Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Darker Shade of Miss Fisher

Phryne Fisher # 12
Kerry Greenwood
Poisoned Pen Press
September 5, 2017

Murder in Montparnasse takes us back to a time when Miss Fisher was more innocent and less worldly wise, despite her experience as an ambulance driver in WWI. Footloose in Paris, she is intimate with artistic and literary figures, earning her living as a much in demand artist's model, and generally enjoying her freedom. However, she meets a thoroughly evil individual named Rene DuBois and promptly falls for him. Despite warnings from her friends, Phyrne learns the hard way just how wicked Rene is. She escapes him, but the experience colors her memories of Paris ever after. Meantime, her future cronies in Australia, Cec and Bert, are also in Paris with five other soldiers. On a rowdy night, the seven soldiers witness a murder but are too drunk to do anything about it. Years later, two of the soldiers are dead in quick succession in Australia. The deaths are ruled accidents, but Cec and Bert know that can't be true. Phryne is working on another case, that of a kidnapped girl but also wants to help them. The intersection of the three cases brings about some rough Australian justice for all.

I am reading the Miss Fisher Mysteries wildly out of order, but it seems to me that each one can be read as a stand-alone. No doubt it helps that I have seen all the episodes of the TV series. There are differences but nothing that is problematic, at least not for me. Each is a romp through a different time and place, with an unforgettable and unconventional heroine. I particularly enjoyed the integration of real historical figures like Djuna Barnes, Sylvia Beach, and Pablo Picasso. This Phryne Fisher story is a little darker than others I have read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thanks to NetGalley and The Poisoned Pen for an advance digital copy. The opinions above are my own.

RATING- 4 Stars

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