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Murder On The Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher #3)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,710 ratings  ·  192 reviews
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
ebook, 151 pages
Published January 2012 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 1991)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 2.5* of five for the book, 4* of five for the series.

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries episode 2 was Kerry Greenwood's third novel, MURDER ON THE BALLARAT TRAIN. Four stars for the episode! My review is at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.

These episodes, the series in general...such a treat. So satisfyingly beautiful to look at, and the problem of Greenwood's almost taciturn take on exposition is handled by the visuals. An excellent marriage.
What this country 1920s Australia coming to these days? A body can hardly take a train without being chloroformed or horrifically murdered or having molested orphans palmed off on her. And it was such a short book, too! When you subtract all the time spent talking about clothes and seducing the boring college boy (not that he held out long) it's a wonder any detecting got done at all.
As Phryne Fisher struggled to wake, she was assaulted by a dreadful smell – a strong smell which made her feel she was swimming up through a very thick substance. Fumbling for her Beretta she shot out the window of the fast moving train and when a gush of cold air hit her, she could feel her senses gradually returning….

Phryne and her maid Dot had decided to travel by train from their home in Melbourne to Ballarat for a restful few days, little knowing the nightmare they would soon be embroiled i
Another well-written installment and one that I quite enjoyed--for the most part. Unfortunately, one of the later chapters was decidedly un-cozy in tone -- unsavory men and young, innocent girls and selling them into awful professions -- but the humanity of Phryne and her friends got to shine the more for it. Even so, I'm hoping that the other books in the series follow more along the lines of "Away with the Fairies."
BOTTOM LINE: One of the best of this long series IMO, as we get to meet two people who are going to become very close to Phryne in the future - Jane and Ruth. Their introduction might have been pure melodrama, but Greenwood only very slowly spins out their odd stories, which resolve in a rather grisly - albeit satisfactory - manner.

Almost as contrived as an Edgar Wallace or Sax Rohmer tale, but with Greenwood's nicely light touch the plot just flows along and as long as you can manage to take t
MURDER ON THE BALLARAT TRAIN (Amateur Sleuth-Australia-1920s) – G+
Greenwood, Kerry – 3rd in series
Allen&Unwin, 2005- Trade Paperback
Phryne Fisher and her companion Dot are on the Ballarat Train. Phryne awakens realizing the first class car is filled with chloroform fumes. She opens the windows, saves the passengers but realizes that the quarrelsome mother of one of the passengers is missing. The mother’s body is found badly broken and Phryne agrees to find the killer. Additional, Phryne resc
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
The third and I hope final set-up novel in the Fisher series, in which Jane and Ruth and Ember join Phryne's menage. Not Ms Greenwood's best work, very little substance. A quick light read, but I figured out who the baddy was almost immediately after said baddy made an appearance. Not much in the way of red herrings for either of the mystery threads involved. There was a rather major failing, in that it is repeatedly stated that "you can't be hypnotised if you don't want to be" and yet mesmerism ...more
I am a confirmed fan of the tv series based on these books, but this is the first one I have read - thanks again my excellent local library :) I will try to track down more - with self-imposed austerity measures in place my days of mad spending sprees on Amazon are things of the past (if only temporarily) so I am dependant on my local library and second hand book emporia.
Phyrne, the Honarable Miss Fisher, is a bit of a girl one way and another, with confidence and money enough to do what she lik
Phryne Fisher and her maid Dot are travelling by train to Ballarat when someone tries to chloroform the whole carriage and an elderly lady is murdered. Thanks to Phryne’s quick thinking no one else suffers any lasting ill effects from the frightening experience. Phryne is asked by the victim’s daughter to investigate the murder.

I enjoyed this fast paced story and thought it was well plotted. This is the third in the series Bert and Cec the taxi drivers find themselves investigating a mystery of
I learned about this series from the TV show from Australian Broadcasting Company. I love the costumes and Roaring 20's settings. The plots sometimes have a few holes in them, but they are nice and light. The characters are so fun. Phryne Fisher is a lady detective, horning in on the police work. Sometimes a lady can get information better than a policeman. She's also a pretty risque, independently minded flapper!
Laura Morrigan
While I usually enjoy these books, I have to agree with some of the reviewers and say that all the slimy characters and references to paedophiles and sexual slavery left me with a distinctly nasty taste in my mouth and an unfriendly feeling towards humanity in general. This eventually wore off.

However, this is not half as enjoyable as the other Phryne Fisher books, which, while dealing with murder and kidnapping, are usually fun adventures with wonderful food, clothes and exciting and dangerous
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
On a train trip to visit family, Phryne wakes up to a pungent smell. Chloroform. She follows the smell back to the source which leads her right into a couple of mysteries. Who killed the old woman whose compartment was the source of the chloroform and who is the young amnesic girl with a ticket pinned to her coat? Murder on the Ballarat Train has all your favorite elements of a Phryne Fisher mystery: beautiful boys, loveable Communists taxi drivers, the flaunting of social convictions and of cou ...more
Loved it ... 4 and 1/2 stars!

I was feeling let down after the second book in the Phryne Fisher Series. It wasn't bad ... just it wasn't up to the caliber of the first book. So I went into book #3, Murder on the Ballarat Train, not knowing quite what to expect. I am very happy to report that it is quite fabulous!

*possible spoilers ahead*

In the third installment, Ms. Fisher and her companion, Dot, are headed to Ballarat via train to visit relatives of Phryne's. During the trip, someone disperses c
Not quite like Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express because once the murder, which at first looked as though it could have been an accident, has been committed the action moves away from the train. Phryne Fisher, a very forward 1920s' young lady, is the amateur investigator and the police are grateful for her foresight in helping solve the crime. The Australian setting certainly provides a different background to a story that moves along at a gentle, but rewarding, pace.
I really love this series. Phryne (which I only learned in this volume is pronounced to rhyme with "briny") is a really fantastic character. Kerry Greenwood has created the ideal portrait of what a flapper should be. Heck, I've been a vegetarian for almost 20 years now, and reading this book has me almost wishing I could throw on an enormous fur coat (one of several, of course) and sashay out to save the world from evil-doers.
I discovered this lighthearted series from the ABC (Australian) TV show via Acorn TV. The books are richer and great fun.

This book starts with Phryne and Dot on a train - with the whole car being chloroformed. Phryne saves them by shooting out a window with her trusty gun. At least 1 victim has to take a while to recover. A different take than most books that use chloroform.

During the course of the story she picks up a few more strays, a new lover, in addition to solving 2 separate crimes. I ha
Bryan Higgs
Well, this is the third in the Phryne Fisher series, and is another enjoyable romp. I enjoyed it, including some of the writing -- lots of tongue-in-cheek!

In my review of the first Phryne Fisher book [], I mentioned that the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC, not to be confused with the American corporation of the same initials) had produced a season of 13 episodes of "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries", and that they were available on Netflix. My wife and
When I started this book, I didn't realize that it was part of a series and that I was not at the beginning. But it got going so abruptly, with so little explanation of the characters, that I quickly realized my error. By then, though, I didn't want to stop and zipped quickly through this book, which clocked in at less than 5 hours on Audible.

The main character is a very sharp, self possessed, once poor, now very wealthy single woman in the late 1920's Australia. She was quite sexually liberated
Phryne is a vamp with a heart.
On a train trip she gets involved in the murder of a fellow passenger, but who had most to gain. Add a young girl with amnesia and Miss Fisher has a busy time solving two cases and seducing a young man. Have to get up early to get it all in.
First time reading this author. My grandmother grew up around Balarat so it was great to read the descriptions of the country side. Author was able to transport me to another time and place and was sad to get to the end and have to come back to reality
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As with I suspect many non-Australian (and even a few Australian) readers, I came to the Phryne Fisher books via the ABC television adaptation Miss Fisher's Mysteries. We watched the first series on Netflix and enjoyed it very much, so I turned to the library to see if they had any of the books. Which it turned out they do, hurrah.

I tend to be rather picky about book-to-film adaptations (or vice versa, I suppose, though I'm not terribly likely to read novelisations of films), though I'm slowly c
This was a good introduction to the world of Phryne Fisher and Melbourne of the 1920s. Typical that a bad guy came from my old stomping grounds though. I recommend this as a light and relatively fluffy mystery.
There are definitely some bits where I wonder, historically, how the time period would actually match up with the book... but --as a story, the book is very enjoyable. I don't think that Phyrne would be allowed the leeway she has by the men of the time, or the respect. And I definitely think that as much as she sleeps around she'd be seen as a very loose woman-- (and how dependable were diaphragms in the 20's anyway? I am expecting her to have a nasty surprise any moment!)

But putting all the thi
It's times like this that I wish you could give 3 and a half stars to things because I genuinely enjoy this series of books. I find them funny and quirky and they are really easy to read. I like the characters and the plots and I love that they're set in 1920's Australia which is a setting I don't know much about. I'm quite stingy about handing out 4 and 5 star reviews because I have to love a book for it to get 4 and I have to love it and be unable to stop thinking about the many ways in which ...more
Roderick Baxter
I enjoyed reading this book although I found the plot a little predictable. At one point it got to the stage where I was waiting for the characters to wake up and smell the roses. What saved the story was an interesting back story of some of the minor characters such as Jane and Ruth. I also enjoy the exploits of Cec and Bert these rogues keep the plot moving on and provide a bit of humor on the way. Although the who was a little obvious. The how provided a bit of interest. Knowledge of trains o ...more
This was not my favorite Phryne Fisher book so far. It took me halfway through the book to really get into it. It did get more and more interesting as the book unfolded - I think maybe I am just not a big fan of trains.

I love Bert and Cec and all of the regular characters, and they made a good showing in the latter part of this book.

While it was a slow beginning, the book got very interesting as I continued to read, which made it perfect to pick up for a few minutes here and there to read. I lov
If Miss Marple were a flapper....

"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 gir
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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...
Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1) Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2) Death at Victoria Dock (Phryne Fisher, #4) The Green Mill Murder (Phryne Fisher, #5) Ruddy Gore (Phryne Fisher, #7)

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“I want to find the murderer too. I don’t like having my journeys interrupted by chloroform.” 0 likes
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