Blood and Circuses
Review: Kerry Greenwood's delightful private detective from the 1920s, Phryne Fisher, sets out to solve a crime at the circus in Blood and Circuses, the 6th mystery in this series.
One lazy Sunday afternoon, Phryne is visited by some old friends, all of whom are performers with the Farrell Circus and Carnival. They explain to her that someone is raising havoc at the circus. The commotion goes from a small fire to assaults on the owner and performers and finally, to murder. In order for Phryne to help her friends, she must leave her home, disguise herself, change her name, learn the vernacular of the circus, and figure out what type of performer she can be. She'll need tattered and torn clothes and costumes, a real sacrifice for the ever fashionable Phryne. But she agrees to the challenge and sets off for the Farrell Circus that very night using the name of Fern. Under the direction of another rider, Fern (Phryne) quickly learns to do acrobatic tricks on a bareback horse. The rules of the circus were strict, but Phryne, as is her wont, seems to break each and every one. She talks and listens to anyone who would talk to her, and those who wouldn't she quietly eavesdrops on their conversations. She finds out there are no secrets in the circus; everyone seems to know something about somebody else. Mr. Farrell had sold half interest in the circus to a Mr. Jones, and that was when the malaise began. Phyrne finds out the code word for the trouble is "exit", but she doesn't know what is means, or who is involved. Thinking that she's getting too close, Mr. Jones has her bound and gagged and thrown into the hungry lion's cage hoping she would be killed.
Blood and Circuses is one of the better, and certainly one of the more thrilling, mysteries in this series. There's the colorful backdrop of the circus and carnival and an array of many performers, from clowns to gypsies to dwarves, and, of course, exotic animals to liven things up. And in the end, though she doesn't actually solve the case, Phryne does get her man!
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Blood and Circuses for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), June 2007
ISBN-13: 9781590583937; ISBN-10: 1590583930
Raisins and Almonds
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), September 2007
ISBN-13: 9781590581681; ISBN-10: 1590581687
Location(s) referenced in Blood and Circuses: Melbourne, Australia
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Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood — A Phryne Fisher Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: July 2007
List Price: $24.95