Flying Too High

Flying Too High and Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood. In the second and third installments of the Phryne Fisher series, readers will easily recognize Greenwood’s formula for these books: two slightly interrelated mysteries, one new dashing lover for Phryne to bed and the introduction of a new character or two. This simple recipe does not lead to greatness, but does consistently provide a few hours of enjoyable diversion. I wish the dialogue captured more of the 1920s Australian setting as these stories are undistinguished in that regard, but despite her “flapper” appearance and libertine relations with the opposite sex, Fisher presents a strong, intelligent role model as a young woman and several of the supporting roles in the series are filled by women as well. Whether they are doctors, prostitutes, maids, or policewomen, they all have contributions to make to the solution of the cases. Flying Too High has Phryne demonstrating her flying and wing-walking skills, moving out of her hotel and into a new house with two new servants, Mr. And Mrs. Butler, and solving one murder and one child kidnapping. Girls in danger is also a theme in Murder on the Ballarat Train as Phryne tries to help a young girl who has lost her memory and solves another murder.

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