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Murder and Mendelssohn

(Phryne Fisher #20)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,578 ratings  ·  439 reviews
To the accompaniment of heavenly choirs singing, the fearless Miss Phryne Fisher returns in her 20th adventure with musical score in hand.
An orchestral conductor has been found dead and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson needs the delightfully incisive and sophisticated Miss Fisher’s assistance to enter a world in which he is truly lost. Hugh Tregennis, not much liked by a
Paperback, 365 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Allen and Unwin
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  3,578 ratings  ·  439 reviews

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Angie Nuttall
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
I first discovered Phryne Fisher in 2006 and became a fan instantly. There was only one glitch along the way - Queen of the Flower Fairies - which I thought was a bit unlikely. The last two novels I enjoyed immensely,so was thrilled to see a new Phryne out for Christmas 2013. But it took me three goes to actually read this one. Sadly it's been a disappointment, and for several good reasons. Firstly, I was confused by Greenwood introducing the idea that Phryne had taken the young gay man, John Wi ...more
The murder of a particularly odious conductor, the request from DI Jack Robinson for Phryne’s help, and the delightfully astounding sight of her old friend John Wilson – now Doctor John Wilson – was pumping Miss Phryne Fisher’s pulse. And she could feel a mystery – maybe several - coming on…

With her family at her back – Mr and Mrs Butler, Dot, Jane, Ruth and Tinker, along with Molly and Ember – Phryne attacked the latest atrocities with fervor. The added need to protect John Wilson from someone
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: borrowed
I was disappointed by this installment. I found the author had an agenda to get out and that was the focus of the book rather than the entertaining, and interesting murder mystery/attempted murder. I thought the murder was at best a fourth subplot, far behind others. And maybe it's just me, but I have noticed a trend in historical fiction to ascribe historically inaccurate beliefs and ideals to many characters. I have no problems with historical fiction, but for an allegedly well-researched auth ...more
Ahh! Another new (to me) mystery series that I can now luxuriate in. It is perhaps silly to start with the 20th installment in a series but when I saw this book offered by NetGalley I did request it. Somehow, I became distracted by my other reading and only got to the book this week but made up for that by ploughing through and enjoying Phryne Fisher and her tart observations on life and love.

There is much to enjoy here. While the primary mystery itself may be somewhat "light", the murder of an
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Even more implausible than the norm for this series (view spoiler) but a fun read.

Plus: The choir and its personal drama was funny and seemed realistically like what I hear from choir friends.

Minus: I Have a peev about fiction (especially historical,
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Freshly edited review (2018):
As I have said before, Ms Greenwood's books are uneven in quality. Some are great fun, others not so much. This, the latest in the Fisher saga, could have been so much more fun than it was. It was almost as if two completely different books had been cut together--or two completely different authors had been working together. Verdict: one and a half stars.

The mystery part was good--who's killing off obnoxious choir directors and why? It's only a minor, non-professiona
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
“Phryne stayed where she was, watching. Robinson admired the way she did not seem to watch; inspecting her nails, running a finger up her calf as thought to check for a run in her stocking, fussing with her hair. She looked perfectly harmless, unless you caught her eye, in which case you felt that you were stripped down to component molecules, weighed in the balance, and found wanting.”

Murder and Mendelssohn is the twentieth book in the popular Phryne Fisher series by Australian author, Kerry Gr
Whitney Millirons
Jun 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I do indeed love Miss Fisher, but there is one very disturbing element that is becoming more prevalent in the last three books-the disappearance of Lin Chung. A bare mention in Dead Man's Chest, a few pages in Unnatural Habits, and here again, a bare mention. I don't like the tv series as I feel the actress is a little too old (you can see the fine lines on her face in strong light), there is no Mrs. Butler and no Ruth. But the biggest reason I don't like the tv series is the romance between Phr ...more
Mar 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lgbt, lgbt-m-m
i was going to give this book two or maybe three stars until i came upon this comment in the afterward: "i saw half of one episode of elementary, where sherlock is in america and his watson is a woman, and it's silly. the bbc sherlock possesses the imagination." no. just no. if any adaption of sherlock holmes is silly, it's this one. it's just embarrassing. ...more
The last Phryne book so far! Not quite sure what I’ll do without her; in fact, I’m vastly tempted to just pick up Cocaine Blues and begin again, the same way I do with Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter books, sometimes. Murder and Mendelssohn is a strong entry in the series because of the side characters, who no doubt most readers will recognise — the war-damaged John Wilson, and the genius investigator Rupert Sheffield.

They very much follow the BBC Sherlock interpretation of the characters, and if
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And there she goes. The last book of the serial. And I'm really sorry to see her go. Miss Fisher reveals some new talents, meets some old friends, and reveals an old murderer. Farewell, princess, you'll be sorely missed. :'( ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy lovers everywhere
Fans of the fabulous Phryne Fisher have reasons to rejoice — and to mourn.

They should rejoice because so many of the Honorable Phryne Fisher’s entourage — the Butlers, her adopted daughters Ruth and Jane; her loyal maid and friend, Dot Williams; Inspector “Call Me Jack — Everyone Else Does” Robinson, “red-raggers” Cec and Bert, Phryne’s sister Eliza and the worldly wise Dr. Elizabeth MacMillan — figure in a most cleverly plotted novel featuring not one but three mysteries. Phryne is drawn into t
Dana Stabenow
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Greenwood's twentieth Phryne Fisher novel, and I think her best yet. DI Jack Robinson brings Phryne the case file of a conductor who has, apparently, been suffocated by someone stuffing most of the score of a Mendelssohn oratorio down his throat. Either it's murder or a really pissed off music critic.

But this book isn't only or even mostly about the murder. Doctor John Wilson, whom Phryne knew from her days as an ambulance driver in WWI, is in town, and in unrequited love with his employer, math
Lyn Battersby
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Okay, I probably will read more books in this series, but as first novels (for the reader) go, this was a pretty bad start.

First of all, I found the "Honourable" Miss Fisher to be a caricature of the female investigator and therefore found it impossible to warm to her. For one thing, I found her seduction of her 'invert' friend John deplorable and the notion that somehow her feminine charms are enough to successfully seduce him laughable.

Next, the mysteries. There are two in "Murder and Mendels
Peter Pilot
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I have loved all the Phryne Fisher books so far, but this one was a great disappointment. There was very little plot and it felt as though the whole thing had been flung together in a big hurry, with very little effort or thought. Bits and pieces of previous books were stirred together, and instead of being fresh and entertaining, these famililar elements came across as tired and annoying cliches. My feeling is that the success of the "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries", the television series based ...more
Sep 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
Oh my poor Phyrne. Despite what your creator thinks, you and your household CAN do wrong. Confusing and bizarre.
Time to get your own series, Bert and Cec.
Murder and Mendelssohn by Kerry Greenwood is the 20th book in the Phrynne Fisher Mystery series. Detective Inspector Jack Robinson asks for Miss Fisher's help when an orchestral conductor is murdered and Mendelssohn's Elijah music score is stuffed in his mouth. An interesting book where we learn a little about Phrynne's past and war service but the secondary mystery where she helpsout an old war friend's love life seems to take preference to solving the murder. Not my favourite from the series, ...more
Pamela  (Here to Read Books and Chew Gum)
I've just returned from a short trip back to my home of Australia to visit friends and family. In my former life there I worked for the National Trust and so my parents and my best friend were terribly excited to show me a popular Australian television series named 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries' which was filmed almost entirely on and in National Trust properties. I quite enjoyed it. It was enjoyable, it was a wonderfully filmed representation of 1930's Melbourne, and the characters were fun, ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-star
These books are generally quick and entertaining reads. Murder and Mendelssohn, however, has an obvious agenda that overshadows the usual elements that make this series fun--the Fisher household, their family and friends, a lighthearted murder mystery or two. Plus Phryne is beginning to be a little much. That "Mary Poppins" aspect of her character (i.e. practically perfect in every way!) seems to grow with each installment. I suppose it annoyed me more this time because I enjoyed the book
Apr 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
It had been a number of years since I read and enjoyed Phryne Fisher and her need to meddle in crime. Of course I have seen a number of the televised shows that followed. This book I noticed last weekend at the library, knowing it was one I had not read and toted it home.
Like, really? It is pretty much a load of nonsense with a whole lot of bedroom acrobatics with the femme fatale leading two men into congress, shall we call it? Outrageous stuff and I'm sorry I have to tote it back next to bette
Anne Germain
Jul 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
Awful! Too long, tries to be clever but fails and awful sex scenes
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
A choral conductor is killed in a very personal way and it looks like more conductors may follow. Meanwhile, Phryne meets a former lover from her war days. Their reconnection is shadowed by the fact that somebody seems to be making attempts on the life of the man he loves.

I love this series, but found this one disappointing. Way too much space is spent quoting and repeating music lyrics from Mendelssohn to folk songs. Way too much space! There are two mysteries to be solved and one Phryne handl
Picked up (ie snatched from the display stand and raced to the counter in a high state of excitement) the brand new Kerry Greenwood novel “Murder and Mendelssohn” on Saturday. This book is the 20th novel starring the Hon. Phryne Fisher, fashion plate and private detective, set in 1920s Melbourne.

In “Murder and Mendelssohn” the conductor of a choir about to perform Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” is found murdered. Detective Inspector Jack Robinson is uncomfortable with the world of music and songsters, a
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Phryne Fisher mystery series is top of my ‘must buy immediately’ book list, and I know I am always going to enjoy her fun investigations.

Phryne is a beautiful, intelligent, wealthy and independent thoroughly modern Miss. She smokes, drinks, has casual sex and drives her cars fast – however she is very kind-hearted and always on the side of the underdog. Phryne has a knack for solving mysteries, using the talents of her extended household, family and friends.

Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The 20th Phryne Fisher book so far and it was actually one of the best! I loved all the detail about Phryne's family and the bedroom scene towards the end was one of the strangest I have ever read. I have been watching the TV series and had to make a mental adjustment to the different approach to the character of Jack Robinson. He does not feature as a love interest for Phryne in the novels. I was sad to finish the book because I now have to wait another year for the next one. Please Kerry Green ...more
Sue Bursztynski
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great fun, like all of Kerry's crime fiction, and brings in a Melbourne that is long gone, yet still there. I know that part of Collins Street! And the choir's accompanist lives in what later became an office building which housed the Education Department. I always find out something about the author by reading her books; Phryne, it seems, has choral experience, but so does Kerry. In other books, she does a loving description of some food I just know she has cooked herself. She really does write ...more
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
While the book started with great promise (a juicy mystery of murdered choir conductors) Greenwood basically ignores this mystery and instead concentrates on making Sherlock Holmes fall in love with John Watson (not the characters names in the book). There is a brief bit of excitement when Phryne defeats the would be assassin of the above mentioned Sherlock, but even that has way too much build up before the action. In the end she does not even solve the mystery of the nasty conductors and is un ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Well, I have read the entire series now. This is a solid installment. I really liked parts of it. In particular, Phryne's friend John, and the local intelligence contacts. Plus the music descriptions. I did wonder if there was a bit too much going on in this one. It held my interest, but I wasn't really driven to read it. Also, unlike Phryne, I did guess the murderer in the end, but only because he was really the only logical one left, (view spoiler) ...more
Sharon Redfern
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the new authors I discovered when I started working in a library was Kerry Greenwood. From the first book-Cocaine Blues (2005) to this newest one, I have enjoyed them all immensely. In the latest book, Phryne finds herself in the middle the murder of a chorus conductor. A nasty man, he was disliked by all and no-one mourns his loss. Phrynne becomes friends with the choristers and soon finds herself singing with them.
Phryne also reconnects with a wartime amour of hers, Dr. John Wilson and
Oct 20, 2013 rated it liked it
I preferred this to the last Phryne! The story flowed well, and it wasn't too unrealistic! There was a lovely twist of two cases, which complimented (but didn't disturb) each other - apart from Phryne running the risk of intercepting a bullet or some such disaster occasionally.

Despite that I liked this story, it only merited 3 stars for me. Ms Greenwood is, falling into a very bad habit of disconnected sentences. I don't quite know what else to call them. e.g. "...and Ruth, who was feeding the f
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2017 Reading Chal...: Murder and Mendelssohn 1 28 Aug 10, 2015 05:08PM  

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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,

Other books in the series

Phryne Fisher (1 - 10 of 21 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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