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The sassy Phryne Fisher sets the seamy side of Sydney alight in her tenth adventure. Phryne Fisher has plans for her Sydney sojourn - a few days at the Test cricket, a little sightseeing and the Artist's Ball with an up-and-coming young modernist. But these plans begin to go awry when Phryne's maid discovers her thoroughly respectable sister has left her family for the murk The sassy Phryne Fisher sets the seamy side of Sydney alight in her tenth adventure. Phryne Fisher has plans for her Sydney sojourn - a few days at the Test cricket, a little sightseeing and the Artist's Ball with an up-and-coming young modernist. But these plans begin to go awry when Phryne's maid discovers her thoroughly respectable sister has left her family for the murky nightlife of the Cross. And Phryne is definitely not the woman to say 'no' when two delightful young men come to her on bended knees, begging for her help in finding their friend innocent of theft. Phryne's plans for a simple day or two of pleasure are postponed for good. It all sounds simple enough as Phryne sets investigations into motion, but when greed and fear are the motivating factors, people become ruthless and Phryne finds herself enmeshed in blackmail, secrets, lies and the dangerous influences of deep magic.


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The sassy Phryne Fisher sets the seamy side of Sydney alight in her tenth adventure. Phryne Fisher has plans for her Sydney sojourn - a few days at the Test cricket, a little sightseeing and the Artist's Ball with an up-and-coming young modernist. But these plans begin to go awry when Phryne's maid discovers her thoroughly respectable sister has left her family for the murk The sassy Phryne Fisher sets the seamy side of Sydney alight in her tenth adventure. Phryne Fisher has plans for her Sydney sojourn - a few days at the Test cricket, a little sightseeing and the Artist's Ball with an up-and-coming young modernist. But these plans begin to go awry when Phryne's maid discovers her thoroughly respectable sister has left her family for the murky nightlife of the Cross. And Phryne is definitely not the woman to say 'no' when two delightful young men come to her on bended knees, begging for her help in finding their friend innocent of theft. Phryne's plans for a simple day or two of pleasure are postponed for good. It all sounds simple enough as Phryne sets investigations into motion, but when greed and fear are the motivating factors, people become ruthless and Phryne finds herself enmeshed in blackmail, secrets, lies and the dangerous influences of deep magic.

30 review for Death Before Wicket

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    I’m not sure why I didn’t review Death Before Wicket when I read it, in the correct order, before Away With the Fairies. Not that it really requires solid anchoring in the continuity: most of the usual characters are missing from this book, and Phryne is totally out of her usual context. It’s, not coincidentally, not the most engaging of the books. The worst thing, for me, is that there’s this whole magic and mysticism plot where Phryne pretends to be Isis and breaks a magical/hypnotic hold on a I’m not sure why I didn’t review Death Before Wicket when I read it, in the correct order, before Away With the Fairies. Not that it really requires solid anchoring in the continuity: most of the usual characters are missing from this book, and Phryne is totally out of her usual context. It’s, not coincidentally, not the most engaging of the books. The worst thing, for me, is that there’s this whole magic and mysticism plot where Phryne pretends to be Isis and breaks a magical/hypnotic hold on a certain young man, and then there’s loads of sex stuff, and cricket. And weird totems and sex magic. That’s really mostly what this left as an impression on me — that and knowing that the cricket was like Murder Must Advertise, and the collegiate setting was Gaudy Night. I don’t recall it stealing any lines from Sayers as Raisins and Almonds did, which is a relief. I would be worried about the series slumping with this one, if I hadn’t already read ahead by the time I’m writing this. It was definitely the slowest of the series so far, to my mind. I might even, possibly, suggest skipping it… Originally posted here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I get that Phryne is supposed to be this nonconformist free new woman. I'm about the most rabid liberal I know. But I'm getting a bit tired of the over the top sex stuff. I mean really, jerking off a college student at a nightclub? And then keeping the handkerchief around your neck as an amulet? Ick. I get that Phryne is supposed to be this nonconformist free new woman. I'm about the most rabid liberal I know. But I'm getting a bit tired of the over the top sex stuff. I mean really, jerking off a college student at a nightclub? And then keeping the handkerchief around your neck as an amulet? Ick.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This is my Phryne Fisher summer. I have been binging on Kerry Greenwood's books as well as the PBS Mystery Series (on Netflix). I am a huge admirer of Greenwood's character--a striking, savvy, smart girl who is more than a teeny bit naughty. But, a lot of Phryne Fisher's charm was missing in this book: I missed the elaborate descriptions of her beautiful clothes; I missed her devoted butler and their household routines; And, most of all, I missed her repartee with Inspector Jack Robinson. So, a lot This is my Phryne Fisher summer. I have been binging on Kerry Greenwood's books as well as the PBS Mystery Series (on Netflix). I am a huge admirer of Greenwood's character--a striking, savvy, smart girl who is more than a teeny bit naughty. But, a lot of Phryne Fisher's charm was missing in this book: I missed the elaborate descriptions of her beautiful clothes; I missed her devoted butler and their household routines; And, most of all, I missed her repartee with Inspector Jack Robinson. So, a lot of the sizzle was missing for me. The things that replaced the comfortable Melbourne routines were far from satisfactory. Phrynee is magical enough without dressing as Isis and spewing incantations and there was just too many cricket matches in this short book to keep me interested.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andree

    Not a fan of this one. Way too complicated, way too little fun, and way too much use of the occult, to the extent that parts of this read as supernatural. Which I found problematic, for various reasons. Also, there is a lot of dialogue around cricket, without any explanation of how the game of cricket actually works. I don't need a detailed explanation, but I'm not sure general familiarity of your audience with the ins and outs of cricket is a good assumption to make. (And, as I recall, Sports Ni Not a fan of this one. Way too complicated, way too little fun, and way too much use of the occult, to the extent that parts of this read as supernatural. Which I found problematic, for various reasons. Also, there is a lot of dialogue around cricket, without any explanation of how the game of cricket actually works. I don't need a detailed explanation, but I'm not sure general familiarity of your audience with the ins and outs of cricket is a good assumption to make. (And, as I recall, Sports Night agrees with me.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    Death Before Wicket takes Phryne away from her home turf of Melbourne, bringing her instead to Sydney — where despite her promises to Dot, several mysteries await. This isn’t one of my favourites, as I found it rather slow and over-sensational; the whole mysticism angle didn’t work for me, particularly not when it actually helped solve the mystery. I did enjoy Dot’s subplot, involving finding her sister and reuniting her family. It shows that she’s a good soul at heart, despite her judgementalne Death Before Wicket takes Phryne away from her home turf of Melbourne, bringing her instead to Sydney — where despite her promises to Dot, several mysteries await. This isn’t one of my favourites, as I found it rather slow and over-sensational; the whole mysticism angle didn’t work for me, particularly not when it actually helped solve the mystery. I did enjoy Dot’s subplot, involving finding her sister and reuniting her family. It shows that she’s a good soul at heart, despite her judgementalness: she’s ready to accept her sister no matter what (although she’s relieved to find that her sister seems to be relatively innocent). A skippable story, but entertaining all the same. It’s Phryne — it’s rarely boring. Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maggies_lens

    I love this series. But I hated this book. Not sure what was going on in Greenwoods life at time of writing but I assume something very distracting. None of the usual cool, crisp, clean writing with excellent style here. And the scene where Phyrne jerks off a guy in a bar? Where the hell did THAT come from. I'm no conservative but that was just foul and unnecessary to the story at all. The only interesting part were about Dot's sister. Do yourselves a favour and skip this one, don't ruin the ser I love this series. But I hated this book. Not sure what was going on in Greenwoods life at time of writing but I assume something very distracting. None of the usual cool, crisp, clean writing with excellent style here. And the scene where Phyrne jerks off a guy in a bar? Where the hell did THAT come from. I'm no conservative but that was just foul and unnecessary to the story at all. The only interesting part were about Dot's sister. Do yourselves a favour and skip this one, don't ruin the series for yourself like I almost did.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Renae

    This was definitely one of my least favorite Phryne Fisher novels. Greenwood has always had a lot of literary/cultural allusions in her books, but this time she took it so far as to be pretentious, not to mention indecipherable to the common lay reader (even a rather well-read one, such as myself). I felt like this book was dealing with subjects only known to academics, and as the author made absolutely no effort to invite the reader into this world, it was difficult to engage in the text. I was This was definitely one of my least favorite Phryne Fisher novels. Greenwood has always had a lot of literary/cultural allusions in her books, but this time she took it so far as to be pretentious, not to mention indecipherable to the common lay reader (even a rather well-read one, such as myself). I felt like this book was dealing with subjects only known to academics, and as the author made absolutely no effort to invite the reader into this world, it was difficult to engage in the text. I was very frustrated by this. In addition, the lack of familiar faces made things less fun than they usually are. It turns out that taking Phryne out of Melbourne isn't a very successful venture.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Death Before Wicket by Kerry Greenwood is the 10th book in the Phryne Fisher Mystery series. Phryne is holidaying in Sydney to attend the cricket and is asked to look into a safe burglary at the University and to find Dot's sister who has gone missing. Another interesting book in the series, although the usual supporting characters are missed. It just doesn't seem as fun without them. Otherwise it was still entertaining and Phryne still came out on top, although she seemed to miss all the others Death Before Wicket by Kerry Greenwood is the 10th book in the Phryne Fisher Mystery series. Phryne is holidaying in Sydney to attend the cricket and is asked to look into a safe burglary at the University and to find Dot's sister who has gone missing. Another interesting book in the series, although the usual supporting characters are missed. It just doesn't seem as fun without them. Otherwise it was still entertaining and Phryne still came out on top, although she seemed to miss all the others just as much as we did.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anna S

    I do love and would definitely recommend the Phryne Fisher series and have read almost all of them but if you are planning to add this one to your collection - give it a miss. The narrative is typical of the series but in this case the conclusion of the mystery was implausible and unsatisfactory and the side or B story annoyed me personally but I won't spoil the ending if you are going to make the mistake of reading. I do love and would definitely recommend the Phryne Fisher series and have read almost all of them but if you are planning to add this one to your collection - give it a miss. The narrative is typical of the series but in this case the conclusion of the mystery was implausible and unsatisfactory and the side or B story annoyed me personally but I won't spoil the ending if you are going to make the mistake of reading.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marijan

    Phryne changes scenery. Involving herself in unsavory university politics, and shady underworld of The Capital, even taking the role of a goddes, she is brilliant as ever. And Ms. greenwood once again manages to prove how deep her work is immersed in the historical period it uses as setting. Bravo!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    3.5 rounded up. An intricate and convoluted set of mysteries and with no murders, for a change. The passages about the various cricket games went completely over my head (as I have only the slightest experience of how the game is played) and took up way too much room while not appreciably adding to the tale, but otherwise it was fun to see Phryne interacting with a new setting and characters even as I missed the usual crew. Popsugar Reading Challenge 2020: A book that has a book on the cover

  12. 5 out of 5

    Les Wilson

    I do like the Phryne Fisher books a little too much sex for me but the stories are so well written I read on instead of closing the book as I would with most books.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    ETA: I decided to re-read this book to see if my opinion of it has changed. It has not. I got fine and sick of all the "occult" babble, characters etc. but I guess as Ms Greenwood is careful to point out on the cover of each and every one of her books that she "lives with a registered wizard", it's less surprising than it might be. Phryne was not herself in this book, and neither was anyone else. Greenwood's worst, IMO. I must remember not to read it again. ETA 2: For some idiot reason I decided ETA: I decided to re-read this book to see if my opinion of it has changed. It has not. I got fine and sick of all the "occult" babble, characters etc. but I guess as Ms Greenwood is careful to point out on the cover of each and every one of her books that she "lives with a registered wizard", it's less surprising than it might be. Phryne was not herself in this book, and neither was anyone else. Greenwood's worst, IMO. I must remember not to read it again. ETA 2: For some idiot reason I decided to read it again, and tripped over one of the dreaded novel series problems. We have repeatedly read of Phryne's sister Beth a) dying of diphtheria, or b) living and becoming a "Sapphic" and moving to Australia. Now, somehow Phryne has a whole bunch of brothers (unnamed) who taught her to play street cricket. Wait--wasn't that Dot's story in another volume? I was dissatisfied with this book, as Ms Greenwood brought far too many things to the table and tried to include them all. It reads like a ragbag full of jumbled scraps and bits instead of a patchwork quilt where everything fits together in a satisfying whole. Too many characters, too many burning issues, too many rants and not enough of a light touch. Dot's sister has gone missing and Phryne wants to find her. Two university students beg her to find out who emptied the Dean's safe of valuable artifacts and jewels before the accused, a friend of theirs, gets unjustly expelled. And then there's, let's see: black magic, evil miners, a passing nod to Aborigine's rights and violence against women, prostitution, homosexuality, thought transferrence, bohemian artists, "being possessed", and some rather tiresome underground erotica. And, oh yes--cricket. Which is not a sport I know anything about, and didn't learn anything about it here. Yes, I know it's in the title, but I understood the cricket scene in Murder Must Advertise a great deal better. Of course, it's a much better book. By the time I got to the end of Death Before Wicket, I simply felt impatient for it to be over, since I figured out who the baddy was in the first two chapters. Not the best Fisher mystery by far.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Highlyeccentric

    This was a delightful romp, albeit one which had me madly cross-referencing historical USyd figures to see who was fictional and who wasn't. (And seething about the fact that the Hours of Juana the Mad are an actual book with known provenance, which was definitely never held - let alone lost - in Sydney.) In points entirely typical of the Phryne Fisher books, you can expect parties, cocktails, side characters with a penchant for witty banter, extravagant costumes, and at least one (1) sex scene. This was a delightful romp, albeit one which had me madly cross-referencing historical USyd figures to see who was fictional and who wasn't. (And seething about the fact that the Hours of Juana the Mad are an actual book with known provenance, which was definitely never held - let alone lost - in Sydney.) In points entirely typical of the Phryne Fisher books, you can expect parties, cocktails, side characters with a penchant for witty banter, extravagant costumes, and at least one (1) sex scene. This book sees Phryne going to Sydney to answer a call for help from two undergraduates, concerned that their colleague may be expelled. Along the way she gets entangled with practitioners of the occult, a notorious brothel madam, entirely too many professors, and assorted debauched poets. I particularly appreciated Christopher Brennan's accurate-to-type bit part appearance as a drunkard poet, A++ work there. A sub-plot involving two different wives and mothers pulled by circumstances into the sex trade is well handled, interesting, and a good supplement to the main theft/attempted murder plot. There's something slightly odd about the central plot premise, which, without giving too much away, involves in part a rivalry between a professor of Egyptology and a professor of anthropology over the allocation of funding (archaeological research, or work with indigenous australians). The anthropologist is carefully characterised as someone who genuinely respects his indigenous hosts, and opposes mining on their sacred lands (nice contemporary reference there), which... is fair enough, given that the historically more LIKELY situation would make unpleasant reading, and cosy crime relies on most characters being essentially likeable. The Egyptologist, though, is portrayed as particularly interested in Egypt because there he can pursue relationships with younger men, and... the gross colonialisms of that are not interrogated. There's a lot of deflecting going on, essentially. In short, a good read, but not one that exhibits the best of Kerry Greenwood's ability to navigate historical diversity and the racial politics of 1920s Australia.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashleu

    Originally posted at Nose in a Book In her 10th novel Phryne goes on a trip! To Sydney! It was nice to leave Melbourne for awhile, and there was a cricket back story and even a story involving Dot, Phryne’s companion. Yet this story could not be saved for me. It was dry, it was dull, it was boring. I missed the usual pizazz that is Phyrne Fisher in this story. Part of her is still there, but at the same time she changed a lot from the previous stories. Maybe that is because her lover, Lin Chung i Originally posted at Nose in a Book In her 10th novel Phryne goes on a trip! To Sydney! It was nice to leave Melbourne for awhile, and there was a cricket back story and even a story involving Dot, Phryne’s companion. Yet this story could not be saved for me. It was dry, it was dull, it was boring. I missed the usual pizazz that is Phyrne Fisher in this story. Part of her is still there, but at the same time she changed a lot from the previous stories. Maybe that is because her lover, Lin Chung isn’t there and she obviously missed him. I wanted to like this book. Really, I did. I tried to like this book. I love Phyrne Fisher (evidence here.) I love the fact it takes place in 1930s Australia. I love the fact this book series is fun and quick. However, Death Before Wicket, was rough. I can try to blame the fact that I was sick while I listened to most of this. A number of factors could go into the fact that this book just wasn’t my favorite Phyrne. I did give it two stars however cause it is Phryne, and the writing is strong.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book really gets 3 1/2 stars. As one of the longer Phryne Fisher mysteries, there are a number of crimes Phryne must investigate. She moves out of Melbourne for the time being & goes to Sydney to investigate the disappearance of a sacred papyrus, jewelry, and an indigenous axe from the university there. To compound the problem, Dot's sister has gone missing & is suspected to be involved in (gasp!) prostitution. This one is a little different from the others because the occult plays a role i This book really gets 3 1/2 stars. As one of the longer Phryne Fisher mysteries, there are a number of crimes Phryne must investigate. She moves out of Melbourne for the time being & goes to Sydney to investigate the disappearance of a sacred papyrus, jewelry, and an indigenous axe from the university there. To compound the problem, Dot's sister has gone missing & is suspected to be involved in (gasp!) prostitution. This one is a little different from the others because the occult plays a role in solving the crime and some of the characters seem like they would be better suited in a Grimm fairy tale. Phryne is still spunky & strong, but a gal's got to be when one meddles in the underworld.

  17. 5 out of 5

    notyourmonkey

    Thoroughly enjoyable little academia-set mystery, but it turns out my ability to give a shit about Cricket Games In Posh-Set Mystery Novels Between The Wars is limited to one, and that vacancy has already been filled. Thankfully, flipping through those pages rapidly had little to no bearing on the rest of plot. But still, yergh. No faster way to kill the action than to put a detailed description of a sporting event that has zero effect on the plot in the first quarter of your book. Thoroughly enjoyable little academia-set mystery, but it turns out my ability to give a shit about Cricket Games In Posh-Set Mystery Novels Between The Wars is limited to one, and that vacancy has already been filled. Thankfully, flipping through those pages rapidly had little to no bearing on the rest of plot. But still, yergh. No faster way to kill the action than to put a detailed description of a sporting event that has zero effect on the plot in the first quarter of your book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Always a pleasure to listen to Stephanie Daniels narrating a Phryne Fisher mystery. This one involved some cricket, which is certainly not one of my favourite sports, so the parts of the book spent watching cricket matches were rather tedious, but thankfully not too long.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sanasai

    Entirely too many descriptions of cricket for my taste, and the whole black magic thing seemed a little overwrought and overdone. Every long series has a few books that just don't work for someone's tastes, and this was one of those for me. Entirely too many descriptions of cricket for my taste, and the whole black magic thing seemed a little overwrought and overdone. Every long series has a few books that just don't work for someone's tastes, and this was one of those for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tory Wagner

    Death Before Wicket by Kerry Greenwood is the 10th in a series featuring amateur detective Phryne Fisher. As the title implies, there is much discussion of cricket, a sport for which I have no familiarity. I found myself quickly scanning those scenes, but enjoyed the parts that dealt with the mystery. I'm not sure of the exact time period, but it appears that the British Empire is still in existence. Phryne is in Australia and becomes involved in a mystery surrounding a theft at a local college. Death Before Wicket by Kerry Greenwood is the 10th in a series featuring amateur detective Phryne Fisher. As the title implies, there is much discussion of cricket, a sport for which I have no familiarity. I found myself quickly scanning those scenes, but enjoyed the parts that dealt with the mystery. I'm not sure of the exact time period, but it appears that the British Empire is still in existence. Phryne is in Australia and becomes involved in a mystery surrounding a theft at a local college. Not sure I would read another in this series, but I'm sure there are others who would enjoy it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. We were about ready for a change of scenery, and Sydney was it! Again, Ms Greenwood has done her homework and has combined the world of cricket and absent minded professors with that of ceremonial magic from the Golden Dawn to Crowley’s Thelema. Some scenes might seem a bit squicky to some reviewers that are coming across ceremonial magic for the first time, but she kept it pretty constrained, and it fits well with the plot. This might be my new favorite for the plot, but not for the choice of r We were about ready for a change of scenery, and Sydney was it! Again, Ms Greenwood has done her homework and has combined the world of cricket and absent minded professors with that of ceremonial magic from the Golden Dawn to Crowley’s Thelema. Some scenes might seem a bit squicky to some reviewers that are coming across ceremonial magic for the first time, but she kept it pretty constrained, and it fits well with the plot. This might be my new favorite for the plot, but not for the choice of romantic partners.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jazzy Lemon

    Phryne and Dot plan a short holiday, without any murders! Icecream and a walk along the seafront? Well, things never go to plan when Phryne is around and she ends up investigating a theft of some very valuable papyrus and searching for a missing person.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Another great mystery solved by Phryne!! She was on vacation and didn't want to solve any crimes but...gets talked into helping out!! Another great mystery solved by Phryne!! She was on vacation and didn't want to solve any crimes but...gets talked into helping out!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Brantly

    2.5 disappointing. Got the whole set at a great price, and enjoyed the TV series and first ones so much,,, but am reconsidering the rest of the series...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Time Of Our Lives - Characters Go On An Adventure Phryne and Dot go on an adventure in Sidney.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Juliet Johnson

    A delightful read as are all the books in this series. Kerry Greenwood has done some interesting research for this one, set at Sydney University in the 20s.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Darren

    I didn't enjoy this one as much, because I think you have to know more about Australian history and geography to appreciate the differences between cities. But I liked the way cricket and college politics wove through it - that aspect reminded me in some ways of Dorothy Sayers with "Murder Must Advertise" and "Gaudy Night." I didn't enjoy this one as much, because I think you have to know more about Australian history and geography to appreciate the differences between cities. But I liked the way cricket and college politics wove through it - that aspect reminded me in some ways of Dorothy Sayers with "Murder Must Advertise" and "Gaudy Night."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jess Hale

    This book had some strong elements and some weaker ones - but different ones than previous books in the series, which was refreshing! I loved the story with Dot's sister and the opportunity for Dot's character development and show her competence. I liked that it allowed us to see Phryne's fierce protectiveness for Dot and her priorities. I also liked the university setting and complexity of the mystery...to a point. Because, OH MY GOD, this book had everything and the kitchen sink! I kept on checki This book had some strong elements and some weaker ones - but different ones than previous books in the series, which was refreshing! I loved the story with Dot's sister and the opportunity for Dot's character development and show her competence. I liked that it allowed us to see Phryne's fierce protectiveness for Dot and her priorities. I also liked the university setting and complexity of the mystery...to a point. Because, OH MY GOD, this book had everything and the kitchen sink! I kept on checking to see how far away from the end I was because it felt like things were coming to a climax (sometimes literally, Phryne you old dog!) only to see I still had half the book to go. I actually found it difficult to keep track of all the characters - there were so many people at the university, all with their own motives etc. to keep track of, that I really couldn't keep them straight until nearly at the end. Sometimes it seems like Phryne isn't doing a lot of detecting and the antagonist is obvious - not so here, but not in a good way. And: magic (?!), bohemian poets, a random artists ball, THROWN DOWN A WELL, blackmail, mining, presumed-dead characters, two sexy encounters...oh my goodness, it was a bit much. I really feel like a couple of these elements could have been removed to the benefit of the overall story. I'm also not sure how I felt about the denouement. So it turns out that BOTH the young men who engaged Phryne to solve the mystery were, in different ways, responsible for some kind of criminal misdeed. That's a bit of a letdown, I think. Plus I would have liked to see a bit more of the "baddies" having their comeuppance. Plus there are two terrible husbands - Vivian Hart and Jim Thompson. At the end they both seem...okay? Jim has his wife back and doesn't seem to have any ramifications to the fact that the looked after his toddler by tying its LEG TO A TABLE. And Vivian doesn't need to do nearly enough grovelling to his (ex-) wife or son who he was pretty horrible to, but we just see him being a good dad and so it's all okay? Ugh. Finally: the cricket. Oh god the cricket. I skim read all the back-and-forth and detailed accounting of this character bowling or that character batting, and the debate about their chances and the teams etc. We play cricket in NZ so it's not a totally foreign sport to me, but I'm not sure if Kerry Greenwood is REALLY into cricket, or it's another case of she did the research and needs to cram it all in.

  29. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    First Sentence: Sydney struck Phryne Fisher, quite literally, in the face. Phryne Fisher is off to Sydney for a bit of cricket, sightseeing and to attend the Artist’s Ball. She is barely off the train when two young men, students at the University of Sydney, ask for her help. Exams have been stolen from a safe in the dean’s office and their friend has been accused. Phryne is also soon asked by Dot, her maid, to find her sister who has disappeared leaving behind two small children with Dot’s less- First Sentence: Sydney struck Phryne Fisher, quite literally, in the face. Phryne Fisher is off to Sydney for a bit of cricket, sightseeing and to attend the Artist’s Ball. She is barely off the train when two young men, students at the University of Sydney, ask for her help. Exams have been stolen from a safe in the dean’s office and their friend has been accused. Phryne is also soon asked by Dot, her maid, to find her sister who has disappeared leaving behind two small children with Dot’s less-than-desirable brother-in-law. Phryne (Fry-knee) Fisher may be my all-time favorite character. Ms. Greenwood has done such a wonderful job creating her, with vivid descriptions of clothes, food and her life, she seems very real. In this book, we learn even more of her childhood, which was very poor and provides an excellent contrast to her present life of wealth. Phryne is smart, cleaver, independent, and sexy with a wonderful attitude toward affairs while being very loyal and caring. Greenwood is smart in creating the contrasting character of her maid Dot, whom Phryne rescued, is subdued, Catholic and uncertain how much Anglicans knew about religion when she gives Phryne a St. Michael’s metal for protection. This is not your traditional cozy, as there are scenes that are quite sexually explicit. But the book also deals with issues. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is under construction. There are interesting observations on the damage done by the original Brits to Australia and the problems which still exist in Sydney versus Melbourne, Phryne’s home. The books also deals with the beliefs of the Aborigines and the belief in magic with a very good line that although one may not believe in magic, one can believe in belief. Ms. Greenwood writing creates a well-rounded story with excellent dialogue and a very good twist at the end. It includes just the right touch of humor as in a scene where the protagonist does a delightful send-up of the too-stupid-to-live, gothic-novel heroine. This book was a joy to read and I always look forward to the next book in the series. DEATH BEFORE WICKET (PI-Phryne Fisher-Australia-Golden Age/1920s - VG Greenwood, Kerry – 10th in series Allen & Unwin, ©1999, Aust. Trade Paperback – ISBN: 1741140951

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mashael

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book doesn't focus on the Phryne Fisher that we know and love, it adds in a lot more which is not that interesting. The university setting for Phryne feels like a fish out of water scenario and maybe that's why it's not that fun. I skimmed over the cricket bits because I found them boring and there was also too much about the history of Sydney, even though some bits were interesting. I found the use of real magic off-putting, it seemed strange to have the plot hinge in places on magical ven This book doesn't focus on the Phryne Fisher that we know and love, it adds in a lot more which is not that interesting. The university setting for Phryne feels like a fish out of water scenario and maybe that's why it's not that fun. I skimmed over the cricket bits because I found them boring and there was also too much about the history of Sydney, even though some bits were interesting. I found the use of real magic off-putting, it seemed strange to have the plot hinge in places on magical venom-induced trances and possession by a goddess. There was also a ridiculous amount of sex. Phryne is thrown down a well and wakes up next to someone she barely knows with whom she sleeps with almost immediately. Does that really seem like a smart decision to make when she could put that off until a better time? Or what she does in the cafe in public is also really odd and off-putting, like some kind of charity sex. I get that she's meant to be a risque character, but she is also meant to be smart, and this doesn't feel quite right. Also it doesn't feel right that in order to solve a crime, an entire faculty has to watch a naked boy going all around the university. It seems quite needlessly sensational that he has to be stark naked the entire time with everyone watching his every move, poor guy. The mystery itself also had too many guilty parties with very little proof. The last thing that irks me is that Phryne quite often lets guilty people get away with it, but it seemed a little unfair that considering how many people committed crimes, she only punished one of them and another was accidentally murdered, but the murderer was to be congratulated? It is getting a bit ridiculous.

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