Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fun Books by Australian Author Kerry Greenwood / Judy

I wanted to tell you about a series of mystery books I’m reading that I’m thoroughly enjoying. I know I should put this kind of thing onto “Good Reads” but I don’t know how (sigh). Besides, I wanted to post something

So, the author’s name is Kerry Greenwood and her protagonist and main detective is named Phryne (rhymes with “Briny”) Fisher and she lives in Australia in the 1920’s.  Her maid, friend and confident is Dot, an older, very down-to-earth person. I’m afraid there is an occasional sex scene, but as usual, I just skip them and I recommend  you do the same. The stories themselves are fun, but I especially enjoy the writing. Let me give you a few examples:

Murder in Montparnasse
about an extremely skinny French chef

“Plus de crème!” Sauce must have curdled, she thought. The remedy for anything short of a cholera outbreak in a French kitchen was, “Add more cream!”

The chef was a man of goodwill, even though he resembled a shabby vulture who had just missed out on the last beakful of dead wildebeest.

Dot always worried about Phryne. There had been raised male voices in the parlor, and Dot didn’t like it one bit. Raised male voices, in Dot’s experience, meant raised male fists. And then Miss Phryne might have to hurt someone.

Phryne was reading a tabloid that, if it had ever employed a proofreader, he had retired in tears after the first day and could never bring himself to go back.

Raisins and Almonds
a mystery among the Jewish population in Australia

Phryne attends a dance competition at a Jewish culture center. The main judge pronounces: “It’s decided…the best dancers are Simon Abraham and his partner, Miss Fisher, but the heat goes to Rose Weinberg and Chaim Wasserman, because they are both members of the Jewish Young People’s Society.”

…The room then broke into at least three arguments, all of which had ferocious supporters…

One faction was for awarding the prize to Simon and Phryne; after all, they were the best dancers and who were we to start discriminating against non-Jews, for goodness’ sake?

Another was to award it to Chaim and Rose, who danced well and were both members and good persons besides if you overlooked their uncle Marek, and anyway Marek was not anyone’s fault except maybe God’s and He presumably had a purpose in creating even such persons as Marek.

A third was denouncing the chairman, not for making such a decision, but for having the bad manners to say that that was how he made it, the chairman having been a schlemiel since early childhood, it was well known.


  1. Mom,

    Those excerpts are so funny! Thank you for sharing them!

  2. I'm glad to have an new idea of something to read. They sound fun. I've read two of the Sophie Kinsella books. Sadly, I stayed up till 3:30 to read the last one and was grumpy all the next day. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't rush right out to the library and get more books.


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