Surrounded by secrets, great and small, the formidable Miss Phryne Fisher returns to vanquish injustice.
When a mysterious invitation arrives for Miss Phryne Fisher from an unknown Captain Herbert Spencer, Phryne's curiosity is excited. Spencer runs a retreat in Victoria's spa country for shell-shocked soldiers of the First World War. It's a cause after Phryne's own heart but what could Spencer want from her?
Phryne and the faithful Dot view their spa sojourn as a short holiday but are quickly thrown in the midst of disturbing Highland gatherings, disappearing women, murder and the mystery of the Temperance Hotel.
Meanwhile, Cec, Bert and Tinker find a young woman floating face down in the harbour, dead. Tinker and Phryne's resilient adopted daughters, Jane and Ruth, decide to solve what appears to be a heinous crime.
Disappearances, murder, bombs, booby-traps and strange goings-on land Miss Phryne Fisher right in the middle of her most exciting adventure.
- Publication Date:
- 03 / 11 / 2020
- 153 x 234mm
A fabulous new Phryne mystery, just in time for Christmas!
This 21st instalment in Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series is as fabulous as ever!
The Hon. Phryne Fisher, accompanied by the ever-faithful Dot, accepts an invitation to visit the dashing but mysterious Captain Herbert Spencer in Hepburn Spa, near Daylesford.
A local young man is killed in an apparent accident at the Daylesford Highland Gathering, as Phryne and Dot look on. Days later, they're also present when a second man collapses and dies at a dance in a church hall. Phryne suspects murder, and notes that both young men were suitors of Annie Tremain, the stunningly beautiful but innocent barmaid at the Temperance Hotel. Also piquing Phryne's detective interest is the fact that several local married women have disappeared from their homes in the Daylesford area over recent months - have they met with foul play, or is there an alternative explanation?
Meanwhile, back in Melbourne, Phryne's household have a mystery of their own to solve. Tinker, while catching up with Cec and Bert at the docks, has come across the floating body of a young woman. She's identified as Claire Knight, a missing schoolfriend of Ruth and Jane's. Detective Sergeant Hugh Collins, who's staying at Phryne's St. Kilda home to keep an eye on Tinker and the girls, puts all three unofficially to work in determining what happened to Claire.
This was a highly entertaining read, with several intertwining mystery plotlines and plenty of historical and artistic detail, particularly as regards Phryne's sartorial choices. Several of Kerry Greenwood's creative similes had me laughing out loud. The central characters are all in sterling form, with the exception of Jack Robinson, who makes only a brief appearance in the concluding chapter. The cast of supporting characters, based both in Melbourne and in the spa region, are well developed and interesting. Greenwood explores many themes around women's rights, social and gender inequality and even competing religious denominations. She skilfully intertwines into the narrative many descriptive and historical details of one of Victoria's most visually stunning regions.
Death in Daylesford is another triumph for Kerry Greenwood, and I have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending it, both to existing aficionados of the series, and those who are yet to discover its delights.
My thanks to the author and publisher Allen & Unwin Australia, for the opportunity to read and review an Uncorrected Proof of this title.