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Murder and Mendelssohn: A Phryne Fisher Mystery    by Kerry Greenwood order for
Murder and Mendelssohn
by Kerry Greenwood
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I have always liked no, loved - Kerry Greenwood's series, the Phryne Fisher mysteries. Each one explored Phryne's character a little bit more so that she was always a welcome visitor in my home.

I am not so sure about her latest, Murder and Mendelssohn. To my way of thinking, Phryne has revealed a bit of her character that goes a little too far for me. Understand, this is the opinion of an 81 year-old woman. I have enjoyed her sexual expressions in previous books and have at times wished I had lived with more aplomb, as did Phryne. I'm not sure if Phryne was a woman of her time or ahead of her time.

The mystery which she once again investigates on her own, leaving the police in her dust, is a very intriguing one. And Phryne reveals another talent that of singing. An amateur choir is rehearsing Mendelssohn's Elijah for a performance. Their conductor is a grave disappointment to the choir members who all breathe a sigh of relief when he is found murdered. But his replacement is no better at conducting and is soon also found dead.

Not that the choir would deliberately wish anyone dead but they are putting their hearts and souls into this performance. Phryne puts her investigative skills to work to help her dear police friend, Jack Robinson, solve the murders. She reunites with John Wilson, a man she met in the trenches in the Great War. Great sex, but he is really pining for affection from his mentor Rupert Sheffield, who proves to be a boor of the highest level.

The question is whether Phryne can solve the murders as well as turn Sheffield's head in Wilson's direction. Her method of helping Wilson win Sheffield's heart is extremely unusual. While helping her friend, she realizes she will lose his expertise in the bedroom. But she feels so strongly about Wilson, she is willing to help him win his heart's desire. This aspect was definitely not what I expected when I opened Murder and Mendelsson.

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