Historical · Mystery

Dead Man’s Chest (Phryne Fisher #18) by Kerry Greenwood

Another great novel featuring the brilliant Miss Fisher and this time the holidays don’t go as planned.

Miss Phryne Fisher thinks her family needs a breath of fresh air and so relaxation. A nice, quiet holiday in Queenscliff is just what they need: a beach house, parties and cocktails. Unfortunately, it starts on the wrong foot. As they arrive at the rented holiday house, they realize that the owners are missing and that the house was raided. As the local police show its talent or the lack of it, Miss Fisher takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of this mystery. From kidnapping to illegal smuggling, an attempt of murder and a treasure hunt, the holiday adventure will be anything but relaxing, even after a few cocktails.

I’m a big fan of the Honourable Phryne Fisher and her adventures, and this novel was a delight to read. I didn’t read the previous instalment but it can be read as a stand-alone.

The style of writing is as engaging as always: the descriptions are colourful, accurate and very they draw a perfect picture of a dream holiday, at least in the beginning. The reader feels like they are walking beside the main characters and unconsciously smile at the family scenes. The style feels like a summer breeze: it goes smoothly over the plot, the interactions between characters and the descriptions which include delicious dishes, recipes and cocktails. The research details Greenwood uses give depth to the story and they are very well integrated into the story. The details on the period are, as always, impeccable written and described.

The plot is simpler than the previous novel I read but it’s still engaging in its own way. I think the best way to describe it is “relaxing mystery”. The story develops slowly and in the beginning, there isn’t much action, but it comes later on. With the presence of a phantom snipper that cuts off girls’ plaits, the plot doesn’t have a lot more development.

The characters are as charming as ever and, of course, Miss Fisher is a great female protagonist. I don’t get tired of reading about her, her courage to break the rules, her strength of character and her constant fight to see justice done; they never cease to inspire me. In this novel, the reader is introduced to a new cast member: Tinker, an evasive boy that tends to get himself in difficult situations and he ends up joining the household together with Jane and Ruth. The new addition is very nice to read and it felt natural that he should join Miss Fisher and her adventures.

A cosy, relaxing read that I recommend to all the fans of the genre and of Miss Fisher.

Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Poisoned Pen Press and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.

4 Stars

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