Let’s see, what was my history with Miss Fisher before this book … I adore the Corinna Chapman series, and was surprised and impressed by Out of the Black Land, set in ancient Egypt. I did not, however, much enjoy the first Phryne Fisher novel, Cocaine Blues, for some reason. I think it was just discomfiture with the utterly unique and I-don’t-careness of Miss Fisher, and her way of breezing in, solving things, sleeping with any attractive man, and breezing out. Still, loving the author, I stocked up on all the books, and have been nabbing them as often as possible on Netgalley. Oh, and I have been loving the Australian TV series, which is QUITE different in some ways. Looking for something reliable and quick, I landed on The Green Mill Murder, and – sure enough. I’m a convert.
Phryne Fisher is marvellous.
Kerry Greenwood, too.
I have to get this out of the way first: I’ve not read the three books in between Cocaine and Green Mill, so I don’t know how the novels treat the relationship between Miss Fisher and Robinson (“Call me Jack”), but in the TV series Jack doesn’t say “ain’t” and doesn’t use double negatives. This is not that Jack. That took some getting used to. I missed him. (I was also a bit startled by the appearance of a Mrs. Butler, but not in a bad way.)
And much as I enjoyed the episode based on this book, I’m kind of happy to say I enjoyed the book more. Characters’ motivations were clearer, and the extra time I got to spend with them was appreciated. And there was no wombat in the episode.
The adventure into the Australian Alps and Phryne’s time there (note the tap-dancing to avoid spoilers) were wonderful. “I’ve got a dog and a horse and all the silence in the world.” I want that … I really want that, “Lovely and high and far away”.
I always seem to learn something from these books; the origins of the words “jazz” and “ragtime” here are nice little bonus tidbits. And I’d never heard of a baby car before – by heck, they were smaller than Mini Coopers, and much as I want one of those I’ve never been sure I’d feel safe in one.
It’s wonderful to have all those Phryne Fishers waiting for me.
The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.