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.
©1993 Kerry Greenwood (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"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)
This is the best Phryne Fisher story that I have heard so far. The mixture of that mad character, history lessons and always tongue-in-cheek story telling works so well,
Stephanie Daniel reads it very well and conveys the story with lightness and that same humour.
It could only be improved by removing those references to changes of CDs!
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!
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
The Green Mill Murder is the fifth Phryne Fisher adventure, and Kerry Greenwood has created a great plot involving an inventive murder method, a dance marathon, the killing of the wrong man, Phryne as intrepid aviatrix flying over the outback and the Australian Alps, and meeting a hermit who has been legally declared dead. Along the way we encounter blackmail, jealousy, an extremely dysfunctional family and attempted fratricide., and I can assure you that this book is lots of fun!
The descriptions of the outback and the extremely rough terrain of the mountains are particularly vivid. As usual, Phryne gets to the bottom of all the mysterious matters that crop up with elan and dash while distributing large doses of friendship, love and kindness to just about any person who needs them.
Stephanie Daniel does her usual excellent job of narration, employing a number of voices and accents. Some reviewers have complained about her singing. While her singing in the Phryne books is not the most beautiful I have ever heard, it is also not the worst. I think the suggestion of hiring a professional singer is a bit much, considering that the singing is a very small percentage of the text. Besides, I fear that the resulting increase in production costs would be passed along in a price increase for consumers.
This really is one of the really good Phryne Fisher books. Enjoy!!
This was the first Phryne Fisher mystery I have read or listened to, and the series won't be at the top of my list for a re-visit.
I found the main character a bit too smug, and there really wasn't much to the plot. If this is any indication of the rest of the series it is just Nancy Drew with sex:) Nothing wrong with that, however, if you are in the mood for very light entertainment.
At the same time I ordered this from the Audible sale, I bought one of the "Royal Spyness" series, which is just as silly in its own way, but I think it was better read and had a bit more charm.
I am not sure what I enjoyed the most. The descriptions used or the reading of the story. It was enjoyable listening to the tale of American Jazz played Down Under, the mystery and a travel back in time. The mystery took you across Australia into the Australian Alps. Kerry Underwood's description make you want to go there and see it for yourself.
There were many memorial moments. But the scene in the Alps when Charles shows up and Kerry is in bed with his brother, while tragic in the ending did have some great funny descriptions. I really likes the little wombat.
I really liked Phyrne Fisher, she was such a free spirit. But the singer was also something else. When she sang the Blues, especially in the final scene at the club, was something else.
It was a bit long to listen to in one sitting. It also gave me something to look forward to when I was working at the computer. If you condensed it you would lose some of the descriptions and I really enjoyed those.
I like the book so much I just purchased three more of her novels. I am looking forward to listening to them.
This book ranks in about the middle of my reading list. I have listened to over 200 books and many different readers.
Because it takes place in Australia and makes reference to many local areas and establishments, I would liken it to Alexander McCall Smith's series The No. 1 Ladies
Detection Agency. Both series are interesting to listen, informative and well read.
I thought the description of Phryne flying over the Australian Alps was very good. There were many scenes, that for different reasons, were delightful to hear about. I could feel Victor's need for silence and the pain of the last dancers.
It took me a while to get into the reader Stephanie Daniel. It seemed that while I was getting use to the accent many characters were introduced. At first, I wasn't sure that I would like this book. However, I am glad that I finished it.
Yes, there were nuances that may not have been picked up in original listening.
Great variety of characters meant that you had to be on your toes to keep all the threads linked.
Very pleasing voice with accents at the right time.
Dancing can be dangerous !
Do not like the reader's singing - should get a singer to do the singing parts.
Stephanie Daniel's performance brings the characters to life.
Phryne Fisher has become one of my favorite fictional characters. Kerry Greenwood has written her with sympathy, panache, and lots of tongue-in-cheek. I confess, however, that my second favorite character is Mr. Butler, the butler.
Her performance is exceptional. She does not narrate, she performs. I sometimes need to remind myself that there is only one actor and not a whole cast. Her timing is excellent, and her portrayals are superb. I can't imagine anyone else performing Phryne. And she has a way with accents. They are natural and unaffected, adding to the realism of the performance.
Her sympathetic portrayal of shell-shocked soldiers is moving.
I have listened to many of Stephanie Daniel's performances of the Phryne Fisher books, and while I think Death by Water is my favorite, this ranks right up there with the best.
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