Ruddy Gore: A Phryne Fisher Mystery
Poisoned Pen, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
rom the first page,
whisks the reader away to another place and time. It's 1928 in Melborne, Australia. Phryne Fisher rescues a Chinese gentleman and his grandmother from a mugging, then continues on to the Majesty Theater where Gilbert and Sullivan's
is being performed.
hryne's investigative skills are requested to help the troupe's manager solve a poisoning. One thing leads to another and a ghost enters the picture. As in her many other
mysteries, Kerry Greenwood uses each happening to segue into the next, effortlessly and believably. The gentleman Phryne rescued is Lin Chun. A passionate affair begins almost immediately. Despite the era, this is completely in character for Phryne who prefers to live her own life by her own standards. Not quite the right attitude for the times, but the fact that Phryne remains true to her own beliefs leads to a captivating story.
upporting cast members are varied and complete. Greenwood has brought the 1920s alive with her descriptions of the clothing worn and the food consumed. The constant references to Gilbert and Sullivan and their works captivated me, bringing those two men to life, rather than simply leaving them as names on a program. The backstage workings are vividly described, enhancing an already fine book.
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