|I’m pretty familiar with Kerry Greenwood’s work – having read a couple of her Phryne Fisher books before (as well as her Corinna Chapman series, which I like even more), so I was more than happy to receive a couple of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries from Poisoned Pen Press to review here on the blog.
1929: Girls are going missing in Melbourne. Little, pretty, golden haired girls. And not just pretty. Three of them are pregnant, poor girls from the harsh confines of the Magdalene Laundry. People are getting nervous.
Polly Kettle, a pushy, self important Girl Reporter with ambition and no sense of self preservation, decides to investigate and promptly goes missing herself.
It’s time for Phryne and Dot to put a stop to this and find Polly Kettle before something quite irreparable happens to all of them. It’s all piracy and dark cellars, convents and plots, murder and mystery …. and Phryne finally finds out if it’s true that blondes have more fun.
One of my favourite things about a character, like Phryne, who the author has been writing for so many books is that they feel so real that they could practically walk off the page. Every single thing Phryne does or says is so Phryne. As always, I enjoyed spending time with this clever, witty, and somewhat judgemental woman. I also love seeing how her relationships with her friends and minions develop across the series. The extra bonus for me is the glimpses Greenwood gives us into Phryne’s Melbourne – I loved reading the authors notes in the back about the ways the story was rooted in real 1920s Melbourne.
The story itself was fun and twisty, and a bit horrifying, really. It centres around the treatment of ‘fallen’ (ie pregnant out of wedlock) women – the timing was pretty good for me right now, with feminism and books like The Handmaid’s Tale right at the front of our minds.
I gave this 3.5 stars – mystery-solving fun with a familiar friend
Unnatural Habits (Phryne Fisher #19) by Kerry Greenwood is out now from Poisoned Pen. I received an e-book copy in exchange for an honest review, but only chose to read it because it sounded like something I would enjoy (life’s too short to read books we don’t think we’ll enjoy). All opinions on my blog are my own, and I wouldn’t tell you it was good if I didn’t really think so. =)