Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood (Penguin, 1991); audiobook read by Stephanie Daniel (Bolinda, 2009) As with ‘Flying Too High’, the mystery is not so much solved as forced to recognise the unstoppable poise and authority of Miss Phryne Fisher. An easy read of historical interest and with characters made even more memorable by the TV series.
Tag: Miss Fisher
Flying too High
Flying too High by Kerry Greenwood (Penguin, 1990); audiobook read by Stephanie Daniel (Bolinda, 2011) Two fairly straightforward cases (not investigations as such) brought concurrently to heel by the redoubtable Miss Fisher. In prose and plot, this is a simpler novel than Cocaine Blues. Nonetheless it sails along nicely on the strength of its characters and setting.
Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries
Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries (Seven Network, 2019) Ms Fisher dances smoothly forward in time to 1960s Melbourne, reworking several aspects of the earlier Miss Fisher series and proving a worthy successor. Geraldine Hakewill (Peregrine Fisher) is mod-culture personified and every bit Essie Davis’s (Phryne’s) equal across four feature-length episodes.
Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears
Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears dir. Tony Tilse (2020) This feature-length treatment sacrifices mystery for spectacle and action. In leaving Melbourne behind and attempting to sustain itself purely on Miss Fisher’s glamour and spunk, it loses touch with its cosy, quirky origins. Romance angle aside, the plot is threadbare and irresolute.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Series 3
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Series 3 (ABC, 2015) A fitting conclusion to the trilogy of series. The character arcs run their course without falling into a maddening cycle of fulfilment and denial. The mysteries remain cosy and the Melbourne setting retains its charm. A rare instance of quitting while ahead.
Murder Under the Mistletoe
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: Murder Under the Mistletoe (ABC, 2013) It’s hard to imagine this Christmas special—broadcast only a month after series two ended—warranted a separate DVD release. Though themed around Christmas (in July), its only real point of departure is to embroil Miss Fisher in a closed circle mystery.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Series 1
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Series 1 (ABC, 2012) A series that stands far better when viewed in its own right, rather than as an adaptation of Kerry Greenwood’s novels. Set in 1920s Melbourne, the mysteries comprise a well-pitched blend of (not-too-)quirky characters, serious crime and light-hearted societal comings and goings.