Introducing the Honourable Phryne Fisher Review

  • Author: Kerry Greenwood
  • Series: Phryne Fisher #1-3
  • No. of pages: 250, 169 and 161
  • Dates read: 24.06.20 – 04.07.20
  • Star Rating: 3
  • Challenge: ONTD Challenge July – Read a book which has a plot twist.

I came across this series after watching the adaptation on Netflix (which I highly recommend). I fell in love with the characters, the setting and the relationships between characters. I knew that I needed more from this world and luckily there was book series. I didn’t know at the time.

The book I read was a collection of the first 3 books in the series.

  • Cocaine Blues
  • Flying Too High
  • Murder on the Ballarat Train

I decided to count each book individually for my reading challenge rather than counting them as 1 as they are binded up together. What follows will be 3 mini reviews and then my overall thoughts going forward.

Cocaine Blues

Plot: The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher—she of the gray-green eyes and diamant garters—is tiring of polite conversations with retired colonels and dances with weak-chinned men. When the opportunity presents itself, Phryne decides it might be amusing to try her hand at becoming a lady detective in Australia. Immediately upon settling into Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor, Phryne finds herself embroiled in mystery. From poisoned wives and cocaine smuggling, to police corruption and rampant communism—not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse—Cocaine Blues charts a crescendo of steamy intrigue, culminating in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.

Phryne is a woman who I want to be! I love her skills, how liberated she is and how she doesn’t let a man get the better of her!

The characters were really good and I felt like I was in 1920’s Australia solving the mystery alongside them.

The only criticism I have, which isn’t really a criticism, is that I am obviously coming to this from the adaptation so there are a couple of changes here and there which didn’t happen in the book which threw me off guard. I was expecting things to happen earlier or later than they were supposed to.

Flying Too High

Plot: Phryne takes on a fresh case at the pleading of a hysterical woman who fears her hot-headed son is about to murder his equally hot-headed father. Phryne, bold as we love her to be, first upstages the son in his own airplane at his Sky-High Flying School, then promptly confronts him about his mother’s alarm. To her dismay, however, the father is soon killed and the son taken off to jail. Then a young girl is kidnapped, and Phryne who will never leave anyone in danger, let alone a child, goes off to the rescue.

This was my favourite of the 3 mainly because this book wasn’t adapted for the TV show so I went into it with fresh eyes!

I liked that Phyrne was always one step ahead of the reader and she knew what happened and she would divide tasks between the other characters and we would learn with those characters what happened.

I love how action-orientated Phyrne is but I did view some of her decisions in this novel to not be great. I think she made some bad decisions and I wasn’t happy about that.

Murder of the Ballarat Train

Plot: When the 1920s’ most glamorous lady detective, the Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher, arranges to go to Ballarat for the week, she eschews the excitement of her red Hispano-Suiza racing car for the sedate safety of the train. The last thing she expects is to have to use her trusty Beretta .32 to save lives. As the passengers sleep, they are poisoned with chloroform.
Phryne is left to piece together the clues after this restful country sojourn turns into the stuff of nightmares: a young girl who can’t remember anything, rumors of white slavery and black magic, and the body of an old woman missing her emerald rings. Then there is the rowing team and the choristers, all deliciously engaging young men. At first they seem like a pleasant diversion…

I struggled with this one the most out of the 3. I think this came down to the fact that I really needed to read something between these books as the stories were getting quite formulaic and repetitive. I wasn’t engaged as much with this story as I was the others.

I also found that this book was pretty much adapted faithfully so I wasn’t reading anything new.

I do love how protective Phryne is and I feel a real strong sense of found family from these books.


Overall, while I enjoyed the books a bit I found that watching the adaptation first sort of spoiled my enjoyment of the books as I knew what was happening or the changes threw me off compeltlely.

I also found that certain characters aren’t like how I remember them. Dot feels really weird to me in these books compared to the tv show. I 1000% love Phryne I think she is amazing but I don’t think I will be continuing on with this series sadly. I will stick with the show.

The next book I will be reviewing is The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. I am anxious for this one as it’s a re-read and the first time I didn’t like it.

2 thoughts on “Introducing the Honourable Phryne Fisher Review

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