Monday, May 14, 2007

The 'It' girl from Down Under

In the 1920's, the goal of every flapper was to have 'It': a polite euphemism for sassy sex appeal. While you can argue that sass and sex are in the eyes of the beholder, if you're a fan of Australian author Kerry Greenwood, you have to admit that her detective protagonist - Phyrne Fisher - has both qualities in spades. Phyrne (pronounced fry-knee, according to the dust jacket) is a rich, beautiful, sophisticated and sexually adventurous woman who has returned home to Australia after living in Europe for many years. The 1920's in Australia were apparently a little less 'roaring' than they were in New York or Paris, but Phyrne manages to generate her own excitement wherever she goes. She works as a private investigator and solves murders, robberies, and kidnappings with the help of a recurring set of characters.
The Phyrne Fisher mysteries have been very popular in Australia, where they were first published in 1989. Author Greenwood has written 16 books in the series so far and the American mystery publisher Poisoned Pen Press has started reissuing them for an American audience. We have just added another volume to the collection (we now have 7 titles), and The Green Mill Murder is just as fun and exciting as the others. A little mystery, a little romance, a little fashion: what a great recipe for a good summer read.

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