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Murder in the Dark (Phryne Fisher #16)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  1,964 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
It's Christmas, and Phryne has an invitation to the Last Best party of 1928, a four-day extravaganza being held at Werribee Manor house and grounds by the Golden Twins, Isabella and Gerald Templar. She knew them in Paris, where they caused a sensation. Phryne is in two minds about going when she starts receiving anonymous threats warning her against attending. She promptly ...more
Paperback, 299 pages
Published 2006 by Allen & Unwin
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wait, what? The thing that really threw me with this book is that this is Phryne’s first Christmas in Australia?! This is the sixteenth book or so, and eventful as Phryne’s life is, it seems a little bizarre that everything that’s happened so far has taken less than twelve months. Especially given the time passing during Lin Chung’s trips and such in Death Before Wicket. And this would mean Dot’s courtship with Hugh Collins isn’t that long after all — which seems odd, having got the feeling they ...more
Apr 03, 2015 J rated it liked it
I am beginning to think the Phyrne Fisher books are like Nancy Drew. While the same author's name appears on each book, they are in fact written by different people. Or maybe they were edited by different people.

Of the half dozen or so books in this series I have read, this one is far and away the worst. It's still fun, but not as much fun as some of the others. Some of the ends are never tied up. But more importantly, the writing is definitely weak compared to some of the others.

So, if you're
2.5 stars this time. This is the 16th in the Phryne Fisher series and normally I listen to these as audiobooks, because I enjoy Stephanie Daniels’ voice. This time however, I decided I’d try to whip through it in written form on the cusp of New Year’s Eve (which is when the story is set).

I’ve listened to most of the last 10 Phryne Fishers in the series as audiobooks. I know I miss things when I listen to books, but as I’ve listened, I’ve assumed that these books occur over the course of several
Dec 20, 2011 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
Not the best in the stories about Phryne, but not too bad all the same.

I can't help thinking back to the first few books in this series and making a bit of a character comparison of Phryne Fisher then and now. It's hard to tell if it's the character who's mellowed or the author. For sure Phryne seems much less of floozy than she did in the first couple of books (I know, I know, she's "free spirited" and more comfortable with her sexuality than the average 1920's lady), but it's hard to tell if t
Aug 12, 2011 Lorna rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
An entertaining mystery, but I don't understand why the two orgy scenes were necessary... I don't really consider myself a prude, and sex in books is fine and can aid a story, but really? Orgies? I had already gathered that the planned murder victim, Gerald, was rather hedonistic based on the sumptuous setting, lavish entertainment, and the array of beautiful young men he surrounded himself with. Did not need the extra help on this one.

I did enjoy the riddles Phryne had to figure out along the w
Gottfried Neuner
Dec 22, 2013 Gottfried Neuner rated it it was ok
I normally like the Phryne Fisher Mysteries, but this one was one of Greenwood's lesser works. So forgettable indeed that I put it on my to-read list again, because I forgot I already had read it. Imagine my surprise when I started reading and this book seemed familiar. Uncanny.
Phryne is at a party of some decadent cultists she knew in Paris. The party is grand and the whole book seems more focussed to show off how awesome the party is, and forgets about the mystery for large parts of the novel.
Chris Davis
I'm pretty sure this is going to be the last of my Phryne Fisher books. While the mysteries are interesting enough, the peripheral story lines bog the books down. In this case, poems, descriptions of charades and incredibly drawn out descriptions of events which had no bearing on the plot. As I neared the end of this book, I found the absolute refusal of the author to wrap things up frustrating and downright annoying - I get it, the author did a lot of research. I don't need to know all of it!
Aug 12, 2011 Ed rated it it was ok
Too much going on in "Murder in the Dark" and much of it not that interesting. Phryne Fisher is her usual delightfully insouciant self but she is stuck in the middle of a several days long house party full of characters who are more annoying or distracting than interesting. Not one of Greenwood's better efforts.
Cheyenne Blue
Feb 27, 2016 Cheyenne Blue rated it really liked it
I love the Miss Fisher books for so many reasons: the fun of them, the TV show, the Australian (mainly Melbourne) setting, the abundance of queer supporting characters, the very independent and feminist Phryne. They're my go-to comfort reading. Some of the storylines are better than others.

Murder in the Dark wasn't one of the better books, IMHO, it dragged a little. The whole acolyte thing was a bit annoying. But it kept me engaged and entertained, as Kerry Greenwood's books always do.

And then I
Jan 01, 2016 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Murder in the Dark is the sixteenth book in the popular Phryne Fisher series by Australian author Kerry Greenwood. It is the end of the year, and Phryne, somewhat reluctantly, accepts an invitation to attend the Last Best Party of 1928, spurred on to do so when several anonymous communications warn her against it. Held at Werribee in the Chirnside Manor, this six-day party is being thrown by the beautiful and charismatic Gerald Templar and his equally beautiful twin sister, Isabella, lately arri ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I give this book 5 stars because it was exactly what I wanted: a romp, a good, fun, light read that cheers and inebriates...particularly if you make up any of the cocktail recipes at the end of each chapter!

Phryne Fisher is up to her usual tricks in this episode. Lin Chung doesn't want her to attend a weekend house party held by a group of Bright Young People. Reason enough for her to insist on going--but an attempt on her life by an unusual if beautiful method decides the issue: she's going. No
Joan Colby
Jul 13, 2016 Joan Colby rated it really liked it
This series starring Phryne Fisher is such an enjoyable read. I first encountered it via the PBS production of Miss Fisher tales. The character of Phryne, an enlightened young woman of the 1920’s in Australia, is charming, the cast of supporting characters always fun as are the descriptions of place and the many adventures that Phryne takes on. Fortunately, there are quite a few more books in this series to be read.
Dec 04, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Really enjoyed this as an audiobook, and as a story. Greenwood creates the wildest of wild parties, multiple absorbing mysteries, and plenty of sensory delights. Stephanie Daniel is brilliant with the variety of accents from American through upper-class British, French, and a range of Australian accents--and she sings jazz and blues rather well too!
Jann Barber
Jun 11, 2012 Jann Barber rated it really liked it
This is the 16th book in the series, but is the first one I read. Phryne Fisher is described as delectable, and she certainly is.

Phryne is invited to a "last best" party at the end of 1928. This is to be a four-day extravaganza, hosted by the Golden Twins, Isabella and Gerald Templar. Phryne met them during her time in Paris. They have relocated, along with their entourage, to Australia, and have acquired the use of Werribee Manor House and grounds.

Phryne considered declining until she received
May 05, 2009 Danielle rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
What was intriguing about this book was that it is set in the 1920s and in Australia. The main character Phryne Fisher is unique in her freedom and views of life. She is basically a good person who definitely indulges herself, and I found that I liked her.

The author did allow the reader to solve some of her "puzzles"--the killer was a bit obscure, but there were other mysteries that wrapped up nicely.

However, this was not a book that I could easily pick up. I was often bored by it. I didn't lik
Mar 17, 2016 Kate rated it liked it
Drags a bit but the description of a Last Best Party in the 20s is worth it. A bit of near-magic realism to tie up all loose ends, very enjoyable.
This is the 16th installment in the Phryne Fisher series. Kerry Greenwood has given us another one of those books where Phryne is almost completely on her own. Dot shows up only for a short visit each morning to drop off fresh clothes and take the laundry away with her. (As much as I love Phryne, she is not the same without her nearly constant paid companion close by.)

For some reason, Phryne is invited by Gerald and Isabelle Templar to attend "the last best party of 1928", a multi-day spectacle
Jun 03, 2016 Lili rated it really liked it
I adore Kerry Greenwood's writing. She has a way of making the characters come to life and slink out of the page and into your reading nook; then again, perhaps that is just the result of creating a character as vivid and vibrant as the Hon. Miss Phryne Fisher. I've only read a few of Greenwood's other Miss Fisher books, but I've loved them, and this one did not disappoint either. I had no idea who the culprit was until Miss Fisher herself revealed it, and when she did, it came as a bloody huge ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Ladysatel rated it really liked it
Phryne has received an invitation to attend a lavish Christmas affair at Werribee Manor House given by the so called Golden Twins. Her lover Lin Chung refuses to go. He has to preside at a funeral and even if he weren't already engaged, he would not go due to an incident involving his cousin and friends of the twins. Phyrne has decided not to attend until she receives a death threat warning her to stay away from the party.

Wring move on the perpetrators part. Now Phryne is interested and decides
May 31, 2015 Suzanne rated it did not like it
Can I say hot mess? Totally unlikeable characters. Would have cheerfully welcomed a mass poisoning. Creepy suggestions of incest. Drug use. Group sex. Psychotic killer -- who really was easily identified early on; it took Phryne THAT long to notice?

And a dull slog. Far, far too much detail about the various banquets and events. Almost like reading an essay on the subject. And was it necessary to walk us through every one of Phryne's actions from the time she gets up until she -- finally (the da
Bryan Higgs
Aug 30, 2014 Bryan Higgs rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, mystery, detective, cosy
I jumped ahead a bit in my reading of the Phryne Fisher series, because I was at the library wanting to take home a couple of those books, and this was available on the shelf.

I found this book quite different from the earlier books. Well, not so much different, more that the writing style seemed to have become a little more exaggerated and over the top. And the plot seemed a little more vague than before.

The book contained a lot of poetry (one even in French, although there was a translation at
Jul 15, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, historical
I'm bounding through a few of the Phryne Fisher mysteries this week and definitely think that an "immersion course" in them is the way to go. Each book (so far) has had its strength's (Phrynee) and weaknesses (ease or challenge of working through the plot), but the cumulative effect of the group I've read so far is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. In essence, more is more when it comes to Phryne Fisher.

I noticed that other reviewers varied considerably in their reactions to this par
Jun 08, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
It's Christmas time in Melbourne and Phryne is busy preparing for a family holiday and has nearly decided to forgo an invitation to Werribee Manor House for a elaborate Last Best party of 1928. However, when threats arrive warning Phryne to decline the invitation she decides to do just the opposite. Over the course of the party it becomes clear that sinister forces are at work when two young children disappear, food is poisoned and a scary scavenger hunt promises more to fear. All the while a se ...more
Jan 24, 2014 Élisabeth rated it liked it
Although I've enjoyed all the books in the Phryne Fisher series so far, I have mixed feelings about this one.

I did like how the mysteries unfolded, but the story seemed too full of random hedonism that although trying to make a point about some of the characters, it ended up being really boring and I read as fast as I could through it. Lots of poem reading and songs. Polo matches. Weird orgies.
The mysteries were interesting and I'd say some of the best in the series, but the ending was a little
Jun 04, 2016 Erika rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberly Ann
Feb 10, 2016 Kimberly Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia

Such lush decadence.... 1920's Australia and the "Last Best Party of 1928" is being given by the Templar twins, who have moved from Paris to Australia due to a dwindling of funds and they have seen fit to renew their friendship w/ the Hon. Miss Phryne Fisher by inviting her to the party!

The Hon. Miss Fisher is an extremely intelligent, affable, clear thinking, freedom loving woman. She has two adopted daughters, a Sapphic sister, a devoted lady's companion/secretary, extremely capable butler &am
Mary Garrett
Sep 07, 2016 Mary Garrett rated it it was amazing
Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood
Phryne Fisher, so brave, clever, loyal, and kind to those in need, faces heat, mosquitos, and riddling assassins at the Last Best party of 1928. It’s New Year’s but also Midsummer, with echoes of Midsummer Night’s Dream’s feuding king and queen and missing servant boy and girl.
Bits of wisdom: The Chinese don’t serve dessert, feeling sweets are for children, and
“It is necessary for the child to know that the monster is dead.” (reminder to me and all storytel
Aug 11, 2010 Sallie rated it it was ok
No spoilers here, but this one disappointed me. Miss Phryne is as fabulous as always, but the biggest villain was not credible.
Oct 24, 2014 Marcia rated it it was ok
I found this book boring. I think I like the books better when there are more of the familiar characters in them.
This proved another delightful tale in this sparkling series of mysteries. I was amused that Kerry Greenwood in her closing remarks felt she needed to advise her readers that all the drugs mentioned in the text were perfectly legal at the time the novel was set.

There were plenty of funny scenes including the cream-stealing antics of Phryne's cat Ember, some delightful polo ponies and the cheeky goat Minty. The party allowed for Phryne to have even more wardrobe changes than usual and it was ove
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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)
  • 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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“I remind my American readers that biscuits in England and Australia are crispy flat things such as you call cookies, and the soft doughy things you call biscuits are what we call scones. And they say we speak the same language…” 0 likes
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