The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honourable Phryne Fisher-she of the green-gray eyes, diamant garters, and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions-is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia. Almost immediately after she books into the Windsor Hotel, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned wives, cocaine smuggling rings, corrupt cops, and communism-not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse. Will Phryne meet her steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street?
Kerry Greenwood - Away With the Fairies
Phryne Fisher-dangerous, passionate, kind, clever, and seductive. She drinks cocktails, dances the tango, is the companion of wharfies, and is expert at conducting an elegant dalliance. It's the 1920s in Melbourne and Phryne is asked to investigate the puzzling death of a famous author and illustrator of fairy stories. To do so, Phryne takes a job within the women's magazine that employed the victim and finds herself enmeshed in her colleagues' deceptions. But while Phryne is learning the ins and outs of magazine publishing first hand, her personal life is thrown into chaos. Impatient for her lover Lin Chung's imminent return from a silk-buying expedition to China, she instead receives an unusual summons from Lin Chung's family followed by a series of mysterious assaults and warnings.
Kerry Greenwood - Raisins and Almonds
Super-sleuth Phryne Fisher steps, like an elegant cat, through this, her eighth adventure. In investigating the poisoning of a young man in a bookshop at the Eastern Market, and the wrongful arrest of one Miss Sylvia Lee, Phryne is plunged into a world of Jewish politics, alchemy, poison and chicken soup. Stopping only for a brief, but intensely erotic, dalliance with the beautiful Simon Abrahams, Phryne picks her way throught the mystery with help from the old faithfuls - Bert, Cec, Dot and Detective Inspector 'Call Me Jack' Robinson. But ultimately it is her stealth and wit which solve the crime - and all for the price of a song...
Kerry Greenwood - The Castlemaine Murders
The fabulous Phryne Fisher, her sister Beth and her faithful maid, Dot, decide that Luna Park is the perfect place for an afternoon of fun and excitement with Phryne's two daughters, Ruth and Jane. But in the dusty dark Ghost Train, amidst the squeals of horror and delight, a mummified bullet-studded corpse falls to the ground in front of them. Phryne Fisher's pleasure trip has definitely become business. Digging into this longstanding mystery takes her to the country town of Castlemaine where it's soon obvious that someone is trying to muzzle her investigations. With unknown threatening assailants on her path, Phryne seems headed for more trouble than usual...
Kerry Greenwood - Urn Burial
The redoubtable Phryne Fisher is holidaying at Cave House, a Gothic mansion in the heart of Australias Victorian mountain country. But the peaceful surroundings mask danger. Her host is receiving death threats, lethal traps are set without explanation, and the parlour maid is found strangled to death. What with the reappearance of mysterious funerary urns, a pair of young lovers, an extremely eccentric swagman, an angry outcast heir, and the luscious Lin Chung, Phrynes attention has definitely been caught. Her search for answers takes her deep into the dungeons of the house and into the limestone Buchan caves. What will she find this time? Kerry Greenwood, winner of the Australian Crime Writers Asso-ciation Lifetime Achievement Award, began her Phryne Fisher series in 1989 with Cocaine Blues. She has written 16 books in this series with no sign yet that Miss Fisher is hanging up her pearl-handled pistol. Ms. Greenwood lives and writes in Australia.
Kerry Greenwood - Death Before Wicket
The sassy Phryne Fisher sets the seamy side of Sydney alight in her tenth adventure. Phryne Fisher has plans for her Sydney sojourn - a few days at the Test cricket, a little sightseeing and the Artist's Ball with an up-and-coming young modernist. But these plans begin to go awry when Phryne's maid discovers her thoroughly respectable sister has left her family for the murky nightlife of the Cross. And Phryne is definitely not the woman to say 'no' when two delightful young men come to her on bended knees, begging for her help in finding their friend innocent of theft. Phryne's plans for a simple day or two of pleasure are postponed for good. It all sounds simple enough as Phryne sets investigations into motion, but when greed and fear are the motivating factors, people become ruthless and Phryne finds herself enmeshed in blackmail, secrets, lies and the dangerous influences of deep magic.
Kerry Greenwood - Blood and Circuses
Phryne Fisher is bored. Life appears to be too easy, too perfect. Her household is ordered, her love life is pleasant, the weather is fine. And then a man from her past arrives at the door. It is Alan Lee from the carnival. Alan and his friends want her to investigate strange happenings at Farrells Circus, where animals have been poisoned and ropes sabotaged. Mr. Christopher has been found with his throat cut in Mrs. Witherspoons irreproachable boarding house and Miss Parkes, an ex-performer, is charged with his murder. Phryne must go undercover deeper than ever to solve the circus malaise. She must abandon her name, her title, her protection, her comforteven her clothes. She must fall off a horse twice a day until she can stay on. She must sleep in a girls tent and dine on mutton stew. And she must find some allies. Meanwhile, in Melbourne, the young and fresh-faced policeman Tommy Harris has to solve his own mysteries with the help of the foul-spoken harridan Lizard Elsie, or Miss Parkes will certainly hang. Can Phyrne uncover the truth without losing her life?
Kerry Greenwood - Flying Too High
Phryne Fisher has her hands full in this, her second adventure. And just when we think she’s merely a brilliant, daring, sexy woman, Phyrne demonstrates other skills, including flying an airplane and doing her own stunts! Phryne takes on a fresh case at the pleading of a hysterical woman who fears her hot-headed son is about to murder his equally hot-headed father. Phryne, bold as we love her to be, first upstages the son in his own airplane at his Sky-High Flying School, then promptly confronts him about his mother’s alarm. To her dismay, however, the father is soon killed and the son taken off to jail. Then a young girl is kidnapped, and Phryne—who will never leave anyone in danger, let alone a child—goes off to the rescue. Engaging the help of Bert and Cec, the always cooperative Detective-Inspector Robinson, and her old flying chum Bunji Ross, Phryne comes up with a scheme too clever to be anyone else’s, and in her typical fashion saves the day, with plenty of good food and hot tea all around. Meanwhile, Phryne moves into her new home at 221B, The Esplanade, firmly establishes Dot as her “Watson,” and adds two more of our favorite characters, Mr. and Mrs. Butler, to the cast.
Kerry Greenwood - Murder on the Ballarat Train
In Phryne Fisher's third adventure, Phryne is off to Ballarat for a week of fabulousness, but the sedate journey by train turns out to be far from the restful trip she was planning. For the elegant Phryne Fisher, travelling sedately is not at all what it seems. 'Lie still, Dot dear, we've had a strange experience.' But neither the resourceful Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher nor her loyal maid, Dot Williams, are strangers to odd events. When the glamorous Phryne Fisher, accompanied by Dot, decides to leave her delightfully fast, red Hispano-Suiza at home and travel to the country in the train, the last thing she expects is to have to use her trusty Beretta .32 to save their lives. What was planned as a restful country sojourn turns into the stuff of nightmares: a young girl who can't remember anything, rumours of vile white slavery and the body of an old woman missing her emerald rings. And Phryne is at the centre, working through the clues to arrive at the incredible truth before another murder is committed. Fortunately, Phryne can still find a little time for a discreet dalliance and the delicious diversion of that rowing team of young men.
Kerry Greenwood - Ruddy Gore
The glorious Phryne Fisher returns to the spotlight in her seventh adventure. Running late to the Hinkler gala performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore, Phryne Fisher meets some thugs in dark alley and handles them convincingly before they can ruin her silver dress. Phryne then finds that she has rescued a gorgeous Chinese, Lin Chung, and his grandmother, and is briefly mistaken for a deity. Denying divinity but accepting cognac, she later continues safely to the theatre. But it's an unexpected evening as her night is again interrupted by a most bizarre death onstage. What links can Phryne possibly find between the ridiculously entertaining plot of Ruddigore, the Chinese community of Little Bourke St or the actors treading the boards of His Majesty's Theatre? Drawn backstage and onstage, Phryne must solve an old murder and find a new murderer - and, of course, banish the theatre's ghost, who seems likely to kill again.
Maureen Jennings - Except the Dying
In the cold Toronto winter of 1895, the unclad body of a servant girl is found frozen in a deserted laneway. Detective William Murdoch quickly finds out that more than one person connected with the girl’s simple life has something to hide.
Maureen Jennings - A Journeyman to Grief
The abduction of a young woman in 1858 ends in Toronto thirty-eight years later — in murder. In 1858, a young woman on her honeymoon is forcibly abducted and taken across the border from Canada and sold into slavery. Thirty-eight years later, Detective Murdoch is working on a murder case that will take all of his resourcefulness to solve. The owner of one of Toronto’s livery stables has been found dead. He has been horsewhipped and left hanging from his wrists in his tack room, and his wife claims that a considerable sum of money has been stolen. Then a second man is also murdered, his body strangely tied as if he were a rebellious slave. Murdoch has to find out whether Toronto’s small “coloured” community has a vicious murderer in its midst — an investigation that puts his own life in danger. Maureen Jennings’s trademark in her popular and acclaimed Detective Murdoch series is to reveal a long-forgotten facet about life in the city that dispels any notion that it really ever was “Toronto the Good.” As well, in A Journeyman to Grief, an exceptionally well plotted and engrossing story, she shows just how a great harm committed in the past can erupt fatally in the present.
Maureen Jennings - Vices of My Blood
The compelling new novel by Canada’s answer to Anne Perry. In his forties, the Reverend Charles Howard still cut an impressive figure. A married Presbyterian minister in Toronto’s east end, Howard was popular with the congregation that elected him, especially with the ladies, and most particularly with Miss Sarah Dignam. Respected in the community, Howard, as Visitor for the House of Industry, sat in judgment on the poor, assessing their applications for the workhouse. But now Howard is dead, stabbed and brutally beaten by someone he invited into his office. His watch and boots are missing. Has some poor beggar he turned down taken his vengeance? Murdoch’s investigation takes him into the arcane Victorian world of queer plungers — men who fake injury all the better to beg — and the destitute who had nowhere left to turn when they knocked on the Reverend Howard’s door.
Colleen McCullough - The Thorn Birds
A phenomenal worldwide bestseller since 1977 THE THORN BIRDS is a robust, romantic saga of three generations. It begins in the early years of this century when Paddy Cleary moves his wife and seven children to Drogheda, an Australian sheep station, owned by his autocratic and childless older sister. For more than half a century we follow their fates, particularly those of Meggie, the only Cleary daughter, and the one man she truly loves, Ralph de Bricassart - stunningly handsome, ambitious, and a priest. As background to the Cleary family's lives there is the land itself: relentless in its demands, brilliant in its flowering.
Maureen Jennings - Under the Dragon's Tail
Women rich and poor come to her, desperate and in dire need of help - and discretion. Dolly Merishaw is a midwife and an abortionist in Victorian Toronto, but although she keeps quiet about her clients' condition, her contempt for them and her greed leaves every one of them resentful and angry. So it comes as no surprise to Detective William Murdoch when this malicious woman is murdered. What is a shock, though, is that a week later a young boy is found dead in Dolly's squalid kitchen. Now, Murdoch isn't sure if he's hunting one murderer - or two.
Maureen Jennings - Let Loose the Dogs
In Let Loose the Dogs, Murdoch’s life and work overlap tragically. His sister, who long ago fled to a convent to escape their abusive father, is on her deathbed. Meanwhile, Harry Murdoch, the father whom Murdoch long ago shut out of his life, has been charged with murder and calls on his estranged son to prove his innocence. But, knowing his father, what is Murdoch to believe?
Maureen Jennings - Night's Child
After thirteen-year-old Agnes Fisher faints at school, her teacher, the young and still idealistic Amy Slade, is shocked to discover in the girl’s desk two stereoscopic photographs. One is of a dead baby in its cradle, and on the back Agnes has scrawled a terrible message. Worse, the other photograph is of Agnes in a pose captioned “What Mr. Newly Wed Really Wants.” When Agnes doesn’t show up at school the next day, her teacher takes the two photographs to the police. Murdoch, furious at the sexual exploitation of such a young girl, resolves to find the photographer – and to put him behind bars. Night’s Child is the fifth novel in Maureen Jennings’s highly praised historical mystery series. Three of Jennings’s novels have been made into TV movies under the title Murder 19C: The Murdoch Mysteries. Bravo/CHUM is currently developing a series based on the character of Detective William Murdoch for broadcast in 2007
Louise Fitzhugh - Harriet the Spy
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she’s written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together?
Kerry Greenwood - Death at Victoria Dock
Driving home late one night, Phryne Fisher is surprised when someone shoots out her windscreen. When she alights she finds a pretty young man with an anarchist tattoo dying on the tarmac just outside the dock gates. He bleeds to death in her arms, and all over her silk shirt. Enraged by the loss of the clothing, the damage to her car, and this senseless waste of human life, Phryne promises to find out who is responsible. But she doesn't yet know how deeply into the mire she'll have to go: bank robbery, tattoo parlours, pubs, spiritualist halls, and anarchists. Along this path, Phryne meets Peter, a scarred but delectable wharfie who begins to unfold the mystery of who would need a machine gun in Melbourne. But when someone kidnaps her cherished companion, Dot, Phryne will stop at nothing to retrieve her.
Kerry Greenwood - The Green Mill Murder
Phryne Fisher is doing one of her favorite things --dancing at the Green Mill (Melbourne's premier dance hall) to the music of Tintagel Stone's Jazzmakers, the band who taught St Vitus how to dance. And she's wearing a sparkling lobelia-coloured georgette dress. Nothing can flap the unflappable Phryne--especially on a dance floor with so many delectable partners. Nothing except death, that is. The dance competition is trailing into its last hours when suddenly, in the middle of "Bye Bye Blackbird" a figure slumps to the ground. No shot was heard. Phryne, conscious of how narrowly the missile missed her own bare shoulder, back, and dress, investigates. This leads her into the dark smoky jazz clubs of Fitzroy, into the arms of eloquent strangers, and finally into the the sky, as she follows a complicated family tragedy of the great War and the damaged men who came back from ANZAC cove. Phryne flies her Gypsy Moth Rigel into the Autralian Alps, where she meets a hermit with a dog called Lucky and a wombat living under his bunk....and risks her life on the love between brothers.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who first appeared in publication in 1887. He is the creation of Scottish born author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A brilliant London-based detective, Holmes is famous for his intellectual prowess, and is renowned for his skillful use of deductive reasoning (somewhat mistakenly - see inductive reasoning) and astute observation to solve difficult cases. He is arguably the most famous fictional detective.