though it is preferable to read the whole series in the right order to see how the characters develop. The first one in the series is Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher Mysteries)
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 11 March 2012
Phryne Fisher is not looking forward to Mr and Mrs Butler going away for a fortnight while she has her sister, Eliza and her partner Alice staying with her. Fearing that she will have a disorganised and noisy time of it she decides to accept a request from P&O to go on a cruise to see if she can discover who is stealing passengers' jewellery.

She takes her companion, Dot Williams with her, and looks forward to a quiet two weeks with a little light detecting on the side. When she arrives on board she is given a fabulous sapphire necklace to wear so that she can act as bait for the thief and she is seated at a table with a group of passengers who have been on previous cruises when robberies have taken place. Dot, meanwhile eats with the servants and crew so that she can find out whether there is anyone suspicious.

This is a fascinating story with plenty of suspects and some intriguing relationships between passengers and crew. I loved the descriptions of life on board a cruise ship and the way the relationships between the characters are brought to life. The book is well written with sparkling dialogue and many humorous touches. Many of the characters will find their lives have changed - for better or worse - before the end of the story when the villains are unmasked.
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on 9 July 2013
I enjoyed this story very much. For those of you who like to try a different recipe, try the Impossible Pie it is delicious eaten warm with ice cream. Don't pick too deep a dish to cook it in though. If you like vanilla put a good dollup in. I used just a teaspoon and couldn't taste it. You will find the recipe at the end of the book also the recipe for Potato Scones.
As for the story well it introduces another of Phryne's strays, this one is called Tinker, he wants to be a copper when he is old enough and loves Sexton Blake novels, his actual name is Eddie but Phryne christens him Tinker after the character in the books. Dot is her usual inimitable self, keeping the whole household under control. If you think your holiday in a self catering cottage was a disaster then you will be in complete sympathy with the Fisher entourage.
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on 19 July 2015
fun, exciting, well plotted and well paced! but, one small cavil...it is not piglet who lives under "the name of sanders"...it is somebody else....
otherwise, a good read, as always...one comes to expect the twists, the turns, the revelations, the trusty helpers, the coarse brutes, the good food, drinks and sex, the settings, the sudden insights into poverty and crime, and the happy ending, with the good rewarded and the evil punished..
fun is had by all!
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on 14 April 2015
The racy and fashionable lady detective takes to the high seas in pursuit of Jewellery thieves. Along the way she collects Maori legends, dances up a storm, turns down a Sapphic lover but acquires a handsome (male) bed partner, poses for some artistically semi nude photos, nearly gets drowned but triumphs, as she always does. The lady has class and is a deadly foe. When bored, pick up a Phryne Fisher book and be gently educated and thoroughly befuddled.
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on 27 July 2013
I don't really know what to say about this book, as I have read so many of Kerry Greenwoods stories. I find them all very enjoyable they are well written and very calming if you like to read and relax. I am just running out of praise for them. Maybe like me if you read one you want to read them all. I am still catching up with all the Phryne Fisher adventures, she seems to have a keen mind and sometimes a VERY active love life with Lin Chung. Good for her, she loves life and lives it to the full.
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on 1 November 2013
Having watched and greatly enjoyed the series shown on the television, I decided to buy the books. I found the book not only easy to read but the story lines made it un-put-down-able. Adding the rest of the series to my library will be a must
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