Murder on the Ballarat Train

Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne Fisher is on the case after being awoken on the train and saving all of the first class passengers.  Phryne is hired by the murdered woman’s daughter, is asked to watch after a lost girl, and hired to save a missing man’s daughter.  These three cases weave together beautifully and create a riveting story.  I was so eager to find out the how I finished the book in one day.  This is great story telling, and the characters get better with each book.

Character List/Book Summary:

Phryne = wakes to the smell of chloroform on the train, is hired by Eunice to find her mother’s killer, asked by the police to watch after Jane, and hired by Mr. Hart to find his abducted daughter.

Dot = Phryne’s confidential secretary, does not tolerate people insulting Phryne, wonderful at sorting clothes and helping arrange households.

Mrs. Butler = doesn’t tolerate a fold out of place, always has the house ready for Phryne and any guests she might bring home.

Mr. Bulter = turns away reports that want to bother the household, manages to keep everything ready for Phryne and is able to help in many ways.

Cec = likes cats, helps Bert and Phryne with figuring out how the girls are being kidnapped, takes Gabrielle Hart home

Bert = agrees to help find out what is going on at Miss. Gay’s boarding house

Johnnie = small boy on the train, was pretending to be a dog and bit the young train guard

Eunice Henderson = on the train with her mother, was burned by the chloroform, has a secret career that helped support her mother after her mother lost all their money in a fraud, hires Phryne to find out who killed her mother.

Sergeant Wallace = police office where the train stopped, helps Phryne with the start of the investigation.

Detective Inspector Robinson = has a high opinion of Phryne’s courage, and takes over the case once they are back in town

Mrs. Agnes Lilley = Johnnie’s mother, widower, tells the police about the blonde police officer

Mrs. Henderson = murdered, stomped on after killed, insulted Mrs. Lilley and her children, had emerald rings, did not treat her daughter nicely

Alexander Cotton = Daisy’s husband, bad sense of humor, on the train

Daisy Cotton = pregnant, impacted by the chloroform on the train

Jane = Phryne agrees to take her and names her so that she doesn’t go to welfare, she was found on the train, not knowing who she is or where she should be, wants to be a doctor after meeting Dr. MacMillan, finds a cat and names it Ember, Phryne wants to adopt her

Dr. MacMillan = examines Jane and Eunice at Phryne’s house and treats then while they are recovering

Alastair Thompson = wants to marry Eunice, he is in his last year of med school, comes from modest background, has a temper, admits he wants to marry Eunice for her money

Lindsay Herbert = Alastair’s friend, studying to be a lawyer, asked Alastair if he could go to Phryne’s house to meet her as he has heard about her reputation as a detective.  Becomes one of Phryne’s pets.

Mr. Hart = hires Phryne to retrieve his daughter, Gabrielle, from a brothel

Miss Gay = runs a boarding house, claims Jane is her niece

Ruth = girls at Miss Gay’s house that talks to Bert, goes to Phryne for protection after a beating from Miss Gay, wants Phryne to adopt her

Henry Burton = hypnotist, has found a second career involving the girls and Miss Gay

Klara = friend of Phryne who helps her look for Gabrielle Hart


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