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Murder in the Dark (Phryne Fisher Series #16)

Murder in the Dark (Phryne Fisher Series #16)

4.1 12
by Kerry Greenwood

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It’s Christmas, and Phryne has an invitation to the Last Best party of 1928, a four-day extravaganza being held at Werribee Manor house and grounds by the Golden Twins, Isabella and Gerald Templar. She knew them in Paris, where they caused a sensation. Phryne is in two minds about going. But when threats begin arriving in the mail, she promptly decides to accept


It’s Christmas, and Phryne has an invitation to the Last Best party of 1928, a four-day extravaganza being held at Werribee Manor house and grounds by the Golden Twins, Isabella and Gerald Templar. She knew them in Paris, where they caused a sensation. Phryne is in two minds about going. But when threats begin arriving in the mail, she promptly decides to accept the invitation. No one tells Phryne Fisher what to do. At the Manor House, she is accommodated in the Iris room, and at the party dallies with two polo-playing women, a Goat lady (and goat), a large number of glamorous young men, and a very rude child called Tarquin. The acolytes of the golden twins are smoking hashish and dreaming. The jazz is as hot as the drinks are cold. Heaven. It all seems like good clean fun until three people are kidnapped, one of them the abominable child, and Phryne must puzzle her way through the cryptic clues of the scavenger hunt to retrieve the hostages and save the party from further disaster.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
One of the most exciting and dangerous of the adventures into which Phryne's fabulous and risky lifestyle have led her.
Publishers Weekly
Australian author Greenwood’s fine Phryne Fisher mystery combines suspense and humor with a taut race to unmask a master assassin before he can strike again. As usual for this long-running series […] major pleasures come from Greenwood’s wry voice and the larger-than-life Fisher.

Product Details

Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date:
Phryne Fisher Series , #16
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Barnes & Noble
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Meet the Author

Kerry Greenwood is the author of more than 40 novels and six non-fiction books. Among her many honors, Ms. Greenwood has received the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award from the Crime Writers’ Association of Australia. When she is not writing she is an advocate in Magistrates’ Courts for the Legal Aid Commission. She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered Wizard.

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Murder in the Dark (Phryne Fisher Series #16) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Australia liberated Phryne Fisher enjoys Christmas 1928 with her significant other Lin Chung and her family. Scandalous acquaintances from Paris, the Golden Twins Isabella and Gerald Templar, have invited her to the Last Best party of 1928, a four-day affair at Werribee Manor house.

Phryne considers declining the invitation until she receives letters and a Christmas present containing a poisonous snake in the post that threaten her if she attends. No one scares Phryne away so she goes to the gala. At the party, hashish and alcohol flow freely and she meets an odd collection of people including a bad-mannered child Tarquin who soon afterward vanishes without a trace. Two more people disappear with puzzle clues left behind. As Phryne and Nicholas Booth, who she has just met and believes is an undercover cop, investigates, she realizes someone has been hired to assassinate the sibling hosts.

No one messes with kick butt Phryne whether it is threatening her by post, behaving boorishly towards her at a party, or committing murder. She is at her best in this pre-Depression Era Australian whodunit as her sleuthing partner Nicholas brings out her strengths. The mystery is cleverly devised with solid twists and the roaring cast fits the decadent 1920s. Fans will enjoy Phryne¿s latest caper as once again Kerry Greenwood provides her readers with a deep look at a bygone era Down Under inside of a rousing investigative thriller.

Harriet Klausner
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Murder in the Dark is the sixteenth book in the popular Phryne Fisher series by Australian author Kerry Greenwood. It is the end of the year, and Phryne, somewhat reluctantly, accepts an invitation to attend the Last Best Party of 1928, spurred on to do so when several anonymous communications warn her against it. Held at Werribee in the Chirnside Manor, this six-day party is being thrown by the beautiful and charismatic Gerald Templar and his equally beautiful twin sister, Isabella, lately arrived from London via Paris. The Templars have brought with them their acolytes, including, among others, the Wildean Sylvanus Leigh and the Sapphic girls from Montparnasse. Amid the two hundred guests are the polo-playing Grammar Boys and Wonnangatta Tigers, a jazz trio, Arabian, Japanese and medieval musicians, the delectable Nicholas Booth (whom Phryne deems fit to dally with in Lin Chung’s absence), Madge, the Goat lady and her mint-addicted goat, a scowling orphan named Tarquin and Blues singer Nerine. The Last Best Party includes themed dinners, hamper lunches, a polo match, a deer hunt, trap shooting, poetry recitals, parlour games, a Bal Masqué, a jazz concert, plenty of drinking, eating and hashish, and certain other decadent activities. Upon arrival, Phryne finds her invitation has more than just a social aspect, as Gerald Templar has been receiving death threats and pleads for her assistance. Soon enough, young Tarquin goes missing, riddles begin appearing and Phryne finds she is trying to trap a contract killer. Stabbing, mass poisoning, kidnapping, ground glass in cold cream, a ransom note, and a coral snake in a gift box all feature. Motives of revenge, jealousy, hatred and greed propel several different offenders. As well as quotes from classic poems and plays, and recipes for delicious cocktails, the reader tastes Christmas in the Fisher household and chez Williams, Butler, Yates and Johnson. Phryne goes undercover as a housemaid, wins a bet using a bunch of mint, remembers a few things her detested father was right about, attempts some rhyme and asks the all-important question: just how much cream can one cat hold? Delightful mystery, as always.
KrisAnderson_TAR 5 months ago
Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood is sixteenth book in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. It is Christmastime much to Jane and Ruth’s delight. The Butler’s, Dot, Bert, and Cec will be spending Christmas Day with their families. Phryne’s sister, Eliza and her companion will be spending the day with Phryne and the girls. Phryne has received an invitation to Gerald and Isabella Templar’s The Last Best Party of 1928. After receiving a threatening Christmas card warning her off from the party, Phryne decides to attend. The next day the family is opening gifts and there is one last gift for Phryne that had been left on the front porch. There is a lovely cuff inside with a venomous snake wrapped around it. Thankfully, Ember (the cat) kills the slimy creature before it can harm anyone. Phryne is dropped off at the party, and she sets out to explore. It is a massive affair that will last from December 27 through January 1 with costumed events each evening along with music (Nerine is with us once again), polo matches, cocktails and other recreational (lascivious) activities. Gerald requests to speak with Phryne privately. He has been receiving threatening letters and needs her assistance discovering this perpetrator’s identity. Later Phryne discovers that Gerald and Isabella adopted children and Isabella’s adoptive daughter, Marigold has disappeared. It is assumed that she ran away. But one evening, Tarquin, Gerald’s adoptive son, goes for drinks and disappears. Phryne investigates and finds that Tarquin has been taken. But, the evildoer has left a riddle behind on a luggage tag. Phryne must unravel each riddle in this scavenger hunt to find the next clue. Will Phryne get to the end in time to save the victims? Murder in the Dark is set at Christmas. We are told that it is Phryne’s first Christmas in Australia. Then everything that has transpired in the first fifteen books has occurred in less than twelve months. Does anyone else find this a little odd? I did like that we caught a glimpse into the lives of Bert, Cec, Dot, and the Butler’s away from Miss Fisher’s household. The party is an over-the-top affair with many varied activities. Readers need to remember that the story is set in 1928 when recreational drugs flowed freely and were not illegal. The mystery was complex, and I do not believe many readers will figure out the whole solution (I am being cryptic on purpose). I particularly enjoyed the riddles. They were fun to decipher. I give Murder in the Dark 3 out of 5 stars. I did feel that the book was a slightly too long. The book needed more focus and editing (it would have certainly helped with the books slow pacing). Kerry Greenwood was rather wordy. We are given descriptions of the clothes, food, costumes, house, grounds, tents, games, erotic scenes and so on. Several recitations and songs are also included in the story (I skimmed through them). I wish there had been less focus on the party with its varied activities. Since Murder in the Dark was a Christmas novel, I would have liked it to be more Christmas themed (instead of a hedonistic party). I did find the solution to the twin’s financial woes to be creative but unrealistic (might have been some eye rolling). I did like the afterward included by the author.
Storytellermary More than 1 year ago
Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood Phryne Fisher, so brave, clever, loyal, and kind to those in need, faces heat, mosquitos, and riddling assassins at the Last Best party of 1928. It’s New Year’s but also Midsummer, with echoes of Midsummer Night’s Dream’s feuding king and queen and missing servant boy and girl. Bits of wisdom: The Chinese don’t serve dessert, feeling sweets are for children, and “It is necessary for the child to know that the monster is dead.” (reminder to me and all storytellers that the ending of a scary story for children has to be “and no one ever saw that . . . again.” Bring them home safely). I couldn’t stop reading, but now I’m sad it’s finished, and eagerly anticipate the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The stories themselves are excellent; however, the shoddy editing and formatting of the NOOK ebooks make the later books very difficult to read. The first several were fine, but the further along in the series (and unfortunately, I have all 20 ebooks) one goes, the sloppier it gets (did not one check the electronic files at all?). Pages are missing, navigation is well-nigh impossible, and at this point, if I want to actually read all of the books in their entirety, I think I'll give in and get the dead tree versions - from Amazon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A small white cat slowly pads along the border, taking in its many scents after coming from the AshClan territory. Wandering around for a bit, her scent unrecognizable even though she came from AshClan territory, she walked on, finding the scent markers along the way and where to head next. Slowly she padded to SandClan, away from whatever sounds she heard at the opposite side of the border from where she had started. Rubbing against a tree to leave the scent for them to find, she continued onward to the next Clan's border. ~A white cat &hearts
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She followed, picking up Bluekit. ((We pretty much lost everyone...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To northclan camp cuz we have to pass through there! Its at 'heaven coelestia' )) he mewed, "Ashclan lets go!" <p> Flameclaw picked up rockkit and followed Stormflower <p> Fawnstep guided Cloudbeauty
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He nodded ro Thistlepaw, agnowledging (fail) her presence. (Okay. And jsyk, Thrushpaw wasn't told to come on the border patrol.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He sniffed the border. "Smells faintly of cats. Seems like a loner."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way Kerry Greenwood's lead characters celebrate being human and retain so many heroic qualities. There is a lot going on in this story. You better check it out and see for yourself.