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Away with the Fairies.

AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES. Kerry Greenwood. 2001/2002. Read by Stephanie Daniel. 6 tapes. 8.66 hrs. Bolinda Audio. 1-74030-699-6. $48.00. Vinyl; plot, author, reader notes. SA *

MURDER IN MONTPARNASSE. Kerry Greenwood. 2002/2002. Read by Stephanie Daniel. 5 tapes. 8 hrs. Bolinda Audio. 1074030-813-1. $40.00. Vinyl; plot, author, reader notes. SA *

Set in 1928 Melbourne, Australia these two mysteries star the independent detective Phryne Fisher: brave, strong, outspoken, intelligent, beautiful. In Fairies, Phryne is asked to solve the murder of Miss Lavender, a writer/illustrator obsessed with fairies, who also writes an advice column for a woman's magazine. As Phryne discovers, Lavender was also apparently obsessed with obtaining incriminating information that she used to manipulate her fellow boarders and co-workers--not quite blackmail, but enough to turn one victim into a murderer. At the same time, Phryne's lover Lin Chung has been kidnapped by pirates in the South China Seas, and Phryne aims to rescue him.

Montparnasse follows Fairies immediately in time. Seven Australian veterans of WW I have asked Phryne to find out why this band of war brothers is being killed; three are already dead and they don't wish to lose any more. Phryne recalls her time in Montparnasse during the war as she searches for the killer. Both novels are well written, full of a wild '20s, post WW I atmosphere with an Australian touch (special music at the end of each side evokes the period). Yet there are also serious hints of the war clouds gathering in Europe. Australian actress Daniel's fully voiced reading is perfect: crisp, upper-class British English for Phryne, gentle Chinese for Lin Chung and family, brusque Australian, and clear, energetic, smooth voices, yet with grace and humor, for all others. For those who love Maisie Dobbs, Phryne is a similar treat; both were equally heroic young women on the battlefields in France during WW I. Maisie is reserved, dignified, thoughtful; Phryne is uninhibited, flamboyant, careful. Maisie so far lives alone; Phryne runs a household with two adopted daughters, a cat, a dog, an assistant, a cook and a butler. Jean Palmer, KLIATT
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Title Annotation:Murder in Montparnasse
Author:Palmer, Jean
Article Type:Audiobook review
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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