In this collection of detective stories, Phryne Fisher recovers missing jewelry and missing people, thwarts blackmailers, and cracks codes, all while remaining as cool and unflappable as ever.
I adore the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. The author wrote a short note at the beginning of the book about how Miss Fisher came to be – she wanted to write a sort of female James Bond, with the glamour and the adventure and the romance, except better than James Bond because her books are not sexist or racist. But in a lot of ways Phryne reminds me of Flora Poste from Cold Comfort Farm as well, with all that cool competency.
That glamour and cool competency is on full display in this collection. The mysteries vary in tone and severity, from the macabre “Dead Shall Be Dead” to the playful “The Hours of Juana the Mad.” I enjoyed this variety because reading death and dreariness repeatedly can become a bit of a downer. My favorite story was “Puttin’ on the Ritz” because it quite made me laugh.
And important thing to note is that this collection is a reissue of a previous one, A Question of Death, with four new stories included. As I had not read the old collection, this was fine by me, but owners of A Question of Death would likely be better off with a library copy of this book. I also docked a star because some of the stories got a little convoluted in their unravelling of the solutions, making them a touch hard to follow.
Overall, a really enjoyable read and a good introduction into the world of Phryne Fisher.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.