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Phryne Fisher Mysteries, book 17
Allen & Unwin (2008)
Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack (this review was first published in November 2008)
Kerry Greenwood has written many speculative fiction novels, but is possibly best known for her Phryne Fisher mystery stories. This is one of those novels, and it has only the faintest connection to the speculative fiction genre. It’s an enjoyable novel, though, and readers who know only Greenwood’s speculative fiction may well want to try this series as well.
Set in 1929 Australia, the novel is part of the continuing story of Phryne Fisher. The aristocratic and rich Miss Fisher is an amateur detective; although she earns some money from her endeavours, she doesn’t really need it and undertakes her investigations more from curiosity or a desire to help someone. Here Phryne finds herself dealing with two mysteries. In the first, the formidable Mrs Manifold approaches Phryne for help. Her son Augustine was found drowned on a St Kilda beach; suicide, the police say. But Mrs Manifold is certain he would not kill himself, and her reasons are convincing enough for Phryne to agree to try to find the truth. At the same time, a local lawyer has approached Phryne for help in finding an illegitimate child – who would now be an adult – and who might or might not exist. Read the rest of this entry »