The Booksnob’s Blog

Books… the best, worst, & weirdest…

Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher series

Melbourne author Kerry Greeenwood is a legal advocate who moonlights as a crime writer, although these days it’s really the other way around, what with the enormous success of her series featuring crime-solving heiress Phryne Fisher.

I must confess to loving that cool-as-a-cucumber 1920s gal Phryne, with her enviable figure and fashion sense, flash house and snazzy Hispano-Suiza racing car. Not to mention her level-headedness in a crisis, and crisply authoritative bossing around of servants and everyone else within earshot.

Phryne has an endearing habit of taking under her wing people who are down on their luck, and they return the favour with undying devotion to their clever and wayward mistress. She is also uncompromising in her pursuit of pleasure with an assortment of handsome young men who regularly flow through her life, no doubt causing endless headaches for the loyal and patient Mr and Mrs Butler, who run Phryne’s household.

The series is more character-driven than anything, as sometimes the plot twists and logistics of the actual murders become a bit implausible, but the series is an enormous amount of fun, and Phryne and her team of occasionally rather dodgy “Good Guys” are immensely likeable characters.

The series in order:
Cocaine Blues
Cocaine Blues 
Flying Too High
Murder on the Ballarat Train
Death at Victoria Dock
The Green Mill Murder
Blood and Circuses
Ruddy Gore
Urn Burial
Raisins and Almonds
Death Before Wicket
Away with the Fairies
Murder in Montparnasse
The Castlemaine Murders
Queen of the Flowers
Death By Water
Murder in the Dark 


November 29, 2007 - Posted by | Fiction | ,


  1. Greenwood’s heroine, Phryne, is unusual, because readers almost forget the crimes as they get caught up in her opulent life. Greenwood always hits the right tone in how her character handles crimes,her amorous ‘pets’ and the people around her.

    Comment by Marsha Durham | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  2. I’m not usually a big fan of the mystery genre, but Phryne Fisher is so much fun I am devouring the books as fast as I can. Lucky for me, my sister has them all. I agree the series is more character-driven. That may be the reason I like it so much.

    Comment by Stacey Garza | January 10, 2008 | Reply

  3. Similar with me, in that my niece has all of them and I get to borrow them. I enjoy Greenwood’s chatty style. I also like how she manages to incorporate enough 20’s ‘stuff’ that the settings and story seem authentic. Marsha

    Comment by Marsha | January 23, 2008 | Reply

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