11th book in the series.

Publication year: 2001
Format: Audio
Publisher: Belinda Audio
Narrator: Stephanie Daniel
Running Time: 8 hrs and 5 minutes

The Honorable Phryne Fisher is a bit bored: life is good but her Chinese lover Lin Chung has been sent to China to buy silk. Then Detective Inspector Robinson asks Phryne to look into a suspicious death. Marcella Lavender has reported that someone is threating her and Robinson looked into the matter but didn’t find anything. However, now Lavender is dead and Robinson feels really guilty about it. Of course Phryne agrees to look into the matter.

Lavender wrote and illustrated children’s books, specifically fairy books. She also worked for the Women’s Choice magazine. She lived in a boarding house with a motley crew of other people and her house was decorated with fairies. She even inflicted garden gnomes on the hapless gardens. Phryne interviews her house mates without getting much clues. However, she’s invited to write for the Women’s Choice magazine and this gives her an excellent opportunity to investigate.

The book is pretty ordinary Phryne book until about the half-way point: funny and witty but showing also how people’s lives can be hard. However, about half-way through the book Phryne finds out that her lover has been kidnapped and the book’s tone for that plot becomes far more serious.

As usual, the book has a range of interesting characters. In addition to the usual cast, there are lot of new characters. It seems that miss Lavender wasn’t much liked. Her co-workers at the magazine aren’t grieving; they are focused on getting the next issue out. She wrote also the advice column for the magazine which widens the field of suspects.

I really enjoyed this one.

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