Poisoned Pen, Sept 2004, 24.95, 248 pp.
Unable to please her father and fit into 1928 English society Phryne Fisher makes her home in Melbourne, Australia with her two adopted daughters and her faithful friend Dot. Her sister Eliza is banished from England and sent by her father to live with Phryne, but acts snooty and above it all. To get her out of the house, she takes her entire family and her Chinese lover Lin Chung to the Luna Park amusement park.
While she is riding the ghost train, she touches what she thinks is a paper made ghost only to learn it is a mummified body almost eighty years old. While Lin Chung tries to find the 400 ounces of gold that was stolen from his family in 1858, Phryne inquires into the identity of the corpse. Someone is trying to stop her investigation by sending her harmless letter bombs with warning notes inside. Her search takes her to Castlemaine, the former gold camp when Lin Chung and her await the answers to the mummy with a bullet hole in his head, but danger by some very ruthless individuals also is there.
Everybody who reads a Phryne Fisher mystery will adore the heroine, a free spirited individualist who lives life by her own rules. Both the protagonist and her lover have their own individual mysteries to solve involving family honor. Readers quickly get caught up in the who-done-it because it is exciting and a great reading experience for historical armchair travelers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner