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

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,717 Ratings  ·  217 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 gets t ...more
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Published February 10th 2012 by Bolinda Audio (first published 1994)
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Sep 22, 2011 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
This is a nice change of pace for Phryne, taking her out of her element and putting her in the circus, where she isn’t automatically great at everything and people don’t automatically like her — some of her privilege of being a rich person gets stripped away, leaving the tough kid who grew up in poverty to deal with things. There’s a good bit of drama towards the end, which got a bit too much for my tastes in a cosy mystery (attempted rape, protagonist is left naked in a cage with large predator ...more
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
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
Aug 16, 2014 Bonnie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Karen Book-Vixen
Miss Phryne Fisher was a show I started watching about 2 years ago. I never knew there was books about Miss Fisher so you can image my delight when I was scanning my Library online service and came across the whole set.

Miss Phryne Fisher is alot more open about her sleeping partners in the book . I have to say I loved the story and Phryne in a circuses is brilliant.
Jul 25, 2015 Anastasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood is the 6th book in the Phryne Fisher mystery series. Phryne joins the circus to investigate a series of mishaps culminating in the murder of one of the performers. I love how she is always willing to try something new and to be taken out of her comfort zone yet always comes out on top. Another great addition to the series.
May 07, 2013 Deanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimethriller
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.
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
Apr 16, 2013 Hope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
I still like the character of Phryne, but after a strong start, this series just seems more and more disjointed. After the last book in the series left us hanging with no solution, this one starts off with no reference to those events, and instead Phryne is off to help a half-gypsy friend/lover from a carnival with a problem. The story is written like we should naturally remember Phryne's history with this guy, but I don't recall him from any of the previous books and their relationship is not r ...more
Feb 19, 2009 Ladiibbug rated it liked it  ·  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
I feel that Kerry Greenwood did her circus homework, that it shows in the portrayals of circus characters and that she loves the circus as I do. Phryne says toward the end of the book, "The circus is too strong. It can't die." I would like to echo this. The circus has re-invented itself over time and I think it will continue to evolve in the future. I recommend the science fiction novel Angel on the Ropes by Jill Shultz as an example of one future possibility.
Apr 08, 2016 S'hi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia, crime
Curious about the popularity of Kerry Greenwood’s writing I plunge in to read five novels in two and half days. They are both easy and challenging. The untouchable central character is ravishingly sensuous. Her deportment, wardrobe and cuisine a lifestyle propounded for selective consumption and delightful allusion among her many followers.

All the elements are here: exotic people in well-known places, ordinary folk in outrageous situations, questions where questions should be and answers that sa
Jun 27, 2015 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
What a sweet writer Kerry Greenwood is. Never a dull word. Insights around many a corner and the culprits appropriately foreshadowed but not telegraphed. I seem to be reading all the Phryne Fisher mysteries, not in any order. Not a problem for character and plot development.

In Blood and Circuses, Miss Fisher leaves the luxury of her St. Kilda digs with maid/companion, cook, butler/chauffeur and adopted chidden, for a life of scrabble glamor in the circus. Somebody is causing costly accidents at
Certainly an improvement on the previous two in the series. It is a locked-room mystery in the style of John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson, and the resolution is just as complicated and unbelievable as his tend to be. The circus setting is interesting and the characters are as well, although as is usual in genre fiction of this kind, they are more "types" than characters. The work includes two different mysteries to be solved, as do most of the books in this series, which dovetail very nicely. I d ...more
Jun 29, 2014 Grey853 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Faye Heath
This series seems to be popular with my Aussie friends so I decided to give the book a try. It was just okay; I wasn't blown away by it. The characters are two-dimensional at best and the sex seemed a bit gratuitous.

I did learn one interesting fact. The circumference of the ring in which trick bare-back riders perform is set to a specific standard so that it is centrifugal force that keeps the riders on the horses. Once standing on the horse's back, it is nearly impossible to fall off.
I was looking forward to this one because CIRCUS, but this installment in the Phryne Fisher series just left me like:

So many different PoVs and here and there and everywhere except focusing on any one thing.
I think Phryne and I are going to part ways for a while. All Blood and Circuses really did for me was highlight what an obnoxious, insufferably self-centered character she can be (tbh, it's something I already knew, but once you (as Greenwood did in this book) take away the supporting characters, who are the only things motivating me to continue with the books at this point, it becomes too glaring to ignore).
Karen ⊰✿
The weakest in the series so far, which really pains me to say because this series has been so much fun. I think Greenwood just took things a little too far (sex with a clown!, attempted rape! attempted murder by lion!) and it just didn't meld well in my mind. Phryne has always been quite risqué, but for the first time Greenwood has introduced scenes where the sex is actually described it in much more detail (rather than just assumed). I don't really like this turn of events as it takes away fro ...more
Dec 05, 2015 theshadishow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually find stories about the circus or Australian gang wars particularly interesting, so it was a bit of a slow start for me, but I absolutely loved this book!

Lizard Elsie was an absolute delight, as were all of the beautiful circus/carnie folk, and Phryne, as usually, was spectacular. The self-doubt was a bit disconcerting - I guess I'm so used to Phryne being terrifically cool and confident, but her self growth was somewhat gratifying.

The end of this book had me feeling feels, and
Jan 11, 2015 Nicole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I liked the other books in the series which lead me to read this clunker. The writing style was different in this one. The author didn't want the books to become formulaic but this was such a departure with the graphic intimate scenes and the jarring perspective shifts that it lacked the fun of the other books. I will give Ms. Greenwood another chance because I like Phryne so much.
Oct 24, 2014 Julie rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I love that Phryne is a free spirit and enjoys sex but this one crossed a line and left me feeling squirrely. It lacked the finesse of previous entries in the series. Also, I really missed some of the other characters that add to the richness and variety and act as a foil to Phryne's 'over-the-top' character. I made it through 5 of 6 discs before switching to something else.
Eileen McIlvain
This was really pretty silly, as is the subsequent #7 Ruddy Gore. I liked these books when I started out with them, but they tend to get more and more convoluted and unlikely. Yet I'm still reading them. It's some kind of awful fascination....

A little more far-fetched, but I'm persevering.

Ok....the series improves after 6 and 7....
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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

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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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