Phryne Fisher, scented and surprisingly ruthless, is not one to let sleuthing a horrific crime get in the way of an elegant dalliance.
The redoubtable Phryne Fisher is holidaying at Cave House, a Gothic mansion in the heart of the Victorian mountain country.
But the peaceful country surroundings mask danger. Her host is receiving death threats, lethal traps are set without explanation around the house and the parlour maid is found strangled to death.
What with the reappearance of the mysterious funerary urns, apair of young lovers, an extremely eccentric swagman, an angry outcast heir, and the luscious Lin Chung, Phryne’s attention has definitely been caught.
Phryne’s search for answers takes her deep into the dungeons of the house and of the limestone Buchan caves. But what will she find this time?
Solve another case with Phryne Fisher.
©1996 Kerry Greenwood (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
This Phryne Fisher adventure is a bit different from earlier Greenwood books. In "Urn Burial," the author has decided to play a game as many earlier mystery writers did in the 1920s and 1930s, sometimes including Agatha Christie. The game involved following the Rules of Murder which had developed over the early years of the genre, and which were "codified" by mystery writer Ronald Knox in 1929.
Knox set forth 10 rules, which he followed in his books (several of those books are available on Audible), including things such as there must be a large party at a country house, no magic or similar gimmicks can be used to solve the crime, there may be no Chinamen introduced into the story, and other matters. (You can find Knox's Rules set forth in the Wikipedia article on The Golden Age of Detection Fiction.) In addition to following those rules, Greenwood also pays homage to Agatha Christie in several details, including naming one of her characters Miss Mary Mead.
I found the story quite engaging, although in a different manner than the previous Phryne adventures. Despite the different structure, however, Phryne is still Phryne, stylish, passionate, self confident, and very much her own woman. As is usual with Phryne books on Audible, there is at the end an interview between the author and Stephanie Daniel, the voice of Phryne, and in these conversations you always pick up a little information about Australia in the 1920s or about Australian history or grography.
I have yet to find a Phryne book on Audible which wasn't fascinating, entertaining, and great fun. They all give you hours of lighthearted adventure, and I love them!
Light, entertaining and easy to listen to.
In the cave towards the end
We listen to Greenwoods books as we drive. We love all her books.
"A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” --C.S. Lewis
Possibly. I haven't gotten around to listening to any of my books over again. Although I do read them over and over, so you never know.
I think as the books move on, Kerry Greenwood's descriptions and storyline get stronger.
I've been listening to the entire series. This was standard performance, I wouldn't have expected anything else--although STOP SINGING. Jeez.
Yes, but it's kind of a twist, so I don't want to give it away.
Ugh. The sex is getting to be a bit too much as far as Phryne is concerned. It's fine with me if she wants one lover a book, but two? Not necessary, and it really skeeved me out, especially since they were both within a day of each other, and technically she was "with" one of them. I thought it was crude and manipulative. I don't appreciate cheating in real life, why would I want to read about it? (the other lovers within the book/storyline don't bother me one bit, although somebody who is more...prejudiced...may take issue).
You can always count on Phryne Fisher for a bit of light fun. This one is a bit different from others in the series, as the author tips her hat (or sticks out her tongue) at Agatha Christie. The story is full of the usual Christie tropes (the isolated country house, the long returned secret relative, and on and on) but Greenwood pokes and tweaks them in a very un-Christie way.
It wasn't my favorite of the Phryne mysteries by far, but was quite an enjoyable diversion none the less.
You have to love Phryne
The boathouse and the cave were both equally memorable.
Possibly too many characters.
...still a Phryne novel, so therefore better than most. Away from the usual location and cast of characters, the play on Agatha Christie books will be fun for those in the know. Less so for those, like myself, who find that kind of whodunit set piece a bit trying.
Good story and I really enjoy the narrator - so many characters and each sounds distinct. I have all the titles in this series and this a favorite of mine.
The author winds an excellent plot through a cast of interesting and varied charachters in a period piece that takes us back to early Australia.
Phryne is my favourite charachter. What's not to like about an extremly accomplished, clever woman who is very much in control of herself and who copes well with surprises and difficulties.
The reader brings the story alive with excellent charachter portrayals. The audio book is a favourite of mine as I can listen while I do other things. The performance of the reader raises it to entertainment.
Excellent story, very well read.
I might recommend this if the person likes gushy romance.
Lisa Lutz or Carolyn Haines. Or I might wait until Bill Bryson's next book comes out on audio.
No, but she does a good job. I just don't like the heroine much.
No. I almost barfed over the sappy lovey-dovey conversations ("Say it! Say it aloud!" "My own love; my own true love.") . Maybe that was to emphasize the coolness of the protagonist. Or perhaps it was the correct tone for the 1920s. But even the interesting fact that one of the couples was gay didn't make it less "rolling-my-eyes-and-yawning-my-head-off." And when the heroine wasn't making any headway with her so-called investigation, she just jumped into bed, like that other girl might pick up a partner and go on the roof for a game of tennis.And seriously, what was the point of this "party," anyway? Did people really go to the homes of others they didn't really like that much, stay in their homes, eat their food, dance with them, and use their homes like a hotel for days on end? I understand that for half the book they were stranded by floods, but Phryne wasn't in a party mood even before that. Geez, Woman! Buy your own freaking house and go live in peace with your lover.But then there would be no murder mystery. Exactly. The entire premise of this book is ho-hum.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
In the style of Agatha Christie. Good fun that will not tax you too much.
"Fabulous story as usual."
Wonderfully written and narrated,long may Phryne reign !!! I cannot get enough of her adventures.
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