Phryne’s house is a state of uproar, her main pet is getting married resulting in the Butlers threatening to quit and Phryne is having to remember a part of her past she does not want to. Mr. Butler feel compelled to quit for moral reasons if Phryne continues to see Lin after he is married, surprisingly Dot does not feel this way. Phryne is asked to find a missing lady by her fiance, and not her father (who keeps trying to shot Phryne). Bert and Cec ask Phryne for a favor to help try and track down who has been killing their friends from the war. Phryne, being Phryne, manages to figure out how to help people along the way, over come her past, and solve both cases she agreed to help.
A cute side story with Hugh has him traveling to a rural area where by mistake he solves a jewelry theft operation. Hugh also gets to play the hero and protect Phryne’s guest, Dot, and the girls while Phryne is at the Mayor’s Ball with Jack Robinson and his lovely wife. Phryne helps Bert and Cec find who killed their mates and manages to help a mother from being kicked out of her house, put a landlord in his place, and help one of the dead mate’s fiance start an orange farm. Phryne finds the missing girl and manages to help an abused house manager, a poor debutante that is basically being sold to a wealthy widow to help being the family back to their former glory, and treats herself to amazing french food along the way. Phyrne, as always is a great escape into an amazing world that the reader wants to be a part of.
Character List/Book Summary:
Phryne Fisher = asked to fine Elizabeth, asked to protect Bert and Cec’s friends and find who killed two of the group, has difficulty remember something about Paris. Has to start looking for new house staff when Mr. Butler threatens to quit.
Dot = Phryne’s maid, not going to leave Phryne if she has an affair with Lin. Dating Hugh, and plans to marry him one day.
Lin Chung = marrying Camellia, helps give Phryne a hint about the car when Phryne tells him about the night Elizabeth disappeared.
Bert = helps Phryne track someone, and picks up the girls when they track the person for Phryne.
Cec = remembers seeing Sarcelle pushed in front of the train when the group was leaving Paris after the war, tells Phryne he thinks it was a female who pushed him
Anatole Bertrand = French chef, came to Australia after the war to start a French cafe. Invites Phryne to his Cafe to find his fiance.
Elizabeth Chambers = Anatole’s fiance, just returned from boarding school when she went to a party with her friend Julia and disappeared. Wants to be a chef.
Hector Chambers = Elizabeth’s father, received a ransom for his daughter, suspects Phryne kidnapped her. Wants to marry Elizabeth’s friend Julia. His wife died young due to a heart condition. Not the nicest man and has a nasty reputation.
Jack Robinson = Phryne waits to go to him about Anatole’s cafe issue. Suspects Billy the Match might be responsible for Anatole’s issues. Asks Phryne for help in getting tickets to the Mayor’s ball to please his wife. Mrs. Butler helps feed him while his wife is away visiting her sister. Looks into the deaths of Bert and Cec’s friends.
Mr. Butler = tells Phryne that he and his wife are giving notice if she continues seeing Lin after he is married.
Mrs. Butler = does not want to stop working for Phryne, takes pride in her cooking and running the kitchen.
Maccie (Thom MacKenzie) = died mysteriously, drown with black and blues on his back, had just made a good deal, according to his fiance, about freezing orange juice
Conger (Alan Eeles) – his wife said a man came to talk to him and he left for a walk with the man, the next morning he was found dead beneath the wheel of his truck. Death certificate said the truck accidentally fell on him while he was fixing the engine.
Julia Chivers = knows the marriage arrangement will restore her parents estate, willing to pay the price, but would like to work instead. She does a fantastic job at bead work.
Camellia = Lin’s new wife, meets Phryne and enjoys her. Asks to speak to Phryne in private and divulges a secret to her.
Rene Dubois = came to Australia from France, was talking to Maccie before he died, does not treat his wife well, Phryne does not have good memories of him
Hugh = goes on his first solo investigation and wanting to make Dot proud stumbles into an interesting situation. While recovering from a bump on the head, Hugh protects Phryne’s guest, Dot, and the girls.