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Murder on the Ballarat Train: A Phryne Fisher Mystery    by Kerry Greenwood order for
Murder on the Ballarat Train
by Kerry Greenwood
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2006 (1993)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Phryne Fisher seems to make a career of finding dead bodies. When not in bed with her latest young man, she's sleuthing the high roads of 1920s Australia. In Murder on the Ballarat Train, Phryne realizes she is not falling asleep. She's under the influence of chloroform, as is everyone else in the first class car in which she is riding instead of driving her spiffy Hispano-Suiza racing car, she and her companion Dot elected to take the train for a sojourn in the country.

So begins another intriguing and exciting tale of Phryne on the trail of a murderer as well as various other nefarious villains. This is the third of the Phryne Fisher mysteries, all three having been first published in Australia. Having read some of the later books in the series before this one, I now see how Phryne has accumulated her entourage. But reading these episodes out of sequence really isn't an issue. Any one you pick up will give you a good read.

Phryne is a character not to be forgotten. Her newly acquired wealth has not spoiled her into ignoring the needs of others, while her desire for strongly built young men does not distract her staff or friends. She bills herself as a PI and never seems at a loss for work, which leads her to display her extraordinary talents. As can be expected, Phryne always nails the bad guys but the journey that leads to her so doing is one well worth taking.

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