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Book 140: Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood

Book 140: Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher #3).
Author: Kerry Greenwood, 1991.
Genre: Period Fiction. 1920s Australia. Murder Mystery
Other Details: Unabridged Audiobook (4 hours, 48 mins) Read by Stephanie Daniel.

When Phryne Fisher arranges to go to Ballarat for a week, she eschews the excitement of her Hispano-Suiza for the sedate safety of the train. But as the passengers sleep, they are all overcome by chloroform poisoning. In the morning Phryne is left to piece together all the clues: a young girl suffering from amnesia, the body of an old woman missing her emerald rings and rumours of white slavery and black magic... the last thing Phryne was expecting of this train journey was that she will have to use her trusty Beretta .32 to save lives! - synopsis from UK publisher's website.

While marketed as a 'cosy' mystery the themes here of child abuse and human trafficking makes this a lot darker than what I would consider as 'cosy'; though there still is an overlay of glamour and Phryne's ever present wit to soften the narrative.

I had seen the TV adaptation of this third instalment earlier in the year though as often is the case there are side-plots and other elements that were dropped in order to make the story fit into the required length.

This proved another enjoyable foray into the world of The Hon. Phryne Fisher that was enhanced by Stephanie Daniel's narration that was spot on for the characters and also included some singing! I've decided that the Phryne Fisher Mysteries are going to be my audiobook-in-the car as they are prefect fare while driving and quite modest in length.
Tags: audio book, crime fiction, murder mystery, period fiction (20th century)
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