Dead Man’s Chest: A Phryne Fisher Mystery

Written by Kerry Greenwood
Review by Nina de Angeli

Promises of a peaceful seaside holiday in late 1920s Queenscliff brings the elegant Miss Fisher and her charmingly eccentric household out of Melbourne for two months. In her latest outing, witty, high-living amateur crime solver Phryne (pronounced fry-nee) rents a beach house, and encounters mysteriously missing servants, rumors of smugglers and pirate treasure, and suspect neighbors giving wild surrealist parties. Her investigation is aided by a new character, intrepid kitchen boy and detective story fan Tinker.

Phryne’s teenage adoptive daughters Ruth and Jane play larger roles this time, as apprentice chef Ruth ponders the mysteries of Impossible Pie and Jane nearly has her hair bobbed by the local Phantom Snipper.  Dead Man’s Chest is eighteenth in this clever series by Greenwood, who won a lifetime achievement award from the Crime Writers’ Association of Australia in 2003.  It also includes recipes and bibliography.