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Murder in the Dark

A Phryne Fisher Mystery by Kerry Greenwood

Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood

Review: Phyrne Fisher attends an exotic (and erotic) New Year's Eve celebration and attempts to prevent a Murder in the Dark, the 17th mystery in this series by Kerry Greenwood.

Phyrne doesn't particularly want to attend the multi-day event at the height of the Melbourne summer. But the best way to get Phyrne to do something is to tell her she shouldn't, and when two threats, one quite deadly, appear on her doorstep strongly suggesting she skip party, she sets her mind not only to attend but to identify and deal with the person who seems so determined to keep her away. "The trickster will be at the party. And when I find him," she bared her teeth, "then he shall learn that I known a few tricks of my own." Upon arriving at the estate, she's quickly faced with two missing persons: a young lad and an even younger girl. Determined not to allow anything to happen to them, she sets out to discover why someone took them and if their disappearance has anything to do with the threats she received before arriving and the riddles she's getting once there.

Murder in the Dark is replete with all the intricate details that make this series so successful. A mix of over-the-top characters (such as the "Golden Twins", Isabella and Gerald Templar) and down-to-earth souls (like the head housekeeper, Mrs. Truebody) together in a colorful, entertaining environment. And of course there's Phryne's mystery man of the hour, Nicholas Booth. But the plot is a little sketchy and not fully developed. It's never made quite clear, for example, why Phyrne was sent the initial threats. And the riddles, while clever in and of themselves, really have little to do with anything other than as a pretext to leading Phyrne around in search of the next one. Finally, the conclusion ties up all the loose ends a bit too neatly and conveniently. Still, Murder in the Dark is fairly typical of the series; readers who have enjoyed the earlier adventures of Phryne Fisher will be pleased with this one as well.

Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Murder in the Dark for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Queen of the Flowers by Kerry GreenwoodQueen of the Flowers
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), July 2008
ISBN-13: 9781590581711; ISBN-10: 1590581717

Mystery Book Review: Murder on a Midsummer Night by Kerry GreenwoodMurder on a Midsummer Night
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), July 2009
ISBN-13: 9781590586327; ISBN-10: 1590586328

Location(s) referenced in Murder in the Dark: Melbourne, Australia

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Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood

Murder in the Dark by A Phryne Fisher Mystery

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1-59058-439-2
Publication Date:
List Price: $24.95

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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