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DEATH BEFORE WICKET:
A Phryne Fisher Mystery
By Kerry Greenwood
Poisoned Pen Press, January, 2008 ($24.95)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
The tenth Phryne Fisher mystery is a joy to read. This book finds Phryne on holiday in Sydney in 1928, accompanied by her faithful maid Dot. Phryne has promised Dot there will be no murders on this trip, just a lovely holiday. Dot is looking forward to visiting her sister, Joan, as well. Phryne has plans to enjoy some cricket matches, dine with the Chancellor of the university, and attend the Arts Ball. Of course, well-laid plans and all that aside, things don’t go smoothly at all. Joan has gone missing, her children left in the care of their wastrel father. Dot asks Phryne to help locate Joan so that her sister's children will have their mother back.
To further complicate things, the handsome young men who accompany Phryne on her visit to the university ask her to solve a mystery and clear their friend's name on a theft charge, and one thing leads to another. Soon Phryne is up to her lovely ears in murder, mayhem, and marvelous men.
Phryne had been pining for her Chinese lover, off visiting his family, but she doesn’t pine long. She manages to find a couple of entertaining gentlemen to occupy her time, one a callow youth, the other a seasoned professor. As always, she has a fine time while also solving crimes and righting wrongs. Thankfully, there is a minimum of cricket action -- this is a game that, try as I might, I just cannot comprehend, but with Phryne on the scene, it is bearable.
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