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Dead Man’s Chest–beach holiday turns dangerous

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Dead Man’s Chest

by Kerry Greenwood

Dead Man's ChestDead Man’s Chest deviates in a delightfully surprising way from the typical Phryne Fisher mystery with a change of setting. Most occur in St. Kilda near Melbourne, Australia, but in this work of historical fiction, detective Phryne Fisher takes her family to Queenscliff for a holiday while her home in St. Kilda is undergoing renovation.  The vacation turns into work as they arrive at the home an acquaintance has loaned her only to find the Johnsons, who serve as  butler and cook, have disappeared and the house has been emptied. Along with this mystery is a tale of a “pigtail snipper” who cuts off the braids of local young girls.

Ruth gets to try out her culinary skills, Jane delves into ancient bones and movie making, and Dot gets to spend some time with the strong and handsome Constable Hugh Collins. A young ne’er-do-well, Tinker, becomes a devout follower of his mentor, Miss Fisher, whom the whole family holds in high regard. Throw in some smuggling, tales of pirate treasure, a snoopy neighbor, insight into the impoverished lives of the serving classes and fishermen, and a taste of  Surrealism, and you have a lively story beckoning the reader to discover the answers to some fascinating Australian mysteries.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Poisoned Pen Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Notes: #18 in the Phryne Fisher’s Murder Mysteries; adequate as a standalone but more interesting with some background on the main characters

Publication: December 5, 2017—Poisoned Pen Press

Memorable Lines:

Phryne was getting out of the car. Dot closed her eyes. Miss Fisher was about to happen to someone again.

Dot had been training her in Suitable Topics for a Lady’s Dinner Table, which did not include Rat Dissection for Beginners or Beastly Customs of the Heathen, which was a pity because Jane knew a lot about both of these.

“We’re on a case again, aren’t we?” asked Dot gloomily. “Well, yes, but this time it really isn’t my fault, Dot dear. I was dropped right into this one.”

He was terrified. Not of the task, but that he might let the guv’nor down. She had trusted him. No one had ever trusted Tinker before.

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