Unnatural Habits

Unnatural Habits

by Kerry Greenwood


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Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, now streaming on Netflix, starring Essie Davis as the honourable Phryne Fisher

"Among Phryne's pleasantly dashing adventures, this one stands out for its emphasis on sexual orientation and institutional coverups." —Kirkus Reviews STARRED review

The decidedly raven-haired Miss Phryne Fisher returns to delve deep into the dark side of Melbourne, Australia.

It's 1929, and girls are going missing. Little, pretty golden-haired girls. And they're not just pretty. Three of them are pregnant, poor girls from the harsh confines of the Magdalene Laundry. People are getting nervous.

Polly Kettle, a pushy, self-important girl reporter with ambition and no sense of self preservation, decides to investigate and promptly goes missing herself.

It's time for Phryne and Dot to put a stop to this and find Polly Kettle before something quite irreparable happens to all of the missing girls. It's all piracy and dark cellars, convents and plots, murder and mystery...and Phryne finally finds out if it's true that blondes have more fun.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781464208225
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 07/04/2017
Series: Phryne Fisher Series , #19
Sales rank: 183,332
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kerry Greenwood was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has degrees in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on the 1st April 1982, a day which she finds both soothing and significant. Kerry has written three series, 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. 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 twenty 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. In 2003 Kerry won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Association.


"Elegant, fabulously wealthy and sharp as a tack, Phryne sleuths her way through these classical detective stories with customary panache."

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Unnatural Habits 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful time it was to spend some time with Phryne and her minions. Phryne is on her way to meet a friend for drinks when she a lady about to be assaulted, but before she is, she is rescued by those that keep an eye out for Phryne. The lady is Polly Kettle, a reporter, who is chasing a story about three pregnant girls who have gone missing. Before Phryne can get much more information from Polly about the young, unmarried girls, Polly goes missing, too. About this time Jack, her police detective friend, asks if she could help checking on some other young ladies who have also gone missing. They seem to be unrelated, but the more that is learned, maybe they are some how related. With the help of Dorothy, her adopted daughters and delightful young man, Tinker, Phryne is off to sort through the known facts. This leads her to a nearby convent, which is hardly very charitable and to a Socialist commune. Another great addition to Phryne Fischer series by Kerry Greenwood. I'm looking forward to more in the series.
Carl80 More than 1 year ago
I confess it’s a cause for celebration when another Phryne Fisher adventure shows up. Yes, the publisher sent this novel in the hope that I’d give it a review. Yes, I have written elsewhere that I love the Phryne Fisher crime novels. The Honorable Phryne Fisher is an aristocratic displaced single woman living on her inheritance in Melbourne, Australia where she serves the downtrodden and criminally beset. Her relations with a few coppers is excellent and she has over the years, taken to her bosom four needy souls, Dot who became Phryne’s secretary and factotum, and two teenaged girls, Jane and Ruth, rescued from serious poverty. Now a fourth, a boy named Tinker, a lad of unusual skills for one so young has joined the menage. Life on the streets and waterfronts will do that, I suppose. In the early Twentieth Century, when the series is set, women as emancipated as is the Hon. Miss Fisher, are rare indeed. Her wealth is a great help, but so too are her attitudes and her diverse talents. Distant and poor relation of the aristocracy of the UK, the Great War elevated her to wealth and high society. Bored, she decamped to Australia, after a stint as an ambulance driver in the war. She is, in this outing, the mistress of a monstrously wealth Chinese merchant named Lin Chung. The plot centers on the mysterious disappearances of small blond girls from the city. The question of why, since no bodies are discovered, is what has been done with them. At the same time, questions are arising as to the treatment of young pregnant and unmarried women by the local Catholic church. This novel is darker and grittier than most of the previous stories in this series, but Fisher makes do in a most forthright fashion, focusing her justifiable wrath on kidnappers and religious zealots. Smoothly written as always, the pace is jaunty the scenes are well illuminated and the novel is thoroughly satisfying. I live in the hope for more adventures with this most excellent female investigator.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Unnatural Habits is the nineteenth book in the popular Phryne Fisher series by Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. A chance encounter with a young female reporter for The Daily Truth in a laneway leads Phryne Fisher to investigate the disappearance of three pregnant girls and said reporter. Margaret Kettle, better known as Polly, is determined to make her name as a serious journalist and steals a colleague’s story on White Slavery. But her enquiries into the fate of three very pregnant teenagers last seen at a pious widow’s nursing home mark the last sighting of the enthusiastic if somewhat careless reporter. Her questions in a variety of places have ruffled some feathers, but whose? Someone associated with the Convent of the Good Shepherd and their workhouse-like Magdalen Laundry business? The owners of local brothels or exclusive Gentlemen’s Clubs? Or does her disgruntled colleague have a hand in her disappearance? What does the employment agency, Jobs For All, have to do with it? And just who is going around performing involuntary vasectomies on deserving males? In this instalment, Phryne makes full use of her daughters (on vacation from school), of Dot, of her new employee, Tink and of her taxi drivers, Bert and Cec. Her minions (as she repeatedly refers to them in this instalment) are put to work on a secret code and other researches as well as taking active parts in the interrogation of witnesses. Phryne adopts an assortment of disguises: a blonde actress, a pregnant girl and a nun, as required by the different strands of the investigation. As well as white slavery, eugenics, virginity tests, kidnapping, slave labour and a female-run fruit-growing collective all feature. With this excellent novel, Greenwood once again proves herself a mistress of historical crime fiction. 
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
The long list of Phryne Fisher mysteries revolves around the stylish The Hon. Ms. Fisher and her entourage solving a murder here, another crime there. In this, the 19th in the series, Phryne sets about finding three missing pregnant women and soon discovers other upsetting mysteries to solve: young blonde girls, mostly teenagers, have also gone missing. And then she is confronted with the disappearance of an aspiring young woman reporter who was chasing a story about the missing girls. The police are stymied, and as usual, it falls to Phryne to solve the various cases. And she goes about it in a pretty straightforward manner, albeit not without some difficulties. This novel isn’t like many of its predecessors, which were lighter in tone, with many amusing asides. “Unnatural Habits” is rather dry compared to them. This observation is not a negative, because the novel is an excellent and well-written mystery, just not as amusing as many of the preceding entries in the series, and it is recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author has a way with words that puts you in the story and the action. I look forward to the next Miss Fisher adventure.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood is the nineteenth book in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. It is 1929 in Melbourne, Australia and the Honorable Phryne Fisher is on her way to a meeting of the Adventuresses Club with Dr. Elizabeth MacMillan (Mac). Along the way, they encounter a woman being attacked by some thugs. After rescuing Polly Kettle, they take her along to the club. It seems that Miss Kettle is a reporter for the Daily Truth working on a story about girls who have gone missing from Magdalene Laundry at Abbotsford Convent. The three young women were pregnant and no one seems to care that they have disappeared. Miss Kettle is determined to stick with her story and soon departs. The next day Phryne gets a visit from DI Jack Robinson who reports that Polly has been abducted and asks Phryne to investigate. Phryne needs to retrace Polly’s steps in order to find the missing reporter. Will Phryne and her compatriots be able to find Polly in time? Unnatural Habits follows Phryne Fisher on another investigation. I found the mystery to be complicated with multiple parts. It was a little convoluted at time, but it was interesting. I did feel, though, that the story was a little too long. The author could have cut out some of the eating and bathing (we do not need details on every bath and meal) for a more concise story. Unnatural Habits has entertaining characters with Phryne at the forefront. Phryne is smart, sassy, strong, social and so much more. I wish the author had not made Jack so bland. He fades into the background. The author did an amazing job at capturing the time-period (clothes, language, food, cars, entertainment, etc.). While Unnatural Habits is the nineteenth book in the series, it can be read alone. The author provides all the details a reader needs. I am giving Unnatural Habits 4 out of 5 stars. Pick up a copy of Unnatural Habits to go on another adventure with Phryne Fisher and her troupe of family and friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again Ms. Fisher solves more than one mystery as only she can with her minions.
RRatliff More than 1 year ago
A Phryne Fisher mystery never disappoints! Phryne is hot on the trail of string of missing girls - cute blonds, and the girl reporter trying to track down the story. Through the convents and laundries where disgraced girls are sent to atone, Phryne will risk her life to get to the bottom of this mystery. This adventure also finds Phryne on the trail of an unusual perpetrator of unusual crimes.... Plenty of twists and turns, and an excellent historical study into the plight of fallen women. Even Dot begins to question some of the practices of her own faith as she helps Phryne navigate the customs of the Catholic church.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
I love Kerry Underwood's books and especially the Phryne Fisher series. Set in 1929 (love reading about that era) Phryne Fisher is a force to be reckoned with. She goes in with an authority that tells everyone "I am here and here's what we are doing". Her "crew" is filled with some pretty quirky characters and I found myself chuckling at them and their antics several times. A great series that, while I have not read all of them, I have certainly enjoyed the ones that I have read. I love when people say something can't be done and she replies "yes, it can", here's the money, get it done! Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Storytellermary More than 1 year ago
UNNATURAL HABITS by Kerry Greenwood I do so admire Phryne Fisher, dynamic, generous, and brave, and her wonderful supporting characters, so capable in dealing with the villains and enjoying life along the way. I finished UNNATURAL HABITS last night before going to bed, and slept soundly knowing Phyne had tied up all the nasty loose ends so neatly. My only sadness is in coming near the end of this series; waiting for more will be so hard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Into the coming depression before ww ll or is that only a gathering cloud on the horizon to lose humor in a series is often a sign of burn out. I wish she had continued the bakery series and returned to the families of the roman apartment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shadowpaw is alone and has had no training. 'Edge of freedom' last result. He is of Rainclan, and is the son of Willowstar, and the deputy, Oakpride
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello, Seafire!))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cinderpaw. And it would do good of you kept Thrushpaw and Thistlepaw company!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A brown cat with a white underbelly. His green eyes smoldered with anger. He lashed out at a tree, practicing a smooth vicious fighting move.