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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Unnatural Habits (Phryne Fisher Murder Mysteries #19)

Unnatural Habits - Kerry Greenwood

As usual for this series, this book was excellent. Really excellent.


Phryne is like the 1920's, female version of James Bond. She's not a spy, mind you, but that same self assurance, unlimited means, elegant taste and ability to strike fear in all hearts, as well as lust in the male ones. She answers to nobody and lives by her own standard of ethics and morality, not the law. Nothing scares her.


Unnatural Habits covers more than a few plots - a missing girl, mistreatment of unwed soon-to-be-mothers, a string of abductions of both women and girls. Phyrne tackles them all with efficiency. Relying much more heavily on her family than in the past to resolve these problems, it seems she is more frustrated in her efforts than in previous books. This frustration and how she deals with it rounds out her character a bit, I think.


She has a great family of characters around her: her two adopted daughters, her personal maid, the Butlers, Bert and Cec and Tink, the newest member of the family. Each individual and interesting in their own right, and a lot of fun to read about. My only complaint in this book is Phyrne's new habit of referring to them all as minions, which seems disrespectful and not at all in keeping with the personality Ms. Greenwood has gone to such great lengths to establish for Phyrne.


Ms. Greenwood does an excellent job of relaying the history of Melbourne in 1929 (give or take) - she really brings the city to life and as a transplant to Melbourne I love reading about the areas I recognise and learning about the history - the good, the bad and the very colourful.


I adore this whole series, and I'm hard pressed to even name one book in the whole that isn't excellent and a recommended read to anyone enjoying the genre. I look forward to Phyrne's future adventures and pray Ms. Greenwood never tires of her.