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Murder in the Dark: A Phryne Fisher Mystery    by Kerry Greenwood order for
Murder in the Dark
by Kerry Greenwood
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Phryne Fisher is back in another costume drama including a Last Best Party of 1928. The reader is regaled with the lavish country estate in Australia on the outskirts of Sydney, where a party to outlast and outlavish anything seen for years is being held. Since I am not a member of society, I am not sure if the party she attends is duplicated today. Sure sounds extremely permissive. But who am I to judge?

One of the breakfasts for the attendees would have stopped Henry VIII in his tracks. Every imaginable breakfast food that might be served in a British colony in that day and time is supplied in gigantic proportions. The bartender seeing to the liquid refreshments mixes drinks to order. Phryne notes the recipes of these libations at the end of chapters. They sound very tempting. I might have to try several - in the interest of research, of course.

Two young children adopted by the hosts disappear, and an all out search is conducted. Where are they and why were they snatched? Seems there could be more than one culprit when threatening notes are delivered to the host.

Murder in the Park is a clever romp, taking place after World War I and before World War II. Author Kerry Greenwood has created a character any woman would like to be. Phryne is very much her own person, not swayed by the opinions of her peers, at home in any situation, and with a heart as big as it can be but with no time for transgressors. Her clothing would have been worn in my mother's time and I can envision Mother in the lovely laces and linens and silks. Would that she had had them.

Phryne sets herself to the task of finding the children with the help of a mysterious man, who was not one of her crowd of admirers but who quickly joins them as she welcomes him into her bed. As usual, Phryne clears everything up and is driven away afterwards in her resplendent Hispano-Suiza.

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