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Death Before Wicket
Phryne Fisher series #10

by Kerry Greenwood

      One of the joys of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series is the variety. The most recent prior one I'd read, Raisins and Almonds, is all about rich characterizations and colorful depictions of Jewish life and culture in 1920s Australia. Death Before Wicket, on the other hand, is more the sort of fast paced, light hearted action / adventure that lead to early books in this series being compared with Leslie Charteris's The Saint stories. Still plenty of color and characters and vivid life, but the focus is more on non-stop action.

Phryne is on holiday in Sydney, where she intends to watch some cricket, dine with the Chancellor of the University, enjoy some sight seeing, and help a pair of decorative young men rescue their friend from accusations of stealing the contents of the safe in the Dean's office. Of course nothing is ever that simple in Phryne's life.

Her maid Dot's sister Joan, who lives in Sydney, turns up missing under mysterious circumstances which may involve her having turned to a life of ill-repute. The search for Joan may be entwined with the search for some of the varied contents of the safe and together take her into worlds of bohemia and black magic and Egyptian papyri. There's derring do and exciting chases and rescues and just a lot of fun following Phryne romp her way through a university world that has certainly never dealt with a female such as her. Highly recommended.

The Book

Poisoned Pen Press
January 2008
Historical Mystery [1920s Australia]
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The Reviewer

Kim Malo
Reviewed 2008
© 2008