Published by Poisoned Pen Press on November 9th 2010
Dot unfolded the note. "He says that his married couple will look after the divine Miss Fisher...I'll leave out a bit...their name is Johnson and they seem very reliable." Phryne got the door open at last. She stepped into the hall. "I think he was mistaken about that," she commented.
Traveling at high speed in her beloved Hispano-Suiza accompanied by her maid and trusted companion Dot, her two adoptive daughters Jane and Ruth, and their dog Molly, The Hon. Miss Phryne Fisher is off to Queenscliff. She'd promised everyone a nice holiday by the sea with absolutely no murders, but when they arrive at their rented accommodation that doesn't seem likely at all.
An empty house, a gang of teenage louts, a fisherboy saved, and the mystery of a missing butler and his wife seem to lead inexorably toward a hunt for buried treasure by the sea. But what information might the curious Surrealists be able to contribute? Phryne knows to what depths people will sink for greed, but with a glass of champagne in one hand and a pearl-handled Beretta in the other, no one is getting past her.
I am a huge fan of the tv show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and, while binge watching it some time back, I discovered that there was also a book series written by Kerry Greenwood that the tv show was based on. Of course, I was beyond delighted because more Miss Fisher is better than no Miss Fisher.
There are 20 books in the Phryne Fisher series. Dead Man’s Chest is number 18. To date I have only read two books in the series, the other book being the very first one, called Cocaine Blues. I thoroughly enjoyed both books. Usually I am a stickler for reading books in order because I can’t stand not knowing what happens in between, but I found that in this series, it really didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. Phryne Fisher has a way of “collecting” people who need her, so there were a few characters that I was unsure of how she came to be with, but that didn’t really seem to matter.
In this book, Phryne, who is a private detective, is taking her two daughters, her maid, the dog, and herself on a much-needed vacation to Queenscliff (the books are set in Australia) to escape the murder, violence, and criminal activity that seems to accompany her line of work, but as soon as they arrive at their vacation lodgings it seems that a mystery is already afoot. The caretakers of the house they are to stay at have gone missing under suspicious circumstances and the house seems to be completely picked over. And of course, immediately, Phryne is on the case and, as you can well imagine, a quick-paced, intriguing mystery ensures.
I love the books and the tv series mainly because of the character of Phryne Fisher. She is a smart, witty, sophisticated, no-nonsense kind of lady. She doesn’t take shit from anybody. She extremely adept at taking care of not only herself, but other people as well. She is also an extremely capable private detective, who people are constantly calling on for help because they know she will aid them and they know how good she is at what she does.
The book series is a bit different than the tv series, but not so much that you can’t enjoy both. The biggest difference for me is Phryne is younger in the books than she is in the tv series. This isn’t something that bothered me, but just something I noted. The fantastic Essie Davis does a great job of bringing the character to life on screen. I don’t remember too much about the 1st book, other than I enjoyed it. I also really liked Dead Man’s Chest. It was easy to get in to, a fairly quick read, and I enjoy mysteries, so this was right up my alley. I do have to point out one thing though. There was a lot of food porn in this book! And I don’t mean porn using food, I mean straight up food porn that, if you are a foodie will probably give you multiple orgasms. Literally, every chapter goes over what the characters are eating and drinking. Every. Single. Chapter. Now, I love food as much as the next person, but it was a little over the top for me, which is why this went from a 4-star book to a 3-star. Including descriptions here and there I totally get, but I really don’t need you to tell me every 10 pages in exhaustive detail. Other than that, it was an entertaining book.
So, if you like a bit of mystery, wrapped up with adventure and a touch of danger, that includes a fantastic heroine that most women should aspire to be like, then these are the books for you!
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