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Raisins And Almonds (Phryne Fisher #9)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,440 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Phryne Fisher loves dancing, especially with gorgeous young Simon Abrahams. But Phryne's contentment at the Jewish Young People's Society Dance is cut short when Simon's father asks her to investigate the strange death of a devout young student in Miss Sylvia Lee's bookshop located in the Eastern Market.
Paperback, 248 pages
Published 2002 by Allen & Unwin (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,223)
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Miriam
Who poisoned the foreign student? Was it the owner of the bookstore where he died? His Zionist connections? The unknown person he was leaving a message for? The person he wanted to buy guns from? The vanished carter? Who?!

But hey, gotcha! In fact there are like no suspects. Greenwood spends most of the book telling you about Zionism and Jewish migration and mysticism and Phryne's clothes. Really most of the stuff you learn in the book is irrelevant to the mystery. I was kind of bored by the mini
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Ivonne Rovira
Many of the historical mystery novels that I read also serve as a window into another world and as an in-depth history class. Most of what I know of Ancient Rome has been culled from the Marcus Didius Falco novels by Lindsey Davis; I have learned so much about the world in the 1920s -- be it Great Britain, Palestine, North Africa -- from the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes series penned by Laurie R. King; everything I know about China's Tang Dynasty I learned from Robert van Gulik's Judge Dee myste ...more
Erin
It's kind of easy to tell what the murder method is going to be when minute details that normally wouldn't matter are mentioned. But I didn't guess the bad guy, so it still held my attention! Actually, it was a very clever mystery and the original team of irregulars all came to play (we haven't seen Bert and Cec in a while, but they're in this one!) so it had a similar feel to earlier books.

I'm getting kind of tired of Miss Fisher bouncing around from pretty boy to pretty boy. Most of them are b
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
The saving grace of this installment of the Fisher series for me was the "cosy" sections--when she is at home, taking tea or a bath, or out for dinner with the usual mouth-watering descriptions of food and drink.

The mystery was OK but doesn't get enough real airtime, as Phryne is preoccupied with Judaism and Kaballah (of all things). We are treated to pages and pages of K., which is not my favourite topic at the best of times...and expected to believe that Phryne can inhale three or four books
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LJ
RAISINS AND ALMONDS (Trad/Hist/Mys/PI-Phryne Fisher-Australia-1920s) – VG
Greenwood, Kerry – 8th in series
Allen & Unwin, Aus. Trade Paperback, 1997- ISBN: 1865088803

First Sentence: The ranked books exhaled leather and dust, a comforting scent.

Private investigator, the Honorable Phryne Fisher, is hired by Benjamin Abrahams, a respected member of Melbourne’s Jewish community. Miss Sylvia Lee is comfortable with her life as a single woman and owner of a bookstore. A man died suddenly in her shop
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Debbie Maskus
This is another of the Phryne Fisher series set in 1920's Australia, and this story centers on Jews and Zionism. Also mentioned is alchemy and the importance of new chemical compounds. The title refers to a Yiddish lullaby and plays a part in solving the mystery. Greenwood delves a little into the embattled history of the homeless Jewish nation and their quest for a home (possibly in Palestine) and their constant misery by many countries, the newest being Hitler. The story is interesting and the ...more
Kathryn
Always a pleasure. This one was largely set in Melbourne's Jewish quarter, and as such had a lot of Jewish religion/Zionist philosophy/politics which wore a little thin after a while, but I still enjoyed listening to Stephanie Daniels, the narrator. Having said that, many of her Jewish accents sounded quite similar (not that I am criticizing her for that - I can't do any type of accents very well, but the ones I can do, I certainly can't vary!) so that wore a little thin too. But Phryne always s ...more
Heather
I was quite sue that I was not going to like this Phryne Fisher mystery but was pleasantly surprised that I did indeed like it quite a bit. An added bonus was the return of Phryne's friends Bert, Cec, Dot, and her adopted daughters. Still not a huge fan of the storyline involving Palestine and Zionism etc but that's a personal matter. The story itself was well told and loads of fun in typical Phryne fashion.
Karen
This is my first Phyne Fisher book. After having read so many good things about her, I was disappointed in this outing. I found the chemistry and the information on Jewish religion overwhelming. Not being an expert in either, it was just TMI for me, more than I wanted and more than I thought was necessary to the plot.

All that said, I have since read reviews of the other books, and will give another one a try. I liked the setting and am curious about the recurring characters.
Phair
Having read a few Phryne adventures I found this one to be a tad more staid and serious. Some good descriptions of the clothes & social scene. Lots of info about the Jewish community, alchemy & Zionism but not so much as to bog down the typical Phryne story. [a full bibliog & glossary was provided for those who wanted to learn more!:]. I do hate that the US publication of this series jumped in somewhere in the middle as I always feel a bit left out of the full back-story.
Grey853
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deanne
A complicated plot, though if you've seen the series you know who's responsible. Set in the Melbourne jewish community, Phryne borrows a young beautiful man, promising to give him back when she's done.
There's a chance to see Jack and the other frequent characters, plus there's a new edition.
Sabrina Flynn
This was just Ok. I'm a huge fan of Phryne Fisher, but wasn't really feeling this one. I could tell that it was very well researched. The exploration of Jewish customs and culture was interesting, but there was so much of it. I like the books with a bit more action and suspense. It probably didn't help much that I had already seen the TV version of this book, so I knew who the murderer was.

I am also getting tired of Phryne's pretty boys. They are completely mindless, there is no attraction, not
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Beth E
I love this book series. It just continues to deliver. "Raisins and Almonds" was one of my least favorites of the TV episode. Luckily, I enjoyed the book much more.

In this book, after several books in the series set elsewhere, Phryne is back at home. Therefore, the reader gets to enjoy Phryne's friends- the Butlers, Cec and Bert, Dot, and her daughters. Only Lin Chung is absent. It says a lot about this series that readers enjoy the secondary characters just as much as Phryne. Phryne's reliance
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Chris Davis
Probably my least favorite of the series so far. It got VERY bogged down in the alchemy research, to the extent of dragging the story to a near halt.
Lucy
9th book in the mystery series that takes place in 1920s Australia, mostly Melbourne. A young man has died of strychnine poisoning and a woman has been accused, with a movie-worthy motive assumed by the police. Phryne Fisher, rich and liberated, has been hired to find the real killer. To do so she must find out about the Jewish culture of Melbourne and its young students who are also Zionists. Always interesting, though an Australian glossary would have been a useful addition. There is a Yiddish ...more
Brett
Phryne Fisher's latest case finds her becoming involved in Jewish Melbourne society in the 1920's, when a man is murdered in a bookshop, the shop owner is accused of the murder & jailed, & her landlord comes to seek Phryne's help in getting her cleared. Not only is the deceased a member of the local Jewish intelligentsia, so is the landlord - who also happens to be the father of Phryne's most current lovely young companion, a Mr. Simon Abrahams. But it's going to be hard to determine who ...more
Damaskcat
A young man is found dead in a bookshop. Jack Robinson is convinced the bookshop owner, Miss Lee, did the deed and arrests her. Phryne Fisher is hired by Mr Abrahams, the man who owns the property in which the bookshop is situated, to find the murderer as he does not believe Miss Lee did it and fears an Anti-Semitic attack because the victim is Jewish. Phryne does not believe that Miss Lee did the deed either.

This is an intriguing murder mystery with an exciting and dangerous climax. It involves
...more
Abbey
BOTTOM LINE: #9 Phryne Fisher, Investigator, Melbourne Australia, 1928; historical PI/thriller. The indomitable Phryne and company are involved in the Jewish subculture of Melbourne in the 1920s, and while it’s very interestingly presented there’s a bit too much of it at times, and it’s a touch pedantic too, something Greenwood doesn’t usually do with her historical facts. Lovely plot, though, concerning a nice lady who runs a bookstore and the death of one of her most esoteric patrons, leading ...more
R.
"Raisins and Almonds" isn't badly written, per se, it's jut not my kind of book. Phryne, the protagonist, is too perfect for me. She's competent, beautiful, wealthy, confident, intelligent, sensuous, and never has to compromise. While her maid blushes about going to the movies with a man she is thinking about marrying (accompanying two children, no less), Phryne is completely free to carry on affairs with whomever, wherever she wants - there's nothing wrong with that, but a lot of people might f ...more
Christyn
Raisins and Almonds was interesting, the history and the background was extensive. I liked it, mostly. I always enjoy Dot, Phryne's adopted daughter's Jane and Ruth, Bert and Cec. I'm not sure if it's just this book or maybe I'm getting a little tired of the series - but Phryne wore on me a little. Normally I like and adore Phryne, but I guess I want to see her challenged more - I want to see her grow more, and I want to know why she never pursue's a serious relationship - Is it simply because ...more
Marianne
Raisins and Almonds is the ninth novel in the popular Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood. With her lover Lin Chung in Shanghai, Phryne is enjoying the attentions of a beautiful Jewish boy, Simon Abrahams. But soon, his father summons her, not to reproach, but to hire her to solve a murder. Benjamin Abrahams’ tenant, Miss Sylvia Lee, has been arrested for murder when a young Jew from Salonika dies of strychnine poisoning in her Eastern Market bookshop. Everyone who knows Miss Lee is convince ...more
P.d.r. Lindsay
One of my favourite Phryne Fisher books. I am wondering what the TV series will make of it.

Phryne has a new lover whose father asks her to free a pleasant bookshop owner who has been accused of murder because a young man died of poison in her shop. Jack Robinson is the police inspector in charge and Phryne gives him a hard time. The poisoned young man is one of Jewish community but there are some mysterious goings on with the young man and his pals. Of course Phryne sorts it all out whilst enjo
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Jann Barber
Seems fitting that the first book I finish in 2014 is a Phryne Fisher mystery.

This time, Phryne is approached by the father of her current gorgeous young escort, Simon Abrahams, to investigate the murder of a devout Jewish student in a bookshop.

During her investigation, Phryne learns much about Yiddish, rabbis, kosher meals, Kadimah, alchemy, and politics.

Since the setting is still the 1920s in Australia, a brief mention of Hitler has nothing to do with his rise to power.

As always, Phryne's cad
...more
Colleen
This books combined Jewish mysticism, Zionism and a brief overview of Jewish life in Australia and ends with an anti-climax involving boring greed and envy. Plus, Phryne, with her usual lover Ling Chung in China, takes what must be the most annoying lover of the series so far. Simon Abrahams, her love interest and entree into the case (his father hires her) is a big, childish letdown. Not terrible, but not up to her best.
Writerlibrarian
I had seen the TV episode prior to reading the book. Both did a good job in being different yet similar.

Greenwood gives a glimpse into the Jewish community that lives in Melbourne and the reader is somewhat in the position of being shown the issues through the plot and characters.

I especially liked the meeting of Simon's mother and Phryne where things are made clear: I'm borrowing your son for a time but I'm giving it back, I have no intention of keeping him.

Phryne Fisher does have issues with
...more
Rina
#9 in the Phryne Fisher mystery series. great fun reading about Phryne's interaction with seveal members of the Jewish population back in 1920's Melbourne, Australia. her absorption and retention of facts makes me so envious. can't wait to read #10.
Marcia
This book only got two stars because it was interesting but boring. I think it would have been better if there where two investigations like in some of her other books.

It information about the Jewish people was good but maybe there was a bit too much.
Lynn
Another great adventure with Phryne Fisher! I really enjoyed the view into the Jewish experience in Melbourne. And I put a bit more of Melbourne geography together. The mystery as good; I was on the wrong trail the whole time. I like mysteries when I have trouble picking the murderer. It's interesting, I had seen the television adaptation, but I do not remember the events in the book happening in the television show. Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but based on the others I have read/seen I thi ...more
Jane
Oy. Phryne Fisher will next run for political office, having now made friends with every possible interest group in Melbourne.
You have to take your hat off to the author - she is prolific and inventive.
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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,
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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)
  • Blood and Circuses (Phryne Fisher, #6)
  • Ruddy Gore (Phryne Fisher, #7)
  • Urn Burial (Phryne Fisher, #8)
  • 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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“The Albion was a spacious pub, built in the days when a public house with any pretensions to gentility had to have fourteen foot ceilings, brass taps and a polished wooden bar you skate down. ... Bert, in his reflective moments, considered that if heaven didn't have a well-appointed pub where a man could sit down over a beer for a yarn with the other angels, then he didn't want to go there.” 2 likes
“This was cheering. The real world was still there, it still contained puppies being puppies and cats being cats.” 1 likes
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