Dead Man’s Chest
Author: Kerry Greenwood
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Genre: Historical Fiction, Crime, and Mystery
Blurb (as on Goodreads):
Dot unfolded the note. “He says that his married couple will look after the divine Miss Fisher…I’ll leave out a bit…their name is Johnson and they seem very reliable.” Phryne got the door open at last. She stepped into the hall. “I think he was mistaken about that,” she commented.
Traveling at high speed in her beloved Hispano-Suiza accompanied by her maid and trusted companion Dot, her two adoptive daughters Jane and Ruth, and their dog Molly, The Hon. Miss Phryne Fisher is off to Queenscliff. She’d promised everyone a nice holiday by the sea with absolutely no murders, but when they arrive at their rented accommodation that doesn’t seem likely at all.
An empty house, a gang of teenage louts, a fisherboy saved, and the mystery of a missing butler and his wife seem to lead inexorably toward a hunt for buried treasure by the sea. But what information might the curious Surrealists be able to contribute? Phryne knows to what depths people will sink for greed, but with a glass of champagne in one hand and a pearl-handled Beretta in the other, no one is getting past her.
A murder mystery and all I could think about was food. This book would be a perfect vacation read because of the vibes that this novel conveys. Lazy days, good food, swimming, and late evening walk, with a hint of mystery to stir things around.
The plot unfolds in Queenscliff, a perfect vacation spot with beaches and caves and hush-hush talks about hidden treasures. Phryne Fisher, a private investigator is on a vacation with her entire household. When she arrives at the house she’s supposed to stay at, she finds her host missing, along with a lot of furniture. After a few days of gathering information and collecting evidence, Miss Fisher comes to a conclusion that Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, their host, are indeed missing. On the other side of town is a mysterious man who cuts hair off young girls.
Mysteries and Murders seem to have a strange attraction towards Miss Fisher, and hence, along with her extremely smart daughters and Tinker, a kid from the neighborhood, stars an investigation, to uncover secrets and mysteries and a certain family involved in smuggling.
I haven’t read any other Phryne Fisher mystery and this book isn’t enough to judge her investigative skills, but a few things that are evident are: Phryne Fisher is an extremely smart woman, with a strong eye for detail. Her conclusions are usually correct and her plans usually work, no matter how unsure she is about them. She has a team of nerds who are both learning as well as investigating small details for her.
Greenwood is brilliant when it comes to describing situations and environments. There’s always a touch of humor and the analogies are on point. The writing style complements the genre and all-in-all it gives a very historic, ancient vibe (back to vibes again). Greenwood also manages to unfold the answers to all the questions, however tiny and insignificant.
Meanwhile, you could find all about the series and Miss Fisher here. 🙂
Overall, this was a refreshing read (with a lot of food-fantasy involved), but I would want to read more of Phryne Fisher mysteries to come to a conclusion about the protagonist and her talents.
Kudos to books that let you fantasize about food 😛