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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

‘Murder and Mendelssohn’ by Kerry Greenwood

Published by Poisoned Pen Press,
May, 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-4642-0246-9 (HB)
ISBN 978-1-4642-0248-3 (TPB)
ISBN 978-1-4642-0247-6 (Large Print)

The Hon. Phryne Fisher, even after 20 novels, remains true to herself in this latest mystery in which she even joins a chorus to sing Mendelssohn’s Elijah, exhibiting yet another talent to her apparently unlimited repertoire.  The reason she undertakes the task is because not one but two conductors have been murdered and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson is not only at a loss to solve the crimes but is completely unfamiliar with the world of music.

A side plot involves matchmaking and preventing the murder of a former code-breaker, Rupert Sheffield, by Phryne plotting to join him up with an old acquaintance from the trenches in France when she was an ambulance driver in the Great War and pitting a couple of gangs against each other to eliminate the bosses.

The accustomed cast of characters to whom readers have become addicted, Dot, Mr. and Mrs. Butler, Jane, Ruth and Tinker, all play their roles with aplomb.  And the usual touch of sex in the series play a major part in this one, as homosexuality, certainly a forbidden subject for the period (the 1930’s), is a central focus (not to mention Phryne’s free spirit and penchant for lovemaking with anyone to whom she is attracted).  All in all, lots of fun, and recommended.
Reviewer: Ted Feit

Kerry Greenwood was born 17 June 1954 in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has a degree in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on the 1st April 1982. Kerry has written twenty novels, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D'Arcy, is an award-winning children's writer and has edited and contributed to several anthologies. In 1996 she published a book of essays on female murderers called Things She Loves: Why women Kill.
The Phryne Fisher series (pronounced Fry-knee, to rhyme with briny) began in 1989 with Cocaine Blues which was a great success. Kerry has written sixteen books in this series with no sign yet of Miss Fisher hanging up her pearl-handled pistol. Kerry says that as long as people want to read them, she can keep writing them.
Kerry Greenwood has worked as a folk singer, factory hand, director, producer, translator, costume-maker, cook and is currently a solicitor. When she is not writing, she works as a locum solicitor for the Victorian Legal Aid. She is also the unpaid curator of seven thousand books, three cats (Attila, Belladonna and Ashe) and a computer called Apple (which squeaks). She embroiders very well but cannot knit. She has flown planes and leapt out of them (with a parachute) in an attempt to cure her fear of heights (she is now terrified of jumping out of planes but can climb ladders without fear). She can detect second-hand bookshops from blocks away and is often found within them. For fun Kerry reads science fiction/fantasy and detective stories. She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered wizard. When she is not doing any of the above she stares blankly out of the window.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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