Thursday, May 29, 2008

Death Before Wicket

I've become quite a fan of the Phyrne Fisher mystery series by Australian author Kerry Greenwood (Phyrne is pronounced fry-nee, according to the dust jacket). The books always feature a nice blend of elements: a self-reliant female detective who isn't a shrew, a little sprinkling of sex without being too graphic, a semi-exotic Australian setting, a 1920's time period, and a good fashion sense. In fact, if PBS were to ever film this series, it would be worth watching it just for the clothes. The plots are a little bit beyond the edge of reality, but the dialogue is always fun and the other characters seem to regard liberated Phyrne with a bit of dropped-jaw awe.
Our newest addition to this series is Death Before Wicket, and it involves the University culture, mysticism, the seamy side of Sydney, and the 1920's fascination with all things Egyptian. As much as I liked this book, I will caution that if you have not read this series before, I would not recommend starting with this one because there is a fair amount of discussion of cricket. Since the only thing I know about cricket is that the matches can last for multiple days, I confess that I skimmed over those parts. But since I am a Phryne fan, I persevered through talk of bowlers, bats and wickets and enjoyed the rest of the story. The first book in the series - Cocaine Blues - is a good place to get to know our intrepid, mesmerizing heroine and the pleasant cast of supporting characters.

No comments: