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!
Really enjoyed this superbly read and written story. Actually checked some to the historical facts and couldn't fault them. Highly recommended
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.
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 love Phryne's attitude and the way she handles people. The description as usual are always enchanting.
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