What a delight this book was! It's set in the 1920s and the main character is a witty flapper, Phryne Fisher. As a proper flapper she is provocative and openly sexual, witty, fun to follow around, she carries a small gun, and she knows how to drive a sports car. There are some over the top things, like the fact she was taught how to use a knife by an Apache (Parisian gang) and a gigolo taught her tango. But she is definitely not a flat, typified flapper character. The author gave her depth with little things throughout the whole book. I have to say, I adore her!
Even though the author spends quite some time on describing her clothes and her love adventures, the story isn't shallow and these things actually help to create strong and independent female character. The book also shows variety of women, some who are in quite undesirable situation, all trying to live a happy and fulfilling life in this (still) very patriarchal world. And Phryne's good friend is a female doctor, called suffragette by other characters, whose inspiration is Dr Garrett Anderson.
Despite the length (175 pages) of the book even other characters are quite well developed. I especially like Bert and Cec, though their red political orientation isn't something I'm crazy about.
All in all, it was a fun and light read with some serious stuff on the background. I already bought other four books in the series. :)(less)
This was an easy and fun read, but very sophisticated and wrapped up in an alluring perfume. It's a long time since I enjoyed a contemporary fiction so much.
The main character is Jac L'Etoile, but the book follows many other people from different parts of the world and also from different times of our history. It might sound scary at first, but don't worry. The author managed to connect all the story lines into one big picture. It is very well structured and all the pieces fit together nicely in the end.
This is supposed to be more of a fun read, but it touches big themes. There are parts about Tibet and the Chinese occupation. It makes you realize (again) how sad it is to see someone who is systematically destroying other people and their culture just because of their beliefs. Nothing new for the human race though. It also touches spirituality and the possibility of reincarnation. Reincarnation is actually the main theme of this book, which I personally like, as I believe in it. And basically everything mentioned in this book is in one way or another close to my interests and/or beliefs. Beside reincarnation there's a lot of mythology (Greek and Egyptian), some history, C. G. Jung, philosophy, and of course the artisan perfumery. But the beauty of this book is that you don't have to believe in anything, or be really into the things it talks about in order to enjoy it. You can read it just as a very entertaining mystery and you'll be happy.
The romance aspect of this book was amazing. I have very often problems to enjoy the romance part in many books for various reasons. But here the intimacy is portrayed so well. It is the intimacy between two people who belong together, the intimacy that is so strong and pure that it goes through all the layers of your being. Well, that blew my mind. This is how I imagine love, nothing superficial, but raw and painful emotions that capture you completely, body and soul. Yeah, I love that!
Different perfumes, incenses, and smells are intertwined throughout the whole book, and I feel like the writing is soaked with the smells as well. It kind of takes you into a different reality full of scents that wake up different emotions. And even though you are in a dreamy state, it makes you see things more clearly.
All in all this was very enjoyable mystery romance flavoured with spirituality and history. Both thumbs up! :)(less)