cover image The Green Mill Murder

The Green Mill Murder

Kerry Greenwood. Poisoned Pen Press, $24.95 (173pp) ISBN 978-1-59058-240-4

While fans of Australian author Greenwood's light and humorous Phryne Fisher mystery series (Cocaine Blues, etc.) may expect the plot to be subordinate to the heroine's displays of wit and libido, the degree to which that is the case this time out makes this a less successful entry than most. The action begins dramatically as Bernard Stevens, a participant in a dance marathon, drops dead in a Sydney nightclub, just before the end of the competition. Fisher, an amazingly self-possessed and competent amateur sleuth, happens to have been nearby at the time, and soon is involved in the investigation. When her date vanishes, after slipping away from the scene of the murder, ostensibly to compose himself, she's hired by his mother to trace both him and his brother, a veteran of the worst trench warfare of WWI. The period is, as always, well-portrayed, but the resolution of the whodunit will disappoint some.