Author: Kerry Greenwood, 2008.
Genre: Period Fiction. 1920s Australia. Crime Fiction. Cosy Mystery.
Other Details: ebook. 269 pages.
The Hon. Phryne Fisher, languid and slightly bored at the start of 1929, has been engaged to find out if the antique-shop-owning son of a Pre-Raphaelite model has died by homicide or suicide. He had some strange friends—a Balkan adventuress, a dilettante with a penchant for antiquities, a Classics professor, a medium, and a mysterious supplier who arrives after dark on a motorbike. Simultaneously, she is asked to discover the fate of the lost illegitimate child of a rich old lady, to the evident dislike of the remaining relatives. With the help of her sister Beth, the cab drivers Bert and Cec, and even her two adoptive daughters, Phryne follows eerie leads that bring her face-to-face with the conquest of Jerusalem by General Allenby and the Australian Light Horse, kif smokers, spirit guides, pirate treasure maps, and ghosts. - synopsis from Poisoned Pen Press website.
I started this novel as usual as my audiobook-in-the-car in March and then had a car accident and my car was taken off to be repaired and I forgot to remove my CD. Since I had no idea when I would be reunited with the car I eventually elected to avail myself of the Kindle edition. Although I had listened to about 100 pages, I realised that with a gap of a few weeks I wasn't quite sure where things stood in the story and so elected to start at the beginning and read the entire book.
It proved to be another delightful mystery as Phryne works on two separate mysteries and seeks to cope with a heatwave. These stories are great fun and I feel they remain quite fresh.
My only very minor niggle is that Kerry Greenwood is always so spot on with history and yet she has Phryne refer to someone as 'a friend of Dorothy'. Surely this slang wasn't in use this early, especially in Australia? While it is not known if this refers to 'The Wizard of Oz' or Dorothy Parker, according to on-line sources it generally did not come into use until the 1940s and so seems a strange anachronism for such a historically meticulous writer as Greenwood.