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Book 57: Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood

Book 57: Murder in the Dark (Phryne Fisher #16).
Author: Kerry Greenwood, 2006.
Genre: Period Fiction. 1920s Australia. Crime Fiction. Cosy Mystery.
Other Details: Unabridged Audio Book (8 hrs, 14 mins). Read by Stephanie Daniel.

It’s Christmas, and Phryne has an invitation to the Last Best party of 1928, a four-day extravaganza being held at Werribee Manor house and grounds by the Golden Twins, Isabella and Gerald Templar. She knew them in Paris, where they caused a sensation. Phryne is in two minds about going. But when threats begin arriving in the mail, she promptly decides to accept the invitation. No one tells Phryne Fisher what to do. At the Manor House, she is accommodated in the Iris room, and at the party dallies with two polo-playing women, a Goat lady (and goat), a large number of glamorous young men, and a very rude child called Tarquin. The acolytes of the golden twins are smoking hashish and dreaming. The jazz is as hot as the drinks are cold. Heaven. It all seems like good clean fun until three people are kidnapped, one of them the abominable child, and Phryne must puzzle her way through the cryptic clues of the scavenger hunt to retrieve the hostages and save the party from further disaster. - synopsis from Poisoned Pen Press website.

This proved another delightful tale in this sparkling series of mysteries. I was amused that Kerry Greenwood in her closing remarks felt she needed to advise her readers that all the drugs mentioned in the text were perfectly legal at the time the novel was set.

There were plenty of funny scenes including the cream-stealing antics of Phryne's cat Ember, some delightful polo ponies and the cheeky goat Minty. The party allowed for Phryne to have even more wardrobe changes than usual and it was overall a very hedonistic adventure. The central mystery at heart of the novel was intriguing and kept me guessing until the final reveal.

I note that the TV episode bearing this title was not really an adaptation and bore no relation to the novel apart from both having costume parties.
Tags: audio book, mystery, period fiction (20th century)
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