The Green Mill Murder

The Green Mill Murder: A Phryne Fisher Mystery by Kerry Greenwood

Phryne’s life has become a bit routine when suddenly her date to a dance marathon becomes a murder suspect.  Phryne Fisher and the cast of characters in her life help  her solve the murder, find a missing man, help a young couple get married, and introduce her to the world of jazz.  For those that have seen the TV show, the differences in this book make it well worth the read (and in my opinion better than the show’s murder mystery).  Phryne’s world gets better and better with each book, and while references are made to past adventures and “pets” the book could be a stand alone.  The author does a great job at making Phryne’s life seem completely possible while at the same time making her extraordinary.

Cast of Characters/Book Summary:

Phryne Fisher = witnesses a murder at the end of a dance marathon, realizes she forgot something about the murder scene but unsure of what, helps her date’s mother find her older son and clear her younger son’s name, learns about jazz and travels into the Australian alps

Dot Williams = Phryne’s assistant, worries about Phryne, especially when she flies, is old fashioned, dating police officer Hugh, is very disciplined

Mr. Butler = his wife is Phryne’s cook, chauffeurs Phryne around and runs her household

Charles Freeman = Phryne’s date to the Green Mill, wealthy, acceptable escort, abandons Phryne after the murder and becomes a suspect, has a cruel heart and an unkind mother, has no interest in Phryne or other women

Tintagel Stone = banjo player, manages the band that was playing at the Green Mill when the murder happened, knows who the killer is and tries to protect that person, becomes one of Phryne’s “pets”

Detective Inspector John “Jack” Robinson = assigned to the Green Mill murder, helps Phryne with Bobby’s issue, and worries about her when she travels into the mountains

Signore Antonio = owner of the Green Mill, Phryne has to pressure him to give the promised reward to the young couple who won the dance marathon

Detective Constable North = just transferred from VICE

Ben Rodgers = cornet and trumpet player, Charles claims Ben helped him when he was a suspect, dating Nerine, has a mean streak

Jim Hyde = trombone player, thin wiry boy

Iris Jordan = bass player, physical culture teacher, helps the dancers who won after the competition, fills Phryne in on some information

Hugh Anderson = saxophone & clarinet player, med student at Melbourne University

Nerine = singer in Tintagel’s band, not there the night of the murder because she dislikes Charles Freeman so much she doesn’t want to risk running into him at certain clubs, makes Phryne feel plain (but Phryne likes her), ask for Phryne’s help in locating her husband so she can divorce him and marry Ben

Violet King = the other couple in the dance marathon, writes to Phryne for help with getting the prize, marries Percy

Percy McPhee = Violet’s partner, wants to use the dance winnings to start a life on a farm with Violet

Mrs. Freeman = likes her dishealth, knows Iris Jordan, strong & healthy, easily agitated, asks Phryne for help finding her older son and clearing her younger son’s name

Bernard Stevens = man murdered at the Green Mill, dance competitor, made Charles promise to be at the marathon, was into blackmailing people

Pansy Shore = Bernard’s dance partner, had a broken foot at the end of the marathon, police are unable to speak to her

Bobby Sullivan = Charles’ special friend, asks to speak with Phryne, interior designer, gay, similar to Phryne, but Phryne is happy to see him out of her life after she stops him from being blackmailed and/or put in jail

Victor = Charles’ older brother, came back from the war changed, disappeared into the mountains, has not contacted his family in a few years, it was unclear if he was alive and how that would impact Charles’ inheritance.  He has been living a comfortable life in the mountains and has no desire to return to the city, but might like Phryne to come and visit him again, becomes one of her “pets”

Bert & Cec = tell Phryne about their experiences in the war and the men who were shell shocked, and what she might be up against if she finds Victor

Billy Simonds = Nerine’s hubby who ditched her, she wants to divorce him, and Phryne and Dot find him

Bunji Ross = Sky High Flying School, she helps Phryne plan a trip to Talbotville

Anne Purvis = Talbotville’s nurse, lives with Jo, protective of Vic

“Jo”sophine Binnet = lives in Talbotville, mystery writer that Phryne admires, after hearing Phryne’s story gives the OK for her to go and find Vic

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