30 Day Book Challenge - Day 1: Favourite Book in a Series
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
I came to the Phryne Fisher books through the popular TV series starring Essie Davies and Nathan Page, but the books themselves quickly became firm favourites and a large stack of them grew steadily on my bookshelf. They are also the main reason why everyone had to dress up in 1920s clothes for my 40th birthday party last year!
It is also the reason why my study, when we redecorated it, had a distinctly 1920s theme to it.
Although they are all set in 1920s Australia, the plot of this book has its origins in World War One.
Seven Australian soldiers, carousing in Paris in 1918, unknowingly witness a murder, and their presence has devastating consequences. Ten years later, two are dead - under very suspicious circumstances. Phryne's wharf mates, Bert and Cec, appeal to her for help. They were part of this group of soldiers in 1918, and they fear for their lives and for those of the other three men. It's only as Phryne delves into the investigation that she too remembers being in Montparnasse on that very same day.
It's a very different story to the TV episode of the same name (which is also one of my favourites of the series), but the book did not disappoint. Phryne's past is explored a little more and the plot is full of Phryne's characteristic wry observations and determination to bring a little more justice into the world. She is a feminist and exactly the kind of female lead I love - working within a society that undervalues her, but simply disregarding the societal conventions she disapproves of and being true to herself.
I'm coming towards the end of the series now and have started limiting how quickly I read them. In a time where most of my reading has been for the MA course, these have been my little indulgence over the last year and a half - the one set of books I've allowed myself to read purely for pleasure, but I have learned things from them nonetheless. For the first time in years, I've occasionally had to resort to a dictionary to find out what words mean - Kerry Greenwood's writing breaks all the rules I've had to adhere to on the course, but her command of language is simply glorious and because Phryne is who she is and how she is, it just works!