LJ's Reviews > Blood and Circuses

Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood
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Aug 08, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery, golden_age_1918-1939, australia, female_author
Read in July, 2007

BLOOD AND CICRUSES (PI-Phryne Fisher-Australia-1928) – VG
Greenwood, Kerry – 6th in series
Allen&Unwin, 2005, Australian Trade paperback – ISBN 1741145546
First Sentence: Mrs. Witherspoon, widow of uncertain years and theatrical background, was taking tea in her refined house for paying gentlefolk in Brusnwick Street, Fitzroy.
***Wealthy private investigator Phryne is bored until she is approached by Samson the strong man, Alan the carousel operator and Doreen the Snake Woman to investigate what started as a series of accidents at the circus. With one of the circus members now dead, Phryne gives up her life of luxury and her friends to go undercover as a trick rider with the circus.
*** There is a lot more going on between the covers of this book than first appears. Greenwood knows how to take diverse, interesting characters and build a great story around them with the mystery almost being secondary. Here we have the murder of an hermaphrodite who was the love of both a man and a woman. We are introduced to the hierarchy of the circus and Phryne’s feelings of vulnerability and loneliness. There is a ex-con who doesn’t know whether she has committed murder but who finds a bit of her soul in helping an alcoholic go through withdrawal. There is sex, there is profanity; this is not your average cozy. What it is is a great character-driven story with a unique character.
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