No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

#57: Flying too High -- Kerry Greenwood

Phryne inspected her bed-hangings, which were black silk embroidered with green leaves, and her mossy sheets, which were dark to show off her white body. Her carpet was green and soft as new grass, and her mirrors appropriately pink, and framed in ceramic vine leaves. All she needed now was a bacchanalian lover to match the room. (p. 23)

The second Phryne Fisher mystery, located by C on her Australian travels, shipped to New Zealand to await my arrival, and read on the plane from Auckland to Shanghai.

Phryne, her reputation preceding her courtesy of Melbourne's aristocracy, is engaged to investigate a murder: quite by chance she also becomes involved in a kidnapping case. There are beautiful young men, pilots agog at Phryne's unfeminine capabilities, and breakfast and tea at the Queenscliff Hotel in what can best be described as mixed company.

The novel's very firmly rooted in its time (1928): the excavations at Luxor are in the news, women pilots are beginning to break records, and Phryne's household staff aren't quite sure what to make of their wayward mistress.

Perhaps some of the swashbuckling is a little over the top, a tad unnecessary: but Phryne enjoys herself (and solves both cases, of course) and Greenwood has a nice touch with dialogue, which on several occasions had me laughing out loud.

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