For the first book in my journey of #ReadWomen2014, I am choosing a book in the Phryne Fisher Mysteries by Australian author Kerry Greenwood. The Honourable Phryne Fisher, (‘Phryne as in ph in physician and Phryne to rhyme with briny’…) is gutsy and fabulous. The clothes she wears, the food she eats, her number of lovers and her moral compass is admirable. I would love to be invited to a lunch hosted by Phryne at a little Parisian bistro.
Set in the midst of a circus and flower festival, Phryne has the job of finding a missing flower girl. The girl who comes from a very broken home ( I loved the bit where Phryne visits the house) has dark secrets that will unsettle anyone. Phryne and her pals tries to find the missing girl but in the middle of this her own adopted daughter Ruth, goes missing. I loved this twist in the plot.
I must admit, I wasn’t hooked onto Queen of Flowers immediately, as I was with some of the other books in this series. I started reading it, put it down and picked it up again in want of a book to read on an 8 hour plane trip. The book soon picked up the pace and I had trouble putting it down. This book takes Phryne to the underworld of Melbourne and she deals with brothel owners and hunts down some very terrifying thugs. Honestly, the more I read about these thugs, I kept wishing and hoping that Phryne and her pals would never find those two.
This book has everything that is delightful about Phryne and her life; cocktails, elephants, dressing for the occasion, Chines lovers and old second hand books. Phryne is a lady with sophisticated taste and with the help of Dot, Bert, Cec and Mr and Mrs Butler, there isn’t a mystery that will get away from her.
Check out her other books here. Once you’ve dipped a toe in, you’ll be hooked.