This first in the Phryne Fisher mystery series takes a little while to get going but had me pretty well hooked by about a third of the way in. Phryne grows tired of life in 1920s London, and, when an acquaintance asks if she wouldn't mind checking up on his daughter in Australia (who he thinks is being poisoned), Phryne sets sail for the other side of the world without much notion of coming back. And then she rather lands in the thick of things.
Phryne is capable and no-nonsense but also
great fun. (And sexy, which is an element often somewhat missing in
other mysteries of this type, I find. The attitude toward sex reminded
me a bit of Mark Gatiss's The Vesuvius Club,
actually, though the comparison pretty much stops there.) The mystery
was a bit transparent (I had it sorted very quickly and I don't usually
figure mysteries out before the end), but that didn't really lessen my
enjoyment of the story. The style could maybe be tweaked a bit (it's
Wodehousesian, but sometimes with a clang) but any slight missteps there
never rose to the level of irritation. I'm looking forward to reading
the next one.
This review originally appeared on my LibraryThing account.