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Murder on a Midsummer Night: A Phryne Fisher Mystery (Phryne Fisher Mysteries) Hardcover – July 1, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Hardcover, July 1, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Everyone calls the drowning of young Melbourne antiques dealer Augustine Manifold a suicide—except for his distraught mother and Phyrne Fisher, the heroine of Greenwood's long-running series set in 1920s Australia (Murder in the Dark, etc.). Brainy, beautiful, blue-blooded and rich to boot, the enviably stylish PI somehow manages to juggle the demands of two adopted daughters, an exotic lover and a full social calendar with multiple cases, including a hunt for the illegitimate heir to a fortune—all while rarely missing a morsel of her cook's inspired creations. Greenwood keeps the action moving as swiftly as milady's Hispano-Suiza, save for the initially confusing flashbacks at the end of many chapters that eventually become pieces in the solution of the Manifold puzzle. But there's no quibbling with the author's ability to create a sybaritic piece of period escapism. As Phryne's mates would say approvingly: Bonzer! (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It’s 1929, and Phryne Fisher, the Australian flapper and private investigator, has a couple of cases on her plate. A man’s suicide might not be as cut-and-dried as it appears, and there’s the matter of an illegitimate child who stands to inherit a vast sum of money, if Phryne can find her. As usual, Greenwood populates the novel with an assortment of offbeat characters, from socialists and psychics to adventurers and antiques hunters. The story moves along at a brisk clip, and Phryne has plenty of opportunities to unleash her acid tongue and apply her razor-sharp wit. Another fine entry in this long-running and deservedly popular series. --David Pitt

Product Details

  • Series: Phryne Fisher Mysteries (Book 17)
  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590586328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590586327
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In Melbourne in 1929 the drowning death of twenty-nine years old antiques dealer Augustine Manifold is considered a suicide by most of the city including the police. Perhaps the only holdouts are as expected his distraught mom who refuses to believe her son killed himself and wealthy private investigator Phyrne Fisher.

Though her plate seems overflowing with her meeting her socialite demands, raising two adopted daughters, and working several concurrent cases like searching for a missing heir, she agrees to look into Augustine's death and still have time for her Chinese lover. As she digs deeper into the alleged suicide Phyrne begins finding evidence that her gut is right that someone murdered Manifold, but who and proving it seems impossible to uncover.

This terrific Australian Depression Era mystery is perhaps the most complicated entry in the super Fisher saga. The story line is fast-paced but seems initially all over the place until master magician Kerry Greenwood brings the threads together in a brilliant manner. Phyrne is her usual kick butt independent dynamo as she manages a zillion things only to keep adding one more time consumer onto her overflowing plate. The Manifold investigation is top rate as she sets out to prove the suicide was actually MURDER ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
In the previous 15 novels in this delightful series, the Hon. Phryne Fisher cavorted through a series of capers in the year 1928. Now in the 16th entry, we progress to the dire year 1929, and the 'thoroughly modern miss' is faced with two absorbing new adventures in her inimitable fashion.

First, she is asked by the mother of an antique dealer to find the real reason for his death, ruled a misadventure by drowning. It would appear that several dilettantes believed that he knew where Blackbeard's treasures are buried and, through séances, are still attempting to ascertain their location by making contact with him.

Then, Phryne is approached by an attorney to discover whether or not a deceased woman gave birth to an illegitimate baby, and whether the child is still alive, since the attorney cannot distribute the estate until all possible heirs are known. The investigation, of course, is not looked upon favorably by the known relatives.

Like previous Phryne Fisher novels, this one is charming, as is the protagonist, who goes her merry way. The writing is fluid and the characters the usual assortment of oddities. The author's approach may be whimsical, but there's a lot of meat in the tales, and the book is recommended.
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Format: Paperback
It's 1929 and the Honorable Lady Phryne Fisher, detective extraordinaire agrees to determine if the son of a model died by his or other hands. In addition she is trying to locate the long-missing relative of a rich woman. The RW's relatives are less than pleased.

These are not unusual or particularly original plots, but in the hands of the bright and sensuous P Fisher and her equally adept and perspicacious creator and mentor, Kerry Greenwood, it's another delightful sexy, surprising detective story. Excellent.

Two cases. One is the aforementioned junk store owner found dead on the beach, his pockets filled with stones. The other is the possible child born out of wedlock to a now wealthy, deceased widow. What happened to this "love child?" Where is he now? Who is he? And of course, does he have a family of his own who may inherit? Problem. The widow was long lived, had her child in great secrecy and there are apparently no records. Who was the father if indeed the young woman had a child. Many questions, not the least if which is whether the intrepid Hon. Miss Fisher will winkle out the truth.

Miss Fisher is never in extremis in this novel, even though there are twists and turns and all kinds of chicanery, including murder. In the form of Agatha Christie, this novel, with more sex and puzzle than Dame Agatha allowed, is replete with fine understated descriptive phrases and odd characters. A delight to read.
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Format: Hardcover
In 1928 the townsfolk of St. Kilda are euphoric as they prepare for the annual Queen of the Flowers gala. Socialite Phryne Fisher is especially looking forward to the festival receiving the honor of being name the Queen of the event. This means spending time buying fancy dresses and dining in top restaurants, a hardship that Phryne will suffer with relish though the elephant may be a bit too much even for a woman who tries anything.

However, Phryne's adopted daughter, Ruth vanishes in search of her biological father after learning from her birthmother TB victim Anna Ross at the sanatorium who he is. Phryne has been hired by family friends in Melbourne to search for missing Rose Weston while she also plans to trace her adopted daughter. Her investigation proves stunning and shocking as she uncovers some horrific happenings.

As always with this excellent Australian historical mystery series, the characters especially the nonparallel Phryne make for a strong period piece. The investigations are fun to follow as the heroine begins to find horrific occurrences that shake even her. However, it is the heroine and her support cast who bring late 1920s Australia to life that makes QUEEN OF FLOWERS and the rest of the Fischer saga some of the best recurring lighthearted investigative tales.

Harriet Klausner
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