MURDER IN THE DARK
Kerry Greenwood

 


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Allen & Unwin, Sep 2006
Reviewed by Sally Roddom

Phryne Fisher returns in her sixteenth adventure. Once again Kerry Geenwood evokes the images of the decadent life led by the upper classes of the 1920’s. Melbourne is in the grip of summer as Christmas approaches and Phryne is invited to the ‘Last Best’ party of 1928. Leaving her maid and adopted daughters behind, Phryne travels to Werribee Manor house, owned by the Golden Twins, Isabella and Gerald Templar. On her first night she meets two polo-playing women who are going to challenge the men, a large number of glamorous young men, a very rude child called Tarquin, and a mint-loving goat. Very quickly Phryne finds herself embroiled in solving a number of mysteries. Tarquin is kidnapped; another child, a girl, has already gone missing; and someone is making death threats against Gerald Templar. Searching for Tarquin, Phryne must match wits with the kidnapper by solving the cryptic written clues.

MURDER IN THE DARK is very good fun; as always, Greenwood is a comfort read with an edge. The edge in this book is depicted by hashish smoking, drunkenness and group sex. However, Kerry Greenwood takes the sting out of the subject with humour and wacky characters. Phryne indulges in her passion for jazz, dancing, flirtation and mint juleps as she puzzles her way through the clues and an attempt to save the day, or the party. There are poetry and cocktail recipes scattered through the book to counter the debauchery. Despite the heat, Phryne keeps her cool and befriends all sorts of interesting characters in her pursuit of the truth. Greenwood hasn’t disappointed – a great read for the summer.

Nov 2006 Review originally published on Murder & Mayhem

 

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