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 - 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 - 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.
Enid Blyton - The Mystery of the Secret Room
In the cold and foggy Christmas holidays, it doesn't seem as though the Five Find-Outers and Dog will have anything exciting to investigate. Fatty's got some wonderful new disguises, but there doesn't seem to be any mystery for them at all this time. Then Pip stumbles on a single furnished room in an otherwise deserted house.
Kerry Greenwood - Cocaine Blues
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 - 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?
Earl Derr Biggers - The Chinese Parrot
The character of Charlie Chan was based in part on the experiences of two Chinese detectives, Chang Apana and Lee Fook, who Biggers had read about in a Honolulu newspaper while on vacation. Biggers wrote six Charlie Chan mysteries. The Chinese Parrot is the second book in the series and begins: Alexander Eden stepped from the misty street into the great, marble-pillared room where the firm of Meek and Eden offered its wares. Immediately, behind showcases gorgeous with precious stones or bright with silver, platinum and gold, forty resplendent clerks stood at attention. Their morning coats were impeccable, lacking the slightest suspicion of a wrinkle, and in the left lapel of each was a pink carnation, as fresh and perfect as though it had grown there.
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.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The Return of Sherlock Holmes / His Last Bow
Criminals beware! Sherlock Holmes is back! Ten years after his supposed death at the Reichenbach falls, the famous detective returns to Baker Street in London and is ready to commence work once more, unravelling a series of baffling cases. Arthur Conan Doyle provides a rich and fascinating set of mysteries to challenge his sleuth in the new stories. As before, Watson is the superb narrator, and the magic remains unchanged and undimmed. This fascinating volume also includes the collection _His Last Bow_. In the title story, we are told how Sherlock Holmes is brought out of retirement to help the government fight the German threat at the approach of the First World War. Here are two sparkling sets of stories featuring the greatest detective of them all.
Steve Berry - The Romanov Prophecy
Ekaterinburg, Russia: July 16, 1918. Ten months have passed since Nicholas II's reign was cut short by revolutionaries. Tonight, the White Army advances on the town where the Tsar and his family are being held captive by the Bolsheviks. Nicholas dares to hope for salvation. Instead, the Romanovs are coldly and methodically executed. Moscow: Present Day. Atlanta lawyer Miles Lord, fluent in Russian and well versed in the country's history, is thrilled to be in Moscow on the eve of such a momentous event. After the fall of Communism and a succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the monarchy. The new tsar will be chosen from the distant relatives of Nicholas II by a specially appointed commission, and Miles' job is to perform a background check on the Tsarist candidate favored by a powerful group of Western businessmen. But research quickly becomes the least of Miles' concerns when he is nearly killed by gunmen on a city plaza. Suddenly Miles is racing across continents, shadowed by nefarious henchmen. At first, his only question is why people are pursuing him. But after a strange conversation with a mysterious Russian, who steers Miles toward the writings of Rasputin, he becomes desperate to know more-most important, what really happened to the family of Russia's last tsar? His only companion is Akilina Petrov, a Russian circus performer sympathetic to his struggle, and his only guide is a cryptic message from Rasputin that implies that the bloody night of so long ago is not the last chapter in the Romanovs' story . . . and that someone might even have survived the massacre. The prophecy's implications are earth-shattering-not only for the future of the tsar and mother Russia, but also for Miles himself. Steve Berry, national bestselling author of the phenomenal thriller The Amber Room, once again delves into rich historical fact to produce an explosive page-turner. In The Romanov Prophecy, the authentic and the speculative meld into a fascinating and exceptionally suspenseful work of fiction.
Dorothy L. Sayers - Gaudy Night
When Harriet Vane attends her Oxford reunion, known as the Gaudy, the prim academic setting is haunted by a rash of bizarre pranks: scrawled obscenities, burnt effigies, and poison-pen letters, including one that says, "Ask your boyfriend with the title if he likes arsenic in his soup." Some of the notes threaten murder; all are perfectly ghastly; yet in spite of their scurrilous nature, all are perfectly worded. And Harriet finds herself ensnared in a nightmare of romance and terror, with only the tiniest shreds of clues to challenge her powers of detection, and those of her paramour, Lord Peter Wimsey.
Dorothy L. Sayers - Whose Body?
There's a dead body in his bathtub, wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez spectacles. Enter Lord Peter Wimsey, the original gentleman sleuth, who debuted in this 1923 novel. Written by a master of the detective story, this atmospheric tale abounds in the cozy delights of an English murder mystery.
Elizabeth George - Deception on His Mind
Balford-le-Nez is a dying seaside town on the coast of Essex. But when a member of the town's small but growing Asian community is found dead near its beach, the sleepy town ignites. Working without her long-time partner, Detective Inspector Lynley, Sergeant Barbara Havers must probe not only the mind of a murderer and a case very close to her own heart, but also the terrible price people pay for deceiving others ...and themselves.
Ben Elton - Past Mortem
With old friends like these, who needs enemies? It's a question that short, mild-mannered detective Edward Newson is forced to ask himself, having, in romantic desperation, logged on to the Friends Reunited website in search of the girlfriends of his youth. Newson is not the only member of the class of '86 who's been raking the ashes of the past. As his old class begins to reassemble in cyberspace, the years slip away and old feuds and passions burn hot once more. Meanwhile, back in the present, Newson's life is no less complicated. He is secretly in love with Natasha, his lovely but very attached sergeant, while comprehensively failing to solve a series of baffling and peculiarly gruesome murders. A school reunion is planned, and as history begins to repeat itself, the past crashes headlong into the present. Neither will ever be the same again.
Patricia Cornwell - Predator
Kay Scarpetta and her colleagues-Benton Wesley, Pete Marino, and her niece Lucy Farinelli-return to a series of forensic cases as haunting as any they have ever tackled. Working with the National Forensic Institute in Florida, Scarpetta and Marino examine the X-rays of a man who has died from a shotgun blast to the chest. But the pellets embedded show a strange 'pinball' pattern and the two can't help but wonder if this points to suicide-or to murder. In an abandoned house in the rural South, a woman is held against her will. Her captor is unknown to her-and indeed unseen-but even in the dark, she knows that he is near. And on Cape Cod, Lucy awakens to a gray winter morning and the sure feeling that she has made a dreadful mistake.
Kerry Wilkinson - Playing with Fire
_Those who play with fire are going to get burned..._ Seven years ago Martin Chadwick set fire to a Manchester pub, not knowing a teenager was sleeping inside. Chadwick’s release from prison is imminent, with journalists gearing up for a good old-fashioned media lynching. With the victim’s father telling the papers he is out for revenge, DS Jessica Daniel is left to keep an eye on Chadwick and his fiery eighteen-year-old son. If that's not enough to keep her occupied, a private investigator is doing a fine job sticking his oar in, it looks like there's a schoolgirl suicide ring in operation, her car is working a little too well, and the endless rain continues to pound her northern home. Jessica's personal and professional life is in the balance - giving her barely enough time to focus on the person in her midst seemingly intent on burning everything to the ground.
Patricia Cornwell - Red Mist
With high-tension suspense and cutting-edge technology, Patricia Cornwell—the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer—once again proves her exceptional ability to entertain and enthrall in this remarkable novel featuring chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta. On her quest to find out exactly what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months before, Scarpetta drives to the Georgia Prison for Women to meet a convicted sex offender and the mother of a vicious and diabolically brilliant killer. Against the advice of her FBI criminal intelligence agent husband, Benton Wesley, Scarpetta is determined to hear this woman out. Scarpetta has both personal and professional reasons to learn more about a string of grisly killings: the murder of a Savannah family years earlier, a young woman on death row, and then other inexplicable deaths that begin to occur at a breathtaking pace. Driven by inner forces, Scarpetta discovers connections that compel her to conclude that what she thought ended with Fielding’s death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning of something far more destructive: a terrifying terrain of conspiracy and potential terrorism on an international scale. And she is the only one who can stop it.
Kerry Wilkinson - Thicker than Water
When Cameron and Eleanor Sexton arrive home to find their teenage babysitter missing, their immediate concern is for their young daughter. Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel is dispatched to find out what's going on, but with all apparently well, she thinks she’s been sent on a fool’s errand. Soon, the teenager’s body is discovered in an apparently random house on the other side of Manchester. The puzzle deepens when a journalist points out that someone placed an obituary for him just days before his disappearance. A string of clues point to a club whose owner has an unhealthy interest in Jessica, but then something happens which makes her question the very core of her beliefs. She is left to turn to the one person she knows she can rely on... but is that trust misplaced?
Kerry Wilkinson - The Woman in Black
_Severed body parts. A woman in shadows. These are the only clues._ Someone has left a severed hand in the centre of Manchester and the only clue Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel has to go on is CCTV footage of a woman in a long black robe placing it carefully on the ground. With a lengthy missing persons list and frantic families wondering if the body part could belong to their absent loved ones, she has plenty to deal with – and that’s before a detached finger arrives for her in the post. By the time a second hand is found and a local MP’s wife goes missing, Jessica is left struggling to find out who the appendages belong to, how they are connected and just what the mysterious woman in black has to do with it all.
Kerry Wilkinson - Vigilante
_A killer behind bars is still killing..._ Dead bodies are piling up for Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel. Usually when a serial killer is on the loose, the pressure would be building to find the perpetrator but the victims are all hardened criminals themselves. The national media can’t believe their luck with an apparent vigilante on the streets, while Jessica’s new boss seems grateful someone else is doing their job for them. But things aren’t so straightforward when forensics matches blood from the apparent killer to a man already behind bars.