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Blood and Circuses

A Phryne Fisher Mystery
Narrated by: Stephanie Daniel
Series: Phryne Fisher, Book 6
Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (771 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher is feeling dull. But is shebored enough to leave her identity, her home and family behind and join Farrell’s Circus and Wild Beast Show? There have beenstrange things happening at the circus. And when Phryne is asked by her friends – Samson the Strong Man, Alan the carousel operator and Doreen the Snake Woman – to help them, curiosity gets the better of her. Peeling off her wealth and privilege, Phryne takes a job as a trickhorse-rider, wearing hand-me-down clothes and a new name. Someone seems determined to see the circus fail and Phryne must find out who that might be and why they want it badly enough to resort to poison, assault and murder. Diving into the dangerous underworld of 1920s Melbourne and the wild, eccentric life under the big top, Phryne proves her courage and ingenuity yet again, aided only by her quick intelligence, an oddly attractive clown, and a stout and helpful bear.

Solve another case with Phryne Fisher.
©1994 Kerry Greenwood (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining, but not really a mystery/thriller

STORY (fiction) - This is Book 6 is the series, but it's my first Phryne Fisher book. It's set in Australia sometime in the 1920's. In this story Phryne (pronounced "Frynie"), who is a young lady of privilege, joins a traveling circus to try to learn why so many strange accidents have been occurring. IMHO, the story is really all about Phryne's experience posing as a trick rider in the circus and the characters she meets -- not a lot of mystery or detective work.

The circus characters are interesting and endearing, and I enjoyed the glimpse of circus life. Phryne is promiscuous and "romps" with a couple circus characters, which I was totally not expecting from this book or from her character. The story is a fresh, easy listen.

PERFORMANCE - Great job. She has a pleasant voice and performs multiple European accents. I totally LOVED her performance of the character Lizard Elsie.

OVERALL - Recommended primarily for adult females. There are a couple sexual encounters which are moderately explicit. Very little violence. The character Lizard Elsie is an old woman who curses like a sailor so be prepared for her frequent bursts of F this and F that, but she's a hoot! The story stands alone.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy J
  • Tornado Alley OK
  • 10-31-13

Danger and Joys in the Circus

Overcome by boredom, Phryne allows herself to be convinced by some circus friends to join a travelling circus in order to discover who is behind a string of "accidents" which threaten to shut the circus down. She gets hired as a rider in the trained horse act by learning and then demonstrating her ability to stand and stay standing on a cantering horse.

This balancing act is explained in terms that allow me to understand how it can possibly be done. That's one of the side benefits that I enjoy about reading Phryne Fisher books -- Kerry Greenwood always gives the reader some tidbit of knowledge, whether it is some bit of Australian geography or history, cultural history, or how to balance on a moving horse.

This is the first tale of Phryne working independently, with none of her ordinary backup team. Thus she is in more danger and less sure of herself. That makes this 6th Phryne Book a bit more serious than the others. And it also involves a sexual liaison which is more serious than in other books. But, of course, Phryne discovers and exposes the villain with her usual style and grace.

This book was very enjoyable for me, even though it is not as lighthearted as previous books in the series. As usual, Stephanie Daniel does a top notch job of narration. I especially enjoyed the conversation at the end between author and narrator, including the author's story of learning how to stand on a moving horse when she was a child.

Well worth you time.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Another Winner for Phryne

Where does Blood and Circuses rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book ranks well in the Phryne series. Interesting plot and sub-plots and excellent reader - Kerry Greenwood writes a wonderful yarn and Stephanie Daniel brings it all to life.

Which scene was your favorite?

The detail of circus life and the training required by the horse folk.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I've seen the ABC1 version and truthfully unless you take all of the book and are true to the Kerry Greenwood Phryne I'm not certain it would be a good move separate from the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

clowing around

We find our heroin ,under the big top of a struggling circus,board with her mundane life she gives up the maids and a soft bed for the rugged and harsh circus grounds ,were she is tested socially and psychically finding solace in the arms of a sad clown. There is a lot of swearing in this thanks to the very lovable lizard Elsy ,I only mention in case this turns you away from the ever entertaining Miss Fisher,which would be a great pity.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • Santa Fe, NM, United States
  • 05-28-12

Another Great Adventure with Phryne!

This series is wonderful and a fun listen. I love Phryne's adventures. Kerry Greenwood is an excellent author and Stephanie Daniel's voice superb. Don't worry if you start with this book, all is explained, so you won't be lost wondering who is who.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pam
  • Mangilao, GU, United States
  • 05-21-12

Phryne goes to the circus

Where does Blood and Circuses rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

All the Phryne Fisher books rank near the top of my favorites. I love Phryne Fisher

Who was your favorite character and why?

Phryne is my favorite character because I was very much like her in my youth.

Have you listened to any of Stephanie Daniel???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to other Phryne Fisher books and Ms. Daniel's reading is always wonderful. I love her different voices but her reading style doesn't distract from the story.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Phryne heads for the Big Top.

Any additional comments?

A lovely window on '20's Australia. Not to be missed!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This was hard to listen to

The voice acting was really high and low (volume wise) and lots of screechy, stagey accents. Made it hard to follow the story. Way too theatrical.

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Another fun story

I really enjoy this character, Phryne. She is fun and fabulous. An entertaining escape, good for a light read.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good, but could have been better.

I love Phryne, but the mystery in this one was rather obvious. It was fun to see this different side of Phryne, and we know she can do anything from flying planes to doing handstands on moving horses, but again, the mystery in this one was a bit lacking. Narrator was amazing as usual though.

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I never thought I would say this

I never thought I would say that I prefer the TV/Movie better than the books. The Phone mystery books are ok but the character left me cold. The TV version is much much better. First time in all my reading that I can remember saying that.

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  • Book Lover
  • 02-25-19

ENTERTAINING STORY SET IN A CIRCUS !

This is a riveting tale which takes us into a different world for
Phryne Fisher

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Torlus
  • 07-08-16

Not my favourite

Not my favourite of the Phryne Fisher stories but still good. As always the interview with the author at the end is interesting.