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Issue: Summer 2013-4

Murder and Mendelssohn (2014) book review

Murder and Music in Melbourne

Phryne Fisher is back. This time she joins a choir to investigate the murder of its conductor and works to protect an old war friend from murderous local criminals.

Kerry Greenwood's writing style is light, bright, and filled with the idiosyncrasy worthy of P. G. Wodehouse. She combines Australian idioms with a wry sense of everyday irony. A new Greenwood is something to look forward to.

That said, Murder and Mendelssohn has some weaknesses. In the early pages she has a habit of repeating herself, and just as she gets over that she introduces two characters, each with two first names, Mark Henry and Henry James. The confusion of the names stops the reader while the identities are clarified.

book cover, Murder and Mendelssohn by Kerry Greenwood; 220x341

Murder and Mendelssohn by Kerry Greenwood (2014), Allen & Unwin,

Murder and Mendelssohn, as the name implies gives a bit of time over to the lyrics of Christian religious music. Italicized for more difficult reading. I found the lyrics unappealing and quickly skipped anything in italics, easy since I could barely read the font. The story worked well enough without them.

Phryne is her usual blithe, sexy and dangerous self. She calls on friends, old war espionage contacts, and her extended family to end the danger to her lovesick friend Dr John Wilson. If you can get past the Christian rhetoric and misogyny of using 'mankind' (thumbs down to Allen and Unwin for not editing this out), this further adventure of the unique Phryne is a happy way to pass the time.

At time of posting, this book was not available for Kindle, and Adobe Digital Editions doesn't work on any of my computers, so I wasn't able to get an ebook copy of it. Bummer.

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by Ali Kayn
Search Festivale for more work by this author.

See also:
2014 Interview with Kerry Greenwood
Phryne Fisher series page
Corinna Chapman series page
Other Kerry Greenwood series and titles