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Murder on a Midsummer Night (Phryne Fisher #17)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  1,840 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
The year is 1929, and Melbourne is in the grip of an exhausting heatwave. But for elegant and irrepressible private investigator Phryne Fisher, the temperature is the least of her worries. She finds herself simultaneously investigating the apparent suicide of a man on St Kilda beach, and trying to find a lost child.
Paperback, 300 pages
Published November 3rd 2008 by Allen & Unwin (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nikki
Jun 03, 2016 Nikki rated it liked it
Murder on a Midsummer Night is not the most striking entry in the series, but if you’re here for Phryne and her found family, her lavish lifestyle and her relationships with the people around her, it’s just what you’d expect. Lin Chung gets to use some of his talents from past books, setting up a creepy seance using his magician’s tricks, and Dot has her own sleuthing work to do on one case, while Phryne deals with another.

At this point, I find the mysteries themselves relatively forgettable: it
...more
Miriam
Mar 18, 2011 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Probably the coziest of the Fisher mysteries -- fewer violent attacks, more staying home with Phryne's piecemeal family and eating lavish meals (accompanied, as always, by staggering amounts of coffee and gin).
Marianne
Apr 30, 2014 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Murder on a Midsummer Night is the seventeenth book in the popular Phryne Fisher series by Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. As 1929 begins with a very hot spell, Phryne is asked by her sister, Eliza to investigate a death the police believe a suicide. Mrs Manifold is convinced her son, Augustine did not take his own life. An Old Wares dealer who was much loved by clients, friends and staff, Augustine was excited about a discovery that would buy his beloved mother a house and see him independe ...more
Damaskcat
Nov 26, 2013 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing
A heat wave is affecting Melbourne at the start of 1929 and trying Phryne Fisher's patience. Two new cases for her to investigate arrive virtually at the same time.

A devastated mother wants her to investigate the apparent death by suicide of her beloved son and a lawyer wants her to try and find an illegitimate child who is one of the heirs to a fortune. Warring families and thoroughly nasty Bright Young Things are doing their best to disrupt her investigations.

Phryne vows to take her whole fami
...more
Bev
Dec 28, 2011 Bev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Phryne. She is a grown-up's Nancy Drew. She's sophisticated and daring, rich and ribald, wise and witty, and able to keep up with boys even better than Nancy ever did. The plots are never all that intricate, but they're so much fun!
Jann Barber
Jun 11, 2012 Jann Barber rated it really liked it
This is the second Phryne Fisher mystery I have read, and is the 17th in the series. At some point, I plan to backtrack and read all of the books in this series. I find Phryne to be absolutely delightful; she is a young, independent woman living in Australia in the 1920's. She has adopted two teen daughters, knows how to live the good life, and enjoys solving mysteries. If I could be a character in a book, I might just have to choose Phryne Fisher.

At the end of almost every chapter in this book,
...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Halfway through this I realised I was reading it out of order, but the good thing about these books is that while there may be references to earlier tales, they are seldom essential to understanding. It's another good, light read.

Agustine has been found dead, washed up on the beach. Did he drown? Was it suicide, or murder? If it was murder, who did it and why?
Who is "the child among you" that is haunting the Bonetti family? And will Phryne's doorbell ever stop ringing? Lin Chung gets to try his
...more
Celia Powell
I read a rather disappointed review of one of Greenwood's Phryne Fisher novels by Hazelblackberry, who thought that Phryne was just a bit too perfect. I think I may have read all the Fisher series (this is the most recently published) and I see her point. Phryne is the woman who has it all - rich, good looking, perceptive, never found a mystery she couldn't solve, etc.

I do tend to finish these books thinking it would be nice to live in the 1920s if you had a butler and a housekeeper and unendin
...more
John Frankham
Mar 13, 2016 John Frankham rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
One of the more recent Phryne Fisher 1920s Melbourne-based socialite-detective novels. Was the antique dealer drowned or murdered, and, separately was there another legatee of a family will? Really not one of the best, with several passages of padding showing Fisher's knowledge of antiques, and pointless end-of-chapter flashbacks. A tired author producing a tired book.
Mello4
Aug 08, 2016 Mello4 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! First of all, I am a fan the Australian TV series "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" which is heavily based on a series of books by author Miss Kerry Greenwood. I first found the TV show on PBS Mysteries. Later, I binged on all three seasons via Netflix. Now I have found the books. It is a 20 book series, so far.

The books and the TV show feature heroine Miss Phryne Fisher, a 1920s independent flapper who happens to be a private detective. Her business cards read, The Honorable
...more
Beth Mitchell
Sep 01, 2014 Beth Mitchell rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, australia
I am addicted to Phryne Fisher, and I am well on my way to reading all of them. But I have to say they are over the top. Greenwood is great with her research and that makes the books even more interesting, but the plots and Phryne's adventures really stretch the imagination. Phryne is sexy; she loves sex; and Greenwood expects her readers to like sex.
I gave this book three stars because I felt that the orgy-quality of this book did not add to the plot at all. And the ending came out of nowhere a
...more
Ladysatel
Another great Phryne Fisher story by the author. It is January in Melbourne, Australia. The start of a new year and Phryne is hoping for some relaxation, which does not last long. Her sister Eliza brings a client who is sure her son, an antiques dealer, did not commit suicide, but was murdered. Phryne agrees to look into the matter. Then she is presented a case by the lawyer of a wealthy Italian family. The matriarch of the family has died and there is suspicion that before she married she had a ...more
Rachael S
Feb 10, 2016 Rachael S rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mysteries
The 17th of the Miss Fisher series (I'm growing sad as I know I only have a couple left to go) has more of a hint of darkness in it than many of the others. Simultaneously asked to investigate the death of a young antiques dealer - brushed off as suicide by the police - and find the illegitimate child of a prominent Italian family, Phryne comes in to contact with a really odious group of 'bright young things'.

The usual supporting cast are all there; Dot, Jane, Ruth, the Butlers, Lin Chung, Bert
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Chara
Interesting plot. Solution a bit out of the blue. Had some very bright and funny moments, though. Author must have been in a good mood when writing this one.
What I didn't like at all is that the author seems to have forgotten that Lin Chung has been married and the readers have met his wife in previous books in the series. Unfathomable.
Anyway it's a cozy reading. Enjoy.
Vivienne
I started this novel as usual as my audiobook-in-the-car in March and then had a car accident and my car was taken off to be repaired and I forgot to remove my CD. Since I had no idea when I would be reunited with the car I eventually elected to avail myself of the Kindle edition. Although I had listened to about 100 pages, I realised that with a gap of a few weeks I wasn't quite sure where things stood in the story and so elected to start at the beginning and read the entire book.

It proved to b
...more
Dee Rose
Sep 26, 2015 Dee Rose rated it it was amazing
Audiobook. A light, very entertaining mystery starring the irrepressible Phryne Fisher.
Kb
Sep 23, 2016 Kb rated it liked it
(3.5 stars)

Such a confusing story to follow, with two mysteries: a suspected murder and a suspected illegitimate relative to trace. A large cast of characters, mostly minor, to try to keep track of. Usually that doesn't faze me, but there comes a point -- and this book overreached it.

Still, there is Lin Chung (and no other dalliances or seductions). The Melbourne family is intact and all play some sort of role in sleuthing, or at least fortifying the sleuths. The interaction between communist co
...more
Karen ⊰✿
Sep 23, 2015 Karen ⊰✿ rated it liked it
Shelves: gladiators_varro
Another fun mystery to add to the series with a great audio narration by Stephanie Daniel.
Cheryl
Aug 25, 2015 Cheryl rated it it was ok
I became interested in the Phryne Fisher novels because I did enjoy the tv series. However modern Phryne Fisher may seem, it was at this novel that I had to stop reading. I gave them a chance but I couldn't stand Phryne anymore. Too good and too bad to be true. She has enough endless money to give all of the deserving poor she meets a job, is thoroughly modern, yet is the "concubine" of a married Chinese man, and she is much smarter than any police officer. She even condones suicide in the case ...more
Nancy
Jul 21, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it
Although this was not my favorite Phryne Fisher story, it was fun to read all the domestic details of her household.

The meals sound sublime (how on earth does anyone consume so many courses on a daily basis?!);

The "daughters" are maturing and finding their niche in the family and the world;

and, Phryne's lover floats in and out of her daily life with grace and ease. What's not to like?

Oh, the story. I was not keen on either of the dual plots, but we forgive the author that for the opportunity to
...more
Merry
Jul 29, 2016 Merry rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
A very interesting book, from the perspectives of both the writing style and from the components of the story (characters, setting, premise). The series revolves around a rather unconventional socialite sleuth in 1920's Australia, Phryne Fisher. Our protaganist, a young rich woman but from poor roots, takes on cases for free, quite often working hand-in-hand with the police. She is adored by her employees (a butler, cook, and a maid) and her two adopted daughters, all of whom become involved one ...more
Kris
May 20, 2010 Kris rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abbey
BOTTOM LINE: #17 Phryne Fisher, Investigator, early 1929, Melbourne; fast-paced but genteel historical thriller. A murdered antiques dealer, spurious friends and family, and a lost heir combine to make Phryne's 29th birthday quite memorable. This may be of slightly lesser quality than some in the series, but it's still damned fine writing, well-plotted and twisted, excellently characterized and fairly well-paced. I'm happily anticipating the next to come.

The obdurate Mrs. Manifold does not belie
...more
Mervi
Jul 24, 2013 Mervi rated it really liked it
17th book in the series.

The year 1929 begins with a heatwave, at least in Melbourne. Phryne’s 29th birthday is coming up and she’s starting to plan for it. But then, Phryne’s sister Eliza brings to her a distraught woman, Mrs. Manifold. Her only son has died and the police are saying that it’s a suicide. However, Mrs. Manifold is convinced that someone has murdered her son. Phyrne agrees to investigate and soon plunges into the life of Augustine Manifold. He was an antique dealer and good at his
...more
Karen
Aug 20, 2009 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, australian
It's been a long time since I caught up with Phryne and her household of adopted daughters, faithful retainer, dedicated companion, cook and exotic lover. Part of the reason for that was the feeling that it was all a little same old same old. What I did find with MURDER ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT is that sometimes a short visit with old friends is just plain good fun.

If you're going to live in the 1920's in Melbourne, in the middle of a heatwave you'd be quite comfortable if you had Phryne's life. You
...more
Judy
Jan 07, 2010 Judy rated it liked it
I had no idea that this book was 17th in the series. No wonder people were mentioned and situations referred to that made little sense to me. I'm still at the beach on vacation so I thought that a mystery set in Melbourne, Australia in January (their summer)where it was hot and the main characters all went swimming every day would be just the ticket. The story is set in 1929 and the main character, the Hon. Phryne Fisher, is asked to find out from a distraught mother whether her son, Augustine M ...more
R.J. Atman
Oct 06, 2013 R.J. Atman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Over all the novel was rather good. [Hopefully no spoilers]

LIN CHUNG - First off, I was extremely glad that Lin Chung made a reappearance. Like Phryne I've grown fond of the china man and was sorely disappointing in his less than prominent appearance in the last few books. He does make a grand [and helpful] appearance towards the end of the book.
That being said... If he refers to her as the Jade Lady one more time I just might throw my iPod. (I'm listening to the audio book.) I adore the "Silver
...more
Phillip Berrie
Apr 10, 2012 Phillip Berrie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Female mystery fans and those interested in period Australian dramas.
Shelves: detective
I read this book to see how it compared to the ABC television series based on the same character.

The book and the character are more to do with upper-class style in Melbourne in the 1920s than the life of a private detective. Which, when you think about it, makes the Phryne Fisher character a very appropriate Yin to Sam Spade's Yang as portrayed by Dashiel Hammett who was writing his gritty detective stories at the time this book is set.

The book is very well written and obviously very well resea
...more
Katie Bee
Nov 09, 2015 Katie Bee rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-books-read
Not the strongest of the Phryne books, but still pleasant enough. Some of the new minor characters are great - I particularly liked Rachel Phillips and Mrs Bonetti, and Mrs Manifold was strongly drawn - and Eliza and Alice continue to be delightful. The plots were weaker than usual (I would have preferred to focus more thoroughly on one of them, instead of dividing the time between shallow treatments of both), but again, it's always nice to spend a few hours with Phryne and crew.
Adrianna
Nov 17, 2014 Adrianna rated it it was ok
This was my first time reading a Phryne Fisher book and I had some trouble getting through the slang-laden dialogue of Australia in the 1920's. However I was surprised at the promiscuity of the main character considering the time period. But Phryne is what makes the story so interesting. Her forward-thinking approach to the culture of the time is appealing. I think this mystery series is worth another shot.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "Murder on a Midsummer Night" by Kerry Greenwood 1 2 Jun 01, 2013 08:49AM  
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48067
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
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)
  • Raisins and Almonds (Phryne Fisher, #9)
  • Death Before Wicket (Phryne Fisher, #10)

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