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Publisher's Summary

The delectable Phryne Fisher has been invited to the Last Best party of 1928. When three of the guests are kidnapped, Phryne finds she must puzzle her way through the scavenger hunt clues to retrieve the hostages. This is another sparkling mystery from Australia's Queen of Crime, Kerry Greenwood.
©2006 Kerry Greenwood; (P)2007 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Brimming with glamour, high life, and a hint of debauchery, Greenwood's series delivers a literary glass of champagne, lifting readers' spirits while tickling their fancies." (Booklist US)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Nancy J
  • Tornado Alley OK
  • 05-25-13

The Last Best Party of 1928


In this her 16th adventure, Phryne attends the party named above. All 15 of the previous Phryne Fisher books take place earlier in 1928, and the Party is being held for six days from Dec. 26th to New Year's Day 1929. Most of the action takes place at the party with hundreds of guest staying in the Manor House or in fancy tents on the grounds. The Party serves to show the absolute excesses of the rich immediately before the Crash of 1929.

Phryne's attendance is partially for fun, but primarily to investigate death threats against the party's host, who with his twin sister inherited a fabulous fortune and they have for years been going about spending it. Over the years they have gathered a group of followers from around the globe. Now they are throwing an extravaganza with incredible food, live jazz and other music, a polo match, and a number of opportunities to engage in tantric sex and other behaviors that many in that day might deem degenerate or perverted. All with great panache, of course!

Phryne attends the party and solves the mystery of the threats in her usual light -hearted manner, displaying supreme confidence and style. Meanwhile, at her house on Christmas Day, we meet Phryne' s sister, Eliza, and Eliza's lover Lady Alice, and Jane and Ruthie have their first wonderful Christmas ever. All great fun.

As usual, Stephanie Daniel's performance was excellent.

I read this book out of order. Ordinarily I try to read books in a series in chronological order in order to keep evolving characters and relationships straight. But I bought this one on sale and just dived in. Even without the continuity, I enjoyed it a great deal. It might not, however, be the best one of the Phryne Fisher books for a newcomer to read first.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Favorite Fisher

I think this is the strongest of the Fisher mysteries. Masterful narration once again by Stephanie Daniel. I have downloaded all of the titles available in this series and I highly recommend. Fun period mysteries that are well-paced, easy to listen to, and not too fluffy. A solid notch above typical chick-lit romances.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jodi
  • ormond beach, FL, United States
  • 08-05-14

Phryne is as entertaining as ever.

If you could sum up Murder in the Dark in three words, what would they be?

Fun, sexy, intriguing

Who was your favorite character and why?

Phryne - who wouldn't want to be her?

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

NOT try to sing!!!! Whenever the book referenced songs of the time, the narrator felt the need to sing them. She is great as a narrator, but she is NOT a singer. Her attempt to perform Jazz with a New Orleans drawl was especially painful to listen to. If I could fast forward through those spots I would have.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Deana
  • Granby, CT, United States
  • 12-23-11

Charming but not a mystery

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I wouldn't. I think it was very well-written, but it certainly wasn't a mystery. It is SO character-driven. The whole plot revolves around developing the main character, who I found irritating. It moved well, and there were moments of excitement. But not suspense and certainly not mystery.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I liked the period setting.

Any additional comments?

It's such a petty thing, but there was a lot of singing done by the (excellent) narrator. But the singing was atrocious, and often. It began to drive me out of my mind early in the narrative, and I found myself lurching up to turn the volume down, for fear that the neighbors could hear it. Maybe a small thing, but it really was a crazy-making deterrent in my mind.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Exceptional with some exceptions

The author always delivers a good story and Phryne Fisher is an amusing and strong character; but I could do without the occasional too-much-information sex scene that annoyingly interrupts a good plot.
The narrator - Stephanie Daniel - is very good at conveying the different characters with nimble changes of accent or tone of voice; but I really wish she would not sing when song lyrics are quoted: this is not where her talent lies!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Captures the 'eccentricity' of the time

Well I liked Stephanie's singing !

The ditties are reflective of many a home of the late 20's ( in Australia) and not everyone had the best melodious voice. Most people did sing. While later generations may like to think they discovered feminism and sexual freedom they are wrong. While this is light listening it does attempt to describe what some people did do for fun and pleasure.

The people concerned may have been rich and infamous as in this story, and even to this day there are the odd references to similar events.
These days the 3 or 4 day festivals are annual events, and some people in the 'olden days' also had their fun over a few days. The story is about a time before The Great Depression and set between Christmas and New Year.

This is not my favourite Kerry Greenwood story even though I thought Stephanie Daniel did a great job reading it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Megan
  • Holt, Australia
  • 01-02-12

Phryne is great company

What made the experience of listening to Murder in the Dark the most enjoyable?

I listened to this on a long road trip and it made the boring driving trip pass quickly and almost painlessly - the pain came from the singing - as stated by another reviewer I couldn't turn the volume down quickly enough to ease my pain. I cannot state enough how much I hated the singing. <br/>

What other book might you compare Murder in the Dark to and why?

I love all of the Phryne Fisher books - they are great fun - and prove to be a good listen too.

Which character – as performed by Stephanie Daniel – was your favorite?

Stephanie generally does a good job at voicing the characters, as I have already stated I'd be happier without the singing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful

My favourite story of the honourable miss Phryne Fisher to date! As per usual, this was wonderfully-well researched and felt quite educational about many a thing circa the 1920's.

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What fun!

As usual, this series is a delight to read. The mystery is entertaining. However, my absolute favorite aspects of the series are the characters and historical descriptions. It is such fun to immerse yourself into another time. The performance was spot on, and I hope to listen to many more books read by this fabulous performer.

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Murder In The Dark

enjoyed this story for the most part, Pryne Fisher is as usual a joy to listen to. The reader is always excellent.
This has not been my favourite one of the Phryne Fisher stories but most enjoyable listening.

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  • Lynne
  • 10-02-09

Wodehouse meets Christie

I do not say this lightly, I have only so far had this book but I will be getting all the others by her, but it was wonderful, it kept me guessing, but with the lightness of PG Wodehouse and set in the 1920's, so for fan's of old time murder mystery with very good cocktail recipes this is the book for you, ENJOY!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • r
  • 11-10-08

Again a fantastic period murder mystery

I just love this series of audiobooks.What can I say,fantastic period characters combined with a killer plot.
It is so addictive and has so many twists and turns with plenty of spice.
The 1920s at its best with a feelgood factor.
It certainly has me gripped.
Highly recommended listening,fantastic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Rosemary
  • 08-01-12

Not up to the usual standard

I was disappointed with this,although the narration by Stephanie Daniels is superb the storyline made me feel horrible.Even in today's world it would be extreme to encounter such a party,one cannot imagine it set in 1928/9 !!!

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  • Elizabeth M. Links
  • 02-04-15

Fabulous Phryne

I love the story and most of the narration. A very gifted narrator but didn't enjoy any of the singing.