Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dead Man's Chest: Review

Kerry Greenwood does it again. Dead Man's Chest is the latest installment in her absolutely wonderful Phryne Fisher mystery series. As I've said before, Phryne is the grown-up's Nancy Drew. Phryne has steel in her spine and witty comebacks. She can stare down anyone fool enough to mess with her socially and can take on some rather hefty blokes and come out "with hardly a hair out of place." In this adventure, Phryne and her household (companion, Dot, two adopted daughters, Ruth and Jane, and dog, Molly) have traveled to the sea shore for a well-deserved holiday. She has promised everyone a nice time with absolutely no murders. But Phryne attracts mysterious circumstances like flame attracts the moths.

It all starts with the missing butler and his wife--who seem to have done a flit in the middle of the night taking all of their belongings (down to the bed) and cleaning out the larder (including the salt and pepper!). Things get more mysterious when the couple's beloved dog, Gaston, shows up dirty and the worse for wear. Phryne begins to suspect foul play. Throw in a missing pirate treasure, the "snipper" (who clips off girls's braids in the wink of an eye), and a smuggling operation and you have all the ingredients for high adventure. But, as Phryne points out to Dot, it's not her fault this time...this mystery just fell into her lap.

The story, as always, is a fast-moving, action-packed adventure. Greenwood introduces us to the most interesting characters and adds another likeable young man to Phryne's entourage. Tinker longs to be a policeman some day and, like most people who meet Miss Fisher for the first time, finds himself in awe of his new employer. Greenwood also gives more of the story to Phryne's adoptive daughters and I look forward the interactions of the younger members of the household in future adventures.

I thoroughly enjoyed this installment. It was a bit of a change...for the first time, there is no enticing young man hanging about. But as they say, a change is a good as a rest. Kerry Greenwood has changed things up in just right the manner and given readers another excellent outing. Four stars.

*Read as part of the Time to Relax and Holiday Read-a-Thons.


Birdie said...

Bev--you are definitely bad for my self-control! Now I'm poking around looking for these books. I'll just have to use them as carrots on the long and winding road to the dissertation.

Kat said...

1920s mysteries? YES PLS! This sounds great! Thanks for the great review :)

Kat @ Kat in Books

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I used to LOVE Nancy Drew so I bet I would like this series. As a Young Adult Librarian, however, I find that I spend the majority of my spare reading time reading things I can recommend to students. Do you think there would be any appeal for teens in this series, are any of the characters teenagers?

I really enjoy your writing style. You write very well. Thanks for sharing.


Sandy said...

Oh this does sounds really good and I've never heard of this story before. And I'm not much for mysteries but I did enjoy Nancy Drew was younger so I don't think I'd mind this especially if there is humor. Good review I'll have to add the first book to my TBR list!