Death before Wicket

Death before Wicket by Kerry Greenwood. More travel for me means another Phryne Fisher 1920s Australian mystery. This time it’s a bit of a cozy, academic setting with a lot more supernatural elements than usual. Phryne is on vacation in Sydney to see some cricket and attend a few parties, but is soon asked to investigate the robbery of the university Dean’s safe. Like the cricket matches she attends, Phryne leisurely interviews the suspect faculty members and students, a close-knit group with secrets ripe for blackmail. The change in locale from the home base in Melbourne means that several of the regular series characters are missing, but Phryne’s companion/maid Dot is still around and it is the disappearance of Dot’s sister Joan that is the secondary plot for this title. Clues to both cases lead Phryne to Sydney’s relatively subdued Bohemian clubs where she finds a mysterious fortuneteller and her dangerous assistant. Although I am definitely not a fan of the supernatural in mysteries, this latest entry in the series is an improvement over Urn Burial as Sydney offers the chance for new characters to emerge and the academic setting was interesting, though it is still not as good as some of the earlier stories.

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