Excitement, joy and anticipation are some of the words that can describe my feelings towards a new Phryne Fisher murder mystery.
Death in Daylesford is set in late 1920s Victoria. It begins with our heroine Phryne Fisher and her faithful companion Dot traveling to Daylesford on the invitation of Captain Herbert, who runs a spa retreat for shell-shocked soldiers. They are expecting to have a relaxing time soaking the springs and the sights of country Victoria but as always, where Miss Phryne Fisher goes murder and mystery do follow. Almost as soon as Phryne and Dot arrive in Daylesford they are faced with missing women and several terrible accidents that could be murder. All the accidents seem to revolve around the Temperance Hotel, where the beautiful barmaid Gentle Annie lives and works.
While Dot and Phryne are holidaying in the Victorian countryside, her family at 221B The Esplanade St Kilda are engaged in a mystery of their own. Phryne’s ward Tinker and the Red Raggers; Cec and Bert, make the gruesome discovery of a young women’s body floating in the harbour after a fishing expedition. Sargent Collins is assigned the case and without the support of his boss, Detective Inspector Jack Robinson, Collins enlists the help of Phyrne’s adoptive daughters Jane and Ruth as well as Tinker, Cec and Bert to solve this case.
The storyline of Death in Daylesford changes between the two mysteries and this can be confusing as you can lose track of the investigation. Kerry Greenwood has a beautiful way of describing the late 1920s Melbourne and Daylesford. The description of the bushland surrounding Daylesford is very realistic, especially for one who has travelled in the Victorian high country. Phryne Fisher is a vibrant character who bursts off the page with life, attitude and colour. She is strongly independent and does not tie herself down to one single man, though Lin Chung does appear in several Miss Fisher novels. Phryne Fisher’s personality and lifestyle would fit better in the 21st century rather than the late 1920s and I imagine she would have been an anomaly in that time.
Death in Daylesford is the 21st book in the Phryne Fisher Mystery Series and is available as a book, eBook and eAudio book.