Flying Too High

Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2)Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another delightful installment of mystery, sex, and adventure. Bert, Cec, and Dot all take center stage in this one. Phryne buys a house (221B), hires Mr. and Mrs. Butler, and does daredevil tricks on the wing of an airplane. I’ll definitely continue to read these. Hard to say yet whether the books or the TV series is better…

Book description: Walking the wings of a Tiger Moth plane in full flight would be more than enough excitement for most people, but not for Phryne―amateur detective and woman of mystery, as delectable as the finest chocolate and as sharp as razor blades. In fact, the 1920s’ most talented and glamorous detective flies even higher here, handling a murder, a kidnapping, and the usual array of beautiful young men with style and consummate ease. And she does it all before it’s time to adjourn to the Queenscliff Hotel for breakfast. Whether she’s flying planes, clearing a friend of homicide charges, or saving a child, Phryne does everything with the same dash and elan with which she drives her red Hispano-Suiza.

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Cocaine Blues

Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1)Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries television series, so was eager to try the books. This did not disappoint. The writing is just as sparkling as the protagonist. Is Phryne too perfect and talented to be true? Of course, and that is half the fun! Plus the setting is just exotic enough to be fascinating, and there is plenty of period detail and description. There is adventure, and humor, and if I hadn’t listened to an audiobook, I would have been writing down memorable quotes. I may have to resort to rereading the ebook just to find them again. Like the TV show, this will be one I will visit again. The book goes a little deeper than the television show. Familiar secondary characters are Dot, her maid, Bert and Cec, the cab drivers, and her friend the Scottish doctor. There are some plot differences in the TV show, but they are relatively minor. I think they did a good job with the TV adaptation.

Book description: Phryne leaves the tedium of English high society for Melbourne, Australia, and never looks back. The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher―she of the green-gray eyes, diamant garters and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions―is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia. Almost immediately from the time she books into the Windsor Hotel, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned wives, cocaine smuggling rings, corrupt cops and communism―not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse―until her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a hard book to describe. It is not exactly historical fiction although it is set mostly in the 1920s. The geographical setting is very well described, but it could almost take place in any time frame. Tom is a survivor of World War I, but it could be any war. Nor would I call this a suspense thriller as it has been labeled. It is more of a domestic fiction – people make choices and choices have consequences. You could call it a love story, but it’s not a romance. So let’s call it a study of flawed characters and an emotional ride. You want to give them advice, but of course, you can’t. You can only watch helplessly as they make heartbreaking choices. The ending is probably realistic, but there were so many other ways it could have turned out. This will make a good movie. It needs proper costuming to make this a historical drama. 3 1/2 stars that I am rounding up to 4.

Book description: After the horror of World War I, Tom Sherbourne welcomes his new job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, an isolated island with no residents aside from him and his wife Isabel. But times on the island are tough for Isabel as she suffers multiple miscarriages and a stillbirth in just four years time. When a boat with a dead man and a young baby washes ashore, Isabel convinces Tom to let her keep the baby as their own, but the consequences to her actions may be dire.