>ARC Review: Kerry Greenwood’s Dead Man’s Chest


[No. 18 in the Phryne Fisher Mysteries]
*Due for release September 7, 2010*

Phryne Fisher needs a rest. It’s summer. She packs up her family and moves to Queenscliff, a quiet watering place on the coast. Where she meets with smugglers, pirate treasure and some very interesting surrealists, including a parrot called Pussykins. What is the mysterious Madame Selavey hiding? Where are the Johnsons, who were supposed to be in the holiday house?

Dead Man’s Chest is the 18th installment in the Phryne Fisher mystery series (there is also a treasury) and as you now know from the interview with Ms. Greenwood herself, the series is set in 1920s Melbourne and features the wonderful Phryne Fisher, a dashing young woman with a flair for fashion, nerves of steel, and the knack for attracting waifs and strays.

Phryne Fisher mysteries do not always center around murder, and this isn’t one of those books where ten people die before you reach the second chapter. In some books the mystery builds up slowly, and in others it hits you from the first page, but my true addiction to these books comes from the wonderful characters and the historical detail that Ms. Greenwood includes, these books are truly a window into 1920s Melbourne.

In Cocaine Blues, the first book in the series, Phryne starts out on her own, but soon she has acquired a maid-companion who she met wandering the Melbourne streets, a couple of socialist drivers, and a police inspector who, while awed by the flamboyant Ms. Fisher, realizes soon enough that she has a great advantage in the crime solving business.

I love that Phryne is so very independent without being annoying, she isn’t constantly walking about saying “I’ll do it all by myself” yet, somehow she manages to get out of some very sticky situations. It is also lots of fun to read about the inner workings of her mind as she accepts yet another into her fold, she doesn’t just seem tough, she is tough, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a very warm heart. Ms. greenwood writes her character beautifully, with just the right amount of humor, sarcasm, and a great deal of intelligence.

Each time we join Phryne on a case, we are introduced to more and more colorful characters who become part of her household or her associates. Dead Man’s Chest is no different. This book introduces us to Tinker aka Eddie the Slacker, a young boy who soon becomes anything but a slacker due to his hero worship of Phryne. I loved his character, especially his interactions with Gaston the terrier. I can’t wait to see what becomes of him in the next book.

You are probably wondering about the mystery itself. Well, I can’t really say much, because it would ruin he story. I will say that in this book, the mystery took place in the background for quite a bit of the book, but truthfully? I didn’t mind. As I told someone just a few days ago – I would read Kerry Greenwood’s shopping list if she published it! These stories are very much character based, and each and every character in the book is wonderful to read about. Oh, and you might want to have a snack sitting next to you as you read, the food descriptions in these books? Mouthwatering.

What I would recommend if possible – read the books in order. Many of the characters who join Phryne along the way have their own stories told in one of the books, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on getting to know them, would you?

Dead Man’s Chest is a solid addition to this series, and anyone who loves these books will enjoy every single page. Now, if only I could get the recipe for that Impossible Pie…

The Phryne Fisher Mysteries
Cocaine Blues-1989 (aka Death by Misadventure)
Flying Too High-1992
Murder on the Ballarat Train-1992
Death at Victoria Dock-1993
The Green Mill Murder-1993
Blood and Circuses-1994
Ruddy Gore-1995
Urn Burial-1995
Raisins and Almonds-1997
Death Before Wicket-1999
Away with the Fairies-2002
Murder in Montparnasse-2004
The Castlemaine Murders-2004
Queen of the Flowers-2005
Death by Water-2005
Murder in the Dark-2006
Murder on a Midsummer Night-2007
A Question of Death:-2008
Dead Man’s Chest-September 7, 2010

Find Kerry: Website

This book was sent to Noa through
Net Galley.


12 responses to “>ARC Review: Kerry Greenwood’s Dead Man’s Chest

  1. >Interesting, I always thought Ruddy Gore was the first.

  2. >That does it… I am ordering these books!Thank you Noa for adding more books to my library! Im really excited about these though- they are right up my alley!!!I love books!!!!

  3. >Liz – from what I have seen on the Phryne Fisher website – Ruddy Gore is no. 7 in the series.I do know there are short stories – perhaps one of them came before?I'm dying to get my hands on the treasury…there are recipes.Dana – this series is truly wonderful. The food descriptions, the setting, the characters….pure 1920s wonderful!

  4. >Ruddy Gore was originally published 1995 and is the book in which she met her Chinese lover. I have the original paperback – which doesn't have one of the gorgeous Art Deco covers.

  5. >Liz – Cocaine Blues was originally published in 1989 🙂 it is the book that brings her from England to Australia – it when she meets Dot (her companion) and also the police inspector plus a few other characters…

  6. >I haven't read that one – I was importing them from Australia but Ruddy Gore wasn't in print and a friend found an old copy in a used book shop for me. I sounds as if Cocaine Blues is a flashback novel.

  7. >There are short stories in a compendium book called "A Question of Death". There are also some recipes and even some of Mr Butler's cocktail recipes The first is for an Absinthe Cocktail).I don't know if It contains a recipe for Impossible Pie but there is one here: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/impossible-coconut-pie-ii/Detail.aspxI've made it before but it didn't seperate the way it's supposed to for me that time. It still tasted good through. I must try it again.

  8. >Thanks for that, Noa! All through the books I've read there have references to her aristocratic family and obviously this was the book that went back and told the story. One of the others told part of it with her time as an ambulance driver in the first world war. Elizabeth George did something similar with Linley – readers clearly did want to know why he didn't marry the woman he was in love with :)I need to catch up. So many books, so little time!

  9. >My pleasure! Ah, the Elizabeth George Linley books… another wonderful series! I also love Midsomer Murders …. I have to say, I love watching the show as much as reading the books. That John Nettles… 😉

  10. >I have all the books in this series and re read them all the time the characters are terrific and the settings amazing even my mother remembers some of the places and areas in the books . i have just purchased the new one and can't wait to read it

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