The tenth Phyrne Fisher mystery.

Publication year: 1999
Format: Audio
Publisher: Belinda Audio
Narrator: Stephanie Daniel
Running Time: 8 hrs and 01 minutes

The Honorable Phryne Fisher and her maid Dot Williams have traveled to Sydney for a holiday and some cricket. However, as soon as they arrive, a couple of nice young men beg Phryne to investigate “a horrible event”. It turns out that their friend, Adam Harcourt, is in serious trouble. Someone broke into the Dean of Arts’ safe and Harcourt is being accused of it. Even worse, some of the papers which have been stolen were found on Harcourt’s things. But other items remain missing, among them an old papyrus, the Dean’s wife’s rubies, and the Faculty books.

Even though Phryne has promised her maid Dot that their stay in Sydney would be a holiday, she agrees to look into the theft. After all, it’s not a murder. She immerses herself into Sydney’s academic life which turns out to be full of secrets and lies. She also gets to dip her toe into black magic.

Meanwhile, Dot visits her Joan who is married to an ironmonger and they have two kids. However, to her horror she finds out that her sister has vanished and everyone, especially her husband, thinks that she has run away with a lover. However, Dot is convinced that Joan wouldn’t leave her kids. Phryne is afraid that something horrible has happened to Joan but because of Dot Phryne will find Joan. The search takes them to the bohemian side of Sydney. While Phryne knows all about the Bohemia in Paris and Melbourne, she finds out that Sydney is a bit stranger..

We find out about Phryne’s old hobby: cricket. I have no idea if the cricket information in the book is historically true but the majority of Greenwood’s facts tend to be correct.

This time Phryne is away from her friends who usually help her with investigations. Dot is the only familiar supporting character. The new characters are entertaining enough, especially the artists. Phryne is looking for Joan among Sydney’s artists and night clubs, and they tend to be entertaining. However, I missed Phryne’s lover Lin Chung.

Another entertaining Phryne story.

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