Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Release Date: June 1, 2004
ISBN: 1590580427
Format Reviewed: Hardcover
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Genre:   Historical Mystery
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Brenda Weeaks
Reviewer Notes:  

Murder in Montparnasse
Phryne Fisher Mystery
By Kerry Greenwood

    A chef asks Phryne to his French restaurant. Even though the restaurant is in Australia, for Phryne, the atmosphere and smells bring back memories of Paris after the Great War. The chef tells Phryne he needs to find his young, missing fiancée, Elizabeth. Since the chef is much older than his fiancée, Phryne wonders if the young lady is reluctant to marry and ran off. Phryne agrees to look into the situation. In the same night, Phryne is visited by two acquaintances - Bert and Cec. They bring along Jonnie from a group of old mates they meet with once a year. The friendship goes back many years. Two of the seven friends have been murdered. They want Phryne to find out who murdered them and why. Phryne wants to protect her friends and promises to look in to it. She invites the Detective Inspector over for a good meal and gives him the choice of being interrogated before or after dinner. They eventually trade favor for favor and the cases begin. The result is a double mystery involved enough to entertain armchair sleuths.

    First impressions aren't everything. If they were, I would have closed the book after the first chapter. Phryne comes across as a vain, high maintenance, 1920s Greenwich Village, eccentric-type character, which usually means reading all about her and not much about the mystery. True readers will have to endure fashion talk, dress choosing, parties, menus, praise of dishes and drinks, and a lot about her, but readers will also see how well Phryne works the cases. She's sociable and skilled as a sleuth. She's a people person and knows how to get what she wants.

       The author includes some interesting secondary series characters, sets scenes up quickly and keeps the dialogue moving. All in all, an entertaining read. If you like your mysteries set in the 1920s and your amateur sleuth female, free loving, well-dressed, independent and intelligent, you'll like the Phryne Fisher Series.