cover image THE CASTLEMAINE MURDERS: A Phryne Fisher Mystery


Kerry Greenwood, . . Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (245pp) ISBN 978-1-59058-117-9

In this second light, 1920s-set historical to be published in the U.S. from Australian author Greenwood (Murder in Montparnasse , etc.), iconoclastic feminist sleuth Phyrne Fisher's eclectic household, which includes her Chinese lover, Lin Chung, is expanded by the arrival of her domineering younger sister, the "Hon. Miss Eliza Fisher," apparently banished from England by their stern father. A pleasure trip to a local amusement park turns nasty when a ride on the Ghost Train produces an ancient and mummified corpse, complete with bullet wound. The probe into this long-ago murder becomes more than academic when Phyrne and her friends receive death threats and are the target of several attacks. The trail may intertwine with Chung's quest for the solution to another old mystery—the theft of a large amount of gold in 1857. While the coincidences pile up a little high, the appealing characters and witty banter make for an enjoyable caper. (Sept. 28)