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The Green Mill Murder: A Phryne Fisher Mystery    by Kerry Greenwood Amazon.com order for
Green Mill Murder
by Kerry Greenwood
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Phryne Fisher is back in all her elegance in The Green Mill Murder, fifth entry of Kerry Greenwood's series. Phryne and her young and wealthy escort Charles attend the final moments of a dance marathon only to have one of the contestants fall dead at their feet. Murdered! No one seems to have seen anything, but obviously the man has been stabbed. Her escort turns tail and runs while Phryne stays to face Australian police interrogation.

Phryne always has a number of irons in the fire and The Green Mill Murder is no exception to this rule. Her escort's mother hires Phryne to locate her son, Charles - and then Vic, Charles' brother. She is asked to see that the prize for the marathon dancing is not reneged on. And then there's a murderer to expose. It's a large task for anyone, but Phryne thrives on it. She delves into the Melbourne jazz scene and flies her Gypsy Moth Rigel into bush country - doing it all with aplomb, grace, and a sense of daring.

As always in this series, this is a fun and informative novel. The 1920s was my mother's time and through Phryne's eyes I can see some of the world the way my mother saw it. Also, the book makes me want to add Mount Howitt to my long list of places to see. Phryne is not a woman of her times she is far ahead of her time in terms of women's independence. She knows this and clings to it with tenacity. She may know fear at times, but that only makes her more obstinate. It would be lovely to know this woman and to bask in her achievements.

The bold descriptions of the battles of Gallipolli and Pozieres should be read by heads of state - it might increase their incentive to work for peace. After Phryne meets a man of the mountain with his pets a dog and a wombat she bids her readers goodbye without tying up the last string the murder. Hopefully another book cannot be far behind.

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