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Blood And Circuses (Phryne Fisher, #6)
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Blood And Circuses (Phryne Fisher #6)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,651 ratings  ·  136 reviews
The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher is feeling dull. But is she bored enough to leave her identity, her home and family behind and join Farrell’s Circus and Wild Beast Show? There have been strange things happening at the circus. And when Phryne is asked by her friends – Samson the Strong Man, Alan the carousel operator and Doreen the Snake Woman – to help them, curiosity ge ...more
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Published February 10th 2012 by Bolinda Audio (first published 1994)
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This installment of the Phryne Fisher mysteries takes a more sensationalist turn (yes, even in light of the incest, blackmail, drug-dealing, rape, and child-trafficking in earlier volumes). Hermaphrodites! Dripping pools of blood! Multiple and varied sexual assaults! Raving alcoholics! Bar brawls! Gang wars! Escapes from prison! People rendered unconscious by gunshots, stabbings, blows to the head, and simple exhaustion! Sex with clowns! Sex without clowns! Lions, tigers elephants and bears!

By FAR the worst Phryne Fisher I've read so far, and one I almost didn't make it through.

Phryne goes undercover in the circus to help some people she didn't really want to help, because she'd slept with one of them once. She immediately gets massive doubts about how she'll be able to cope without her creature comforts, including Dot to help her get dressed and her own bathroom and cook. Interesting considering how often she rubs in people's faces that she was born poor and grew up without any c
David Monroe
I can tell what happened here.

Blood and Circuses, the 6th Phryne Fisher mystery, is so far, the least satisfying, and I think I know why. Kerry Greenwood has written the character for 6 books and five years at this point. I can almost hear her inner monologue: Am I in a rut? Are all of the books going to follow a pattern? Do I want to switch things up a bit? She did that.

This is essentially supposed to be a fish out of water story, with Phryne playing the fish. Specifically a play on a subtrop
While Greenwood could still use a more stringent editor (point of view changes randomly mid-scene; we're told that certain relationships are long-established and important without ever seeing that), Blood and Circuses is perhaps an improvement on the earlier books in the series. The mystery isn't quite so melodramatic and easy to figure it out, though that's not to say that Greenwood doesn't pack in everything bar the kitchen sink into this novel—pools of blood dripping into teacups! gang warfar ...more
I like listening to Phryne Fisher books because I like Stephanie Daniels' voice!! These are definitely a light read, but fun. I lost the plot of this toward the end - entirely my fault, I'm sure, as I was listening while driving and my attention probably wandered at some point over some mundane detail like which street I needed to turn down, making sure I didn't run down a pedestrian or wondering why a car in front wasn't turning with a green arrow or something. So in general, it is probably bes ...more
The pleasure of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mysteries is that they are pure wish fulfillment for fans of the Jazz Age. Rich yet rebellious Phryne gets to do all the cool 1920s stuff--drive fast, fly planes, wear fabulous clothes, & have scandalous affairs--sans tragic consequences. Between Phryne's obvious debt to Louise Brooks and Greenwood's raucous Melbourne setting (think gangsters, coppers, and loose women), these books are just fun. There are occasional forays into darker subject m ...more
BLOOD AND CICRUSES (PI-Phryne Fisher-Australia-1928) – VG
Greenwood, Kerry – 6th in series
Allen&Unwin, 2005, Australian Trade paperback – ISBN 1741145546
First Sentence: Mrs. Witherspoon, widow of uncertain years and theatrical background, was taking tea in her refined house for paying gentlefolk in Brusnwick Street, Fitzroy.
***Wealthy private investigator Phryne is bored until she is approached by Samson the strong man, Alan the carousel operator and Doreen the Snake Woman to investigate what
Poorest showing for Phryne Fisher in the series so far.

While the previous books were fun reads, they also tried to establish Phryne as the ultimate heroine. She's smart, confident, and sassy. She may be suuuuuuper rich, but by golly she was born poor and knows what it was LIKE, y'all.

Blood and Circuses tries to divert from the usual formula by taking Phryne away from her creature comforts. While the circus details are interesting, the development of Phryne's character made me want to bang my he
Cheyenne Blue
I love the ABC TV series of Miss Fisher, so from time to time I'll pick up one of the books. Light, entertaining, pleasant, it skips along the story. This is something to read to pass the time. Unusually for me, I prefer the TV show to the books.
Feb 19, 2009 Ladiibbug rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Mystery Fans
#6 Phryne Fisher Mystery series

I so enjoy the series setting, 1920's Australia, and the wealthy, beautiful and eccentric Phryne (rhymes with "briny"). Amid social engagements, adoring men, living in luxury, and enjoying spending time with her friends of varying economic standing, Phryne's gained a reputation for solving crimes.

This time Phryne must abandon her scented baths and gorgeous clothes to go undercover as a horse stuntrider in a traveling circus. While entertaining, this one was a bit l
Matt Williams
I'm a big fan of Phryne Fisher mysteries. It has been fun to watch Kerry Greenwood's writing style mature, to the point where this may be the tipping point from "solicitor who writes well" to "writer who used to be a solicitor". Every entry in this series has improved incrementally, to the point where I'm worried that #15 might surpass East of Eden or something.

I have but two minor complaints about this book:

1. Ms. Greenwood openly embraced a "fish out of water" storyline here, putting Phryne in
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phyrne is bored, as can be seen by the fact that's it the afternoon on sunday and the shameless hussy is still in bed, and alone too.
However distraction is at hand with a murder in the offing and strange goings on in the circus.
Miss Fisher dons tatty old clothes and joins the circus under cover, leaving Dot and co behind.
There's a chance to meet a whole host of interesting characters, and a new set of rules to learn about life around the big top. Fun read in the ongoing series.
Beth E
Phryne really goes out of her comfort zone when she joins the circus. It certainly shakes her out of her ennui.
I love the circus, so I really enjoyed the setting of the book. The circus animals in particular were very enjoyable and memorable. The human characters from the circus were starkly divided into two kinds- sympathetic and unsympathetic, and the divide between the two seemed somewhat unrealistic. Surely such a charming person as Phryne could use that charm a bit more.
I admit I was peeved
Phryne Fisher is bored and when friends come from the circus and ask her to investigate some mysterious goings on there, she agrees. She goes under cover as a trick rider and learns there are no secrets in the circus but there are some interesting characters.
My experience with a small Shrine circus in the southern Midwestern US was somewhat different from the circus described in1920's Australia. I saw no such hierarchy among/ between performers as was going on in this book. As a costumer (not hired by the circus, but rather by individual performers), I hung with my friend, who was a clown, and two of his friends who were high trapeze artists. Other performers and workers (roustabouts) were friendly. Nonetheless, I loved this book. I'm drawn to circu ...more
Listened to the audiobook while working at my microscope. The narrator Stephanie Daniel who has narrated all the Phryne Fischer books I've listened to is very talented, she even sings! Though this is my least favorite entry in the series (I waffled between 2 and 3 stars) it passed the time and kept my interest. I'm not a prude but the graphic descriptions (view spoiler) ...more
Listening to this audiobook was like watching an episode of the television series. The narrator had a wonderfully diverse range of voices and intonations for the various characters, both male and female. Lizard Elsie, the sailor's friend, was an absolute scream; Jojo the Clown was subtly nuanced, and so on down the line. The adventure is a little over the (big) top, but the period research into circuses, carnivals, and gypsies, and the way they are all presented, feels stellar and rings true.

This is an unusual "Phryne Fisher" story, because she leaves her insulated world of wealth and privilege and all the friends the reader gets used to her working with and goes undercover at a circus to help some friends from long ago who've appealed to her for help. It's very interesting to see her in this new light--without her normal network of friends, and the constant mention of lovely clothes.

It's still a lovely mystery, and a really fun read. I'm really, really glad I stumbled across this
Blood and Circuses was a bit of a departure for Kerry Greenwood and Phryne Fisher. It was unlike the previous novels. Phryne does not go about solving a murder within the confines of her usual lifestyle, surrounded by her family and friends. She spends the majority of her time with a travelling circus in an attempt to find out who is behind a series of sabotages which has escalated to murder.

It was a nice change to step away from Greenwood's usual formula. I will say that it was a little odd not
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Gang war threatens the streets of Melbourne, as Jack Robinson and his constables try to figure out who is spiriting crooks away, out of the clutches of the law. A locked-room killing spices up life in a respectable boarding house. Meanwhile, Phryne Fisher is bored with her easy life and easy of course, she runs away and joins a small-time circus, to find out who is trying to drive it to ruin.

True to form, the redoubtable Miss Fisher can already ride, and apparently the skills of haute e
I had to skip from book four (Death at Victoria Dock) to book six (Blood and Circuses) as my library doesn't have a copy of book five (The Green Mill Murder), but I can only assume that, like the others in the series, it basically stands alone and doesn't have much impact on any long-term plot for the rest of the series.

This story starts out with Phryne bored and in need of a new mystery to solve, which comes conveniently in the form of a request from some old carnival friends that she investiga
This was much racier than the previous Phryne books with some semi-explicit sex scenes. I do love that, for the most part, Greenwood doesn't gloss over things. Phryne's world is real enough, with layered characters who have complex motivations. There are people who do terrible things to others and people who are decent, but not good. There's kindness from the unkind, and cruelty from those who should know better. I love that.

But I'm also a Recovering Catholic, and graphic sex scenes still make m
This book is a mystery set in 1920s Australia and is a light read. Having seen the show, I was eager to read a book in this series, and this is my first one. The setting is nice and deals with life in a circus. The circus life is well detailed and I enjoyed reading about it. Phryne Fisher joins the circus in the guise of a trick rider and tries to unearth some answers to some problems.

While the circus characters are well-etched, I was a little upset that the characters I know and love so well f
A murder takes place in a lodging house inside a locked room. It is discovered when blood starts dripping through the ceiling into the room below. The victim is a member of Farrell's circus. Phryne Fisher is approached by some old friends of hers and asked if she can look into some strange goings on at the circus which threaten to put it out of business. Investigating will mean Phryne joining the circus for a time.

I really enjoyed this book and stayed up late to finish it. The background is well
Ivonne Rovira
In Blood and Circuses, the sixth novel to feature the intrepid Phryne Fisher, she undertakes an investigation that lives out the fantasy of every 19th century boy: running away to join the circus. A former lover who is a circus carny and his friends alert Phryne to a series of "accidents" that are consistently befalling the Farrell's Circus and Wild Beast Show. Clearly, these are no real accidents. Phryne goes undercover as a trick rider to find out who and why. In this novel, cut off from both ...more
Pip Pendrell
I didn't enjoy this story as much as I would have liked to, although I hasten to add it's more because I just don't like circuses than that it isn't a good book. It's actually just as well written and convoluted as all the other Phryne Fisher novels.

Basically Phryne's investigation takes her into more peril that she realises when it dove-tails with a police investigation into an underground organisation assisting criminals to escape prison and disappear. She joins the circus and is taken aback w
Mr. Christopher is found dead in his room in the boarding house he is staying. The boarding house doesn’t lack for suspects, because most of the boarders are dancers, circus worker, or otherwise of questionable morals. However, one of the boarders, Miss Parks, has been recently released from prison after she had been imprisoned for a long time since she had been found guilty of killing her husband and most boarders immediately agree that she must have killed the Christopher. When young constable ...more
Blood and Circuses is the 6th of the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood. A bored Phryne is convinced by carnie friends to help solve the mystery of a series of strange happenings at Farrell’s Circus: happenings which have culminated in the murder of a performer in his bedroom at Mrs Witherspoon’s boarding house. Phryne’s undercover role entails riding, standing and falling off horses, leading to a rather bruised heroine before she finally masters the art. As Phryne investigates, she encount ...more
The book, which is pretty short, took too long to rev up to an interesting read. The second half was a 3.5. Still, I love Phryne. Her lifestyle antics are so unusual as to keep me very involved. In this book she gets to be extremely poor, being a part of a circus, while she solves the mystery. Then she can go to her so comfortable plush home and relax in a scented bath set up for her by her maid/friend, Dot. Reminder - I still enjoy her and will continue with the next 10 in the series!
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Kerry Greenwood was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has a degree in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on the 1st April 1982, a day which she finds both soothing and significant.

Kerry has written twenty novels, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D'Arcy,
More about Kerry Greenwood...

Other Books in the Series

Phryne Fisher (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1)
  • Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2)
  • Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher, #3)
  • Death at Victoria Dock (Phryne Fisher, #4)
  • The Green Mill Murder (Phryne Fisher, #5)
  • Ruddy Gore (Phryne Fisher, #7)
  • Urn Burial (Phryne Fisher, #8)
  • Raisins and Almonds (Phryne Fisher, #9)
  • Death Before Wicket (Phryne Fisher, #10)
  • Away With the Fairies
Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1) Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2) Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher, #3) Death at Victoria Dock (Phryne Fisher, #4) The Green Mill Murder (Phryne Fisher, #5)

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“Even the reeking dark in the lion's cage seemed precious and infinitely preferable to whatever lay beyond. She would go out like the flame of a candle. Where does the candle flame go when the candle is blown out?
She laid her painted face against the iron bars and bared her teeth at death.”
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