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Publisher's Summary

In Phryne's third adventure, Phryne is off to Ballarat for a week of fabulousness, but the sedate journey by train turns out to be far from the restful trip she was planning. What was planned as a restful country sojourn turns into the stuff of nightmares: a young girl who can't remember anything, rumours of vile white slavery, and the body of an old woman missing her emerald rings. And Phryne is at the centre, working through the clues to arrive at the incredible truth before another murder is committed. Fortunately, Phryne can still find a little time for a discreet dalliance and the delicious diversion of that rowing team of young men.

Solve another case with Phryne Fisher.
©1991 Kerry Greenwood (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"This latest mystery to feature the irrepressible Phryne Fisher, Melbourne's uninhibited 1920s private detective, begins with Phryne saving the lives of a group of travelers when someone chloroforms their train compartments. Unfortunately, an elderly woman is discovered missing and then found murdered. It's left to Phryne to unmask the killer while rescuing a young girl who suffers from amnesia. This series continues to offer a feisty main character and a vividly created and definitely unusual historical setting - the flapper Down Under." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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  • Nancy J
  • Tornado Alley OK
  • 02-22-13

What fun! A romp through 1920s Australia

The Phryne Fisher series is great fun, featuring a heroine who is beautiful, smart, sophisticated, wealthy, independent, courageous and funny. As indicated by the title, this installment features a murder committed on a train under mysterious circumstances. Phryne, of course, takes the lead in solving the murder with great panache. She is assisted in various ways by her maid Pat, her friend Inspector Robinson, and her pet taxi drivers and investigators Bert and Cec. Along the way, she acquires two adopted daghters (Jane and Ruth), a cat (Embers), and the obligatory new lover (this one a young law student).

These books are lighthearted and filled with atmosphere. However, each book does deal with a serious subject. In this case, it is sex trafficking of young girls.

Phryne is the epitome of the independent woman of the 1920s, displaying great elan, living life on her own terms, and breezing through all challenges and difficulties. The very essence of Phryne is enhanced by the wonderful performances of Stephanie Daniel, who depicts Phryne's character exactly with a breezy, self-assured voice that is perfect for these books.

Highly recommended for a lighthearted break from all those dark mysteries and thrillers.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • E.D.
  • California
  • 10-17-12

A real Whodunit

This series came to me out of left field. I got Book 2 on a Sale and now I'm hooked. These are excellent mysteries, great characters, and just enough "Cozy" to be satisfying. Don't get me wrong, the main character is edgy, more than modern. These are well crafted, and deal with some very seamy stuff. Rather than taking a formula list of items and forcing them into an outline, these plots are CRAFTED seamlessly into a fine, smooth story. This is NOT your "Grocery Store Checkout Line Romance." These are BOOKS. Very entertaining, and well written.
That said, the mysterious death on a train at night and you are off on an amazing and dangerous adventure. How was it done? Who did it? Why? I couldn't out guess it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Phryne's back--another really fun listen!

This is a delightful series--entertaining characters, perfectly paced, colorful settings & escapades, amusing romantic romps, and oh yes--always a mystery to solve as well. Stephanie Daniel reads these books so well--and along with the peppy accompanying 20's style music--they make the perfect complement to the writing. (In fact, after listening to the first three books in the series, I doubt reading one would be as good!)

In this book, Phryne is riding with Dot, her companion, on a train--when the entire car is sedated by chloroform being sent through the ventilation system. Phryne practically single-handedly rescues most of the people herself (no surprise, if you know Phryne from past books), and immediately is immersed in the crime (murder of one of the passengers). This leads to all sorts of complications as side issues--including the introduction of two girls whom I presume we will see in future books. (Don't know, since I'm listening to them in order). Agatha Christie would have loved this book, with it's modern style of writing about a crime on a train--taking place in her era :-)

There is everything to love about this series and this book. The only reason I gave the story 4 stars instead of 5 this time was because it was WAY to easy to finger the culprit early on. However, even if the culprit had been named in the first paragraph, this book would still be a super read/listen. It has a kind of charm to it that simply captivates my imagination. Highly recommend!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

First book with Jane & Ruth - Great!

The book opens with an entire train-car being drugged, and things just keep getting better - or worse if you're the victim. Phryne is fun & sophisticated as usual, and the story is never boring - I love this series! Plus, this is the book in which we meet Jane & Ruth & Ember the cat!!! If you've never met Phryne Fisher before, imagine James Bond & the Saint mixed together, and then make that person into a beautiful woman in 1920's Melbourne, Australia. Add to that mix Stephanie Daniel, a fabulous reader who makes a great book even better. This book is definitely credit-worthy, and so is the entire series. I just wish that Audible would get the few that it does not have yet.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Another hit!

Yet another fantastic adventure of Miss Fisher. I love these books. I both read and listen to them. Just a wonderful series and the narrator is superb.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful book and narration

This is the first book I've listened to without reading the Kindle book first, and it was surprisingly easy to follow the plot, twists and all. Part of the reason for that was the narrator. She sucked me right into the story. I even stayed up way past my bedtime just so I could finish the book! All in all, it's a terrific book, and I'm going to be getting the rest of the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Bees Knees

A tale of murder most fowl ,lucky Miss Fisher outstanding lady detective is on the
case ,never rattled by the horror of a found battered body Miss fisher takes all in stride. I enjoy the humor and and the care and detail to the world and the foke that inhabit these pages ,Stephanie Daniel dose an absolutely superb job at giving each and everyone a personally, I hope you get as much joy out of this as I did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Judith
  • Brogue, PA, United States
  • 01-25-12

enjoyable and educational

Where does Murder on the Ballarat Train rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

top 20%

What was one of the most memorable moments of Murder on the Ballarat Train?

when murderer is unmasked

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

yes; always good

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

don't know what a tag line is

Any additional comments?

love Phryne Fisher books!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Yay for Miss Fisher

The changes made by the TV show writers are evident, and clearly to cut characters and time. But I think I prefer the books. Jack Robinson is less of a prude,. even if he's also not a love interest. Phryne gets more respect. And she is kinder.

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Great Performance

Any additional comments?

The Miss Fisher programs on TV are very entertaining. My son loved the show and loves to listen to the audible version during long car rides. It's nice to have something we all can enjoy. It should be noted that this performance version is the exact replica of the show. Due to this, it does lack extra descriptive verbiage that sparks the imagination.

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  • kitty67
  • 06-05-16

Brilliant

Another great story by Kerry Greenwood, narrated by Stephanie Daniel is a pleasure to listen too. No mis-pronunciation of words, which is a blessing in itself. The story keeps you hooked and you want to find out what happens next.

I would highly recommend this

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  • gertrude
  • 03-22-17

Loving the Miss Fisher books!

So far this is my second Phyrne Fisher mystery, and I am hooked. Stephanie Daniel is a great narrator, Kerry Greenwood an excellent author... roll on number three!

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  • Lily Davison
  • 11-20-16

The Second Novel in an Amazing series

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

Engrossing, Engaging, Enchanting.

What did you like best about this story?

Greenwood has a such a strong sense of the characters that they drive the plot and make the story much more interesting

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Any scene with Dot and Phryne.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Phryne adopting both Jane and Ruth. Not choosing one 'like they're kittens'