Murder on a Midsummer Night
by Kerry Greenwood
In Murder on a Midsummer Night, there are two major non-connected mysteries and one minor mystery. A man with no apparent reason to commit suicide is found drowned, and Phryne Fisher is hired to discover what really happened to him. Simultaneously she takes on a case to find a person who was given up for adoption many years prior. A mother has died and her will indicates that this person should be included in receiving monetary benefits. At the end of each chapter is a brief part of yet another tale. It appears very disconnected from the main plot lines until the very end of the book at which time it is tied into one of the threads. Rather than being clever, I found it distracting.
This is the first Phryne Fisher mystery that I have not totally enjoyed. In addition to the dangling mini-mystery, the characters did not have the pizazz that they normally have. The author relates the actions the characters take rather than allowing the reader to watch the action, participating vicariously. I regretted that Phryne’s family members as well as other regulars in the series are present but not very active. The result is a flat feeling to the story. In addition there are a number of truly distasteful characters in this book. Phryne doesn’t like them, and the reader has no reason to like them.
I am a big fan of the Phryne Fisher Mystery Series, but this mystery was disappointing. If this were my first experience with the series, it would probably be my last. Knowing the usual quality of the books in this series, however, I will be back.
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.
Category: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Notes: #17 in the Phryne Fisher Mystery Series
Publication: February 6, 2018—Poisoned Pen Press
There was never any point being cross about weather, it was like politicians: to be born patiently, because it was compulsory.
She didn’t care what anyone said about the association of Phryne and Lin Chung, especially James, who was leaning against the white-painted wall, looking exquisite and drinking his third glass of the revolting port. That appeared to be the sum total of his social skills but Phryne supposed that he might have hidden depths.
But then, every country has its mistral, its meltemi, its own terrible wind.