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Urn Burial: A Phryne Fisher Mystery    by Kerry Greenwood order for
Urn Burial
by Kerry Greenwood
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2005 (1996)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Set in the 1920s, Phryne Fisher's latest escapade brings Phryne and those closest to her to Cave House, a grotesque gothic mansion in the Australian countryside. Even before arriving at this massive pile of a house, Phryne rescues a housemaid from assault, tucks her into her Hispano-Suiza and continues her journey.

Phryne is rather out of place in society, what with having a Chinese lover, Lin Chung, and doing her own thing at all times, as well as being a private detective. But she is a real catch by society mavens as she is an Honorable. She is invited to Cave House by its owner, Tom Reynolds, to investigate the source of threatening notes. A strange assortment of houseguests livens up the pages and the plot. A disappearing dead body, various accidents that are suspicious in nature, and the house which is a character in itself keep Phryne on her toes.

This is a really fun series. And had I been a part of the 1920s scene, I'm sure I would have recognized the ambience that Kerry Greenwood created. The flapper clothing and the eight-course banquet are a thing of the past, but Greenwood brings them back to us in her cleverly written work. The expedition of the house party to the Buchan Caves is alone worth the read. Don't miss Urn Burial. Or better yet, buy two. One for a holiday gift and one for yourself.

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