Phryne Fisher is doing one of her favorite things -dancing at the Green Mill (Melbourne's premier dance hall) to the music of Tintagel Stone's Jazzmakers, the band who taught St Vitus how to dance. And she's wearing a sparkling lobelia-coloured georgette dress. Nothing can flap the unflappable Phryne -especially on a dance floor with so many delectable partners. Nothing except death, that is.
The dance competition is trailing into its last hours when suddenly, in the middle of "Bye Bye Blackbird" a figure slumps to the ground. No shot was heard. Phryne, conscious of how narrowly the missile missed her own bare shoulder, back, and dress, investigates. This leads her into the dark smoky jazz clubs of Fitzroy, into the arms of eloquent strangers, and finally into the sky, as she follows a complicated family tragedy of the great War and the damaged men who came back from ANZAC cove. Phryne flies her Gypsy Moth Rigel into the Autralian Alps, where she meets a hermit with a dog called Lucky and a wombat living under his bunk.... and risks her life on the love between brothers.
"Australian crime fiction is becoming increasingly popular in North America, but Greenwood's series, thanks to its sparkling evocation of how the 1920s roared Down Under, manages to stand apart from the crowd. Anyone who hasn't discovered Phryne Fisher by now should start making up for lost time." (Booklist)
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The best so far
Enjoyable, fast-paced story
I loved that this mystery is a light read set in the 1920's. In particular, the author started the story at a dance marathon. Between the written word and wonderful narration, you feel the pain of the remaining dance contestants as they use every last ounce of strength to win the contest.
I love that the characters were likeable and believable. I was surprised by some of the facts of the story. I even checked a couple of them on-line and found that they were accurate for the time period. That was fun!
Ms. Daniel brings the different social spheres to the listener via the wonderful and varied accents she uses. I'm sure the accents were written into the book, but hearing them just enriched the experience of the story. Very well done.
I did laugh at times. I felt a sense of wonder at the great outdoor scenes and felt the vastness of the places she describes. Although the plight of shell shocked soldiers was present and very well handled (both in story and narration), it did not devastate me to the point of tears (I take my reading very seriously, folks!). I have had enough tears in my life...I do not need more in my reading!
When you are in the mood for a light, well-written mystery, I definitely recommend this book. If the rest of the series is as good as this book, I have many hours of enjoyable listening in my very near future!