I will admit the TV show brought these books into my world and I am so grateful. Phryne Fisher is a powerful woman who uses her smarts, and the talents of her friends to help her solve and prove what really happens. In this book Phryne solves a murder and saves a girl from a kidnapping. The cast of characters surrounding Phryne is amazing, and slowly her world is expanding. The best thing about this author is how she makes the amazing Phryne Fisher and all her daring stunts seem so believable you don’t question that someone so special could exist.
The author does a great job weaving stories together and expanding on the background of characters while not seeming forced. After watching the TV shows I thought Phryne was a role model, after reading the books I want to be her.
Character List/Book Summary:
Phryne Fisher = pilot, lady detective, has been solving mysteries nonstop since she started three months ago, moving out of the hotel and into a town-home, has hired a cook/maid and a butler (married couple), enjoys the company of two men she meets during her investigations.
Candida Alice Maldon = kidnapped, intelligent, taught her self to read, loves sweets
Mrs. Frieda McNaughton = afraid her son will kill her husband, sleeping in a narrow room without windows when she stopped sleeping with her husband, hired Phryne to figure out what to do about her son
Dot = Phryne’s secretary, helps arrange the transfer of Phryne’s belongings from the hotel to the house, helps with solving the kidnapping, is thrilled to have her own room in Phryne’s house
Bill McNaughton = Frieda’s son, a pilot, runs a flight school, often gets into loud altercations with his father, 6′ tall built like a brick house, is accused of his father’s murder
Jack Leonard = works with Bill and knows Henry, suggests that Henry hire Phryne when his daughter is kidnapped
Molly Maldon = Henry’s second wife, Candida’s step-mom
Henry Maldon = Candida’s father, former pilot, old friend of Jack, won a lottery of $10,000
Mrs. Elsa Butler = Phryne’s new housekeeper and cook, starts calling Phryne’s gentlemen guests “pets”
Mr. Ted Butler = Phryne’s new butler, married to Elsa, helps get material and prepares a way for Phryne to try and track the kidnappers
Bunji Ross = female flying friend of Phryne, fills Phryne in on Bill’s situation with his father and how he is as a flight instructor, helps Phryne and Henry with a rescue attempt for Candida
Bert & Cec = taxi drivers, and best friends, work for Phryne in helping her prove what happened to William McNaughton
Gerald = Friend had a letter from him in her purse that Phryne went through when she passed out from the stress of Bill being arrested for murdering his father
Dr. Mark Fielding = new doctor that makes a house call to Phryne’s new home when Mrs. McNaughton passes out, later ends up having dinner with Phryne.
Amelia McNaughton = Bill’s sister, doesn’t believe Bill killed their father, engaged to Paolo, is an artist, Phryne asks her to paint a piece to complement a piece that she has in her parlor.
Paolo Raguzzi = Italian sculptor, Amelia’s beloved, doesn’t believe Bill killed Amelia’s father, thinks whoever did it should be prized since he was such a mean man to Amelia, knows that Mrs. McNaughton was having an affair but didn’t say anything as Amelia was too stressed from her father’s treatment of her
Detective Benton = investigator in charge of William McNaughton’s murder, has a theory of what happened and is sticking to despite any evidence to the contrary
Isola di Fraoli = ballerina and friend of Phryne
Jillian Henderson = short woman, about 40, lawyer, friend of Phryne, is hired by Phryne & Amelia to represent Bill, bails him out and prepared to defend him
Guiseppe = owns a restaurant, helped Paolo get set up when he came to Australia from Italy
Sidney = one of Candida’s kidnappers, a known child-molester who the police are after
Ann = one of Candida’s kidnappers, married to Mike, owes money to the wrong type of people
Jack Robinson = Phrnye sees him for help with the kidnapping, and promises him a gift wrapped arrest if he helps her