Monday, July 3, 2017

Missing Girls in Melbourne....Miss Fisher to the Rescue

UNNATURAL HABITS (Miss Fisher #19)
Kerry Greenwood
The Poisoned Pen Press
July 4, 2017

It's 1929 in Melbourne, and Miss Fisher is on her way to her club, accompanied by her friend Dr. MacMillan when she comes across a young woman being menaced by thugs. With the help of the bodyguards provided by her Chinese lover, Lin Chung, Miss Fisher rescues her. Miss Fisher is not happy about the bodyguards but even she admits that they come in handy sometimes. The young woman is Polly Kettle, an aspiring investigative reporter with an overblown sense of self-importance and a limited sense of self-preservation. Polly is looking into the disappearance of three pregnant, unmarried girls sent to give birth at the home of a "pious" widow. Polly goes on her way but is reported kidnapped the next day. Phryne's Police Inspector friend, Jack Robinson, asks for her help in the investigation. Not only are the three pregnant girls and Polly Kettle missing, but several others as well, all young and blonde. Phryne's search takes her into a seamy underworld of brothels, piracy, white slavery and the infamous Magdalene Laundries.

I am a big fan of the Australian television version of the Miss Fisher Mysteries, starring the fabulous Essie Davis. I confess that I have read only a few of the books though they are perennially on my "TBR" list. With the background of the series, I was able to jump right into Unnatural Habits, even though there are differences. The books and series have a masterful blend of historical detail, action, highly individual characters, and social commentary presented with a light touch. I also enjoy Greenwoods' Corinna Chapman Series, set in modern-day Melbourne. I recommend Unnatural Habits with no reservations to fans of historical mysteries.

Thanks to NetGalley and The Poisoned Pen Press for a digital copy of Unnatural Habits. The opinions above are my own.

RATING- 4 Stars

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