St. Kilda is holding its first Flower Festival, and it's
unthinkable that the QUEEN OF THE FLOWERS could be anyone
but the Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher. Phryne's four Flower
Maidens have been chosen, but when one goes missing,
socialite detective that she is Phryne must find her, and to
do so she enlists her trusted friends and cohorts. It
appears to be a daunting task, especially when the girl's
family circumstances surface. It gets even more complicated
when, Ruth one of Phryne's two adopted daughters, who had
been talking about finding her father, goes missing as
well. If Miss Fisher knew the meaning of frantic, she would be.
I had heard of this series, and being set in Australia in
the 1920s proved irresistible. While not as intrepid as
Phryne, I feared that QUEEN OF THE FLOWERS, being book
number 14 (!) was a silly endeavor, I did not feel lost for
a moment, except maybe when it comes to Phryne's lover, Lin
Chung, and it definitely will not be a chore to have to read
the previous installments. Phryne is a unique individual: a
very modern woman, wealthy, stylish, and independent;
slightly eccentric, not very proper and very well-mannered.
She directs her minion with kindness, and she can be a
seductress when the situation warrants it. Kerry Greenwood
creates such vivid images, I could picture Phryne floating
down the staircase in her red dresses or riding an elephant
with the same grace and ease.
QUEEN OF THE FLOWERS is light on the mystery and heavy on
the marvellous period details, which delighted me to no end.
I also loved how the inclusion of letters led directly to
the resolution of one of the mysteries; it was very clever,
and one must pay attention. The dialogues are a feast for
the mind, and at times of such elegance, they are nearly
swoon-inducing. While the author seldom mentions the
weather, I was left with a feeling of warmth, and coziness;
Ms. Greenwood's writing is so luscious, I felt embraced by
the beautiful writing. While Phryne is a character of nearly
mythic proportions, the secondary characters are no slouches
either; I loved Detective Inspector Robinson, he is such a dear!
It's no wonder that Miss
Fisher's Murder Mysteries is a TV series, the book has such a cinematic
feel, that even while reading, it's a visual experience.
QUEEN OF THE FLOWERS is a delightful read and I'm looking
forward to new adventures from Miss Fisher!
In 1928, the tony Melbourne suburb of St. Kilda is
inaugurating its Flower Festival. The streets are hung with
fairy lights, and tea dances, yacht races, tango
competitions, lantern shows, and picnics on the beach are
all on the schedule of events. Who but the inestimable
Phryne Fisher could reign over it all, as Queen of the Flowers?
Unfortunately, where Phryne is involved it seems trouble is
never far behind. When one of her flower maidens vanishes,
followed by Phryne's adopted daughter, Ruth, the game is
once more afoot. Elephants, old lovers, prostitutes and
ne'er do wells be warned: Miss Fisher may be Queen of the
Flowers, but she also packs a pearl-handled .38.