Book Review – MURDER ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT (Phryne Fisher) by Kerry Greenwood

Murder on a Midsummer Night by Kerry GreenwoodMurder on a Midsummer Night Synopsis

Melbourne, 1929. The year starts off for glamorous private investigator Phryne Fisher with a rather trying heat wave and more mysteries than you could prod a parasol at. Simultaneously investigating the apparent suicide death of a man on St Kilda beach and trying to find a lost, illegimate child who could be heir to a wealthy old woman’s fortune, Phryne needs all her wits about her, particularly when she has to tangle with a group of thoroughly unpleasant Bright Young Things. But Phryne Fisher is a force of nature, and takes in her elegant stride what might make others quail, including ghosts, Kif smokers, the threat of human sacrifices, dubious spirit guides, and maps to buried pirate treasure… (TheNile)

BOOK REVIEW

I was fortunate enough to first make Phryne Fisher’s acquaintance last year when I read and thoroughly enjoyed Queen of the Flowers. Now I am really bad at reading series, so of course I started with the 14th novel in the series. I have now jumped to Phryne’s 17th outing, Murder on a Midsummer Night. The great thing about these novels is they read well in isolation, with Kerry Greenwood providing sufficient back story for the reader to understand the relationship, but not so much to be annoying to a Phryne devotee.

In Phryne Fisher Kerry Greenwood has crafted such a feisty, forthright and fun character – she is addictive.

Murder on a Midsummer Night presents two very compelling and intertwined mysteries that provide plenty of roles for Phryne’s colourful extended family to play in the investigation. I found Phryne’s sister and her companion a particularly charming addition to the troupe. Through Phryne’s interaction with her sister we also learn more about Phryne’s childhood. I felt the Murder on a Midsummer Night storylines were stronger than those of Queen of the Flowers.

I listened to the audio version of Murder on a Midsummer Night and found it highly entertaining. Narrator Stephanie Daniel does a wonderful job portraying the sassy and sexy Phryne along with Greenwood’s raft of other colourful characters.  I will definitely be going back for more Phryne in audio from this talented narrator.

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If you’re ever in need of a pick-me-up I recommend a good dose of Phryne Fisher and her family. She does what she wants, while doing good for others. She is smart and refined, yet is not one to ride side-saddle (either literally or metaphorically). She consumes food and wine to make your mouth water and meets the most interesting people. Oh, and she’s never too busy to have an afternoon snooze – handsome companion optional!

There is a real treat for Phryne Fisher fans coming soon: The Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries series (13 x 1hr) based on  Kerry Greenwoods novels has just been filmed and will be shown on ABC in 2012.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4.5 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5

BOOK DETAILS:  Murder on a Midsummer Night (TheNile – Australia); Murder on a Midsummer Night (Audible); Murder on a Midsummer Night (Amazon); Murder on a Midsummer Night (Kobobooks – epub)

Genre: Historical, Mystery, Crime-Detective, Humour, Audio

Author Information: Kerry Greenwood has a brilliant website, or sorry, more correctly a webpage within Phryne Fisher’s website – check it out. There along with all her novels you can find a very helpful listing of Phryne Fisher’s friends.

Other reviews of Phryne Fisher Mystery, Murder on a Midsummer Night: AustCrime ; Mysteries in Paradise ; Spinetingler ; Page Turners

Other titles by Kerry Greenwood : The latest novel in the Phryne Fisher series, her 18th novel, is Dead Man’s Chest. Greenwood is also the author of the Corinna Chapman series - talented baker and sometimes investigator.

This review forms part of my participation in the Aussie Author Challenge 2011. Check out the Aussie Author Challenge 2012 sign up page.

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve never heard of this series before but it sounds awesome. I’m like you in that I don’t tend to follow series very well. Luckily these ones are readable in isolation!

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