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Murder on the Ballarat Train

(Phryne Fisher #3)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  7,923 ratings  ·  588 reviews
When the 1920s most glamorous lady detective, the Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher, arranges to go to Ballarat for the week, she eschews the excitement of her red Hispano-Suiza racing car for the sedate safety of the train. The last thing she expects is to have to use her trusty Beretta .32 to save lives.

As the passengers sleep, they are poisoned with chloroform. Phryne is le
Paperback, 151 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 1991)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,923 ratings  ·  588 reviews

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Feb 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
What this country 1920s Australia coming to these days? A body can hardly take a train without being chloroformed or horrifically murdered or having molested orphans palmed off on her. And it was such a short book, too! When you subtract all the time spent talking about clothes and seducing the boring college boy (not that he held out long) it's a wonder any detecting got done at all.
Alice Lippart
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
Great mysteries and great fun to read.
Richard Derus
Rating: 2.5* of five for the book, 4* of five for the series.

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries episode 2 was Kerry Greenwood's third novel, MURDER ON THE BALLARAT TRAIN. Four stars for the episode! My review is at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.

These episodes, the series in general...such a treat. So satisfyingly beautiful to look at, and the problem of Greenwood's almost taciturn take on exposition is handled by the visuals. An excellent marriage.
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murder On The Ballarat Train is book 3 in the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood. In 1920 Private Detective Miss Phryne Fisher went on holiday to Ballarat. Private Detective Miss Phryne Fisher decided to go by train hoping for a quiet and relaxing trip. However, that did not happen someone tried to chloroform the passengers, and murder of senior women and missing rings. The readers of Murder On The Ballarat Train will follow Phryne Fisher investigation.

Murder On The Ballarat Train was an en
BOTTOM LINE: One of the best of this long series IMO, as we get to meet two people who are going to become very close to Phryne in the future - Jane and Ruth. Their introduction might have been pure melodrama, but Greenwood only very slowly spins out their odd stories, which resolve in a rather grisly - albeit satisfactory - manner.

Almost as contrived as an Edgar Wallace or Sax Rohmer tale, but with Greenwood's nicely light touch the plot just flows along and as long as you can manage to take t
Another fun outing with Phryne! This one ends with her adopting a couple of girls and goes through a bunch of stuff — a crime on a train, hypnotism, murder for an inheritance, mad criminals, etc. I’m not a fan of stories where the criminal turns out to be insane, even though it’s a classic: most crime is carried out by sane people, or certainly people whose mental disorders are not central to the deed. In fact, in the real world, it’s more common for a mentally ill person to be a victim of viole ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
3.5 stars.

The mystery is fun, right up until the murderer comes down with an overwhelming case of becoming a raving maniac when faced with capture (by a woman no less!).

Bert and Cec are great. Still getting used to Jack's slightly different role in the books.

Really enjoy Jane and Ember.

Slightly maternal Dot is great. As is the fact that she is the one Phrynne really leans on.

Am fine with Phrynne having all the affairs, but the whole college student thing is a bit awkward at times, mostly due to
Beth Cato
I am so conflicted as I write reviews of this series because they are such an odd case where the TV series is so much better. That's especially true with Murder on the Ballarat Train. In the book, the action leaves the train quite quickly, and it feels like a third of the book is about Phryne seducing a college boy. Many of the plot elements remain the same in the episode but are shuffled around a lot, though there's a subplot involving Jane--with Bert and Cec investigating--that was closely rep ...more
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As Phryne Fisher struggled to wake, she was assaulted by a dreadful smell – a strong smell which made her feel she was swimming up through a very thick substance. Fumbling for her Beretta she shot out the window of the fast moving train and when a gush of cold air hit her, she could feel her senses gradually returning….

Phryne and her maid Dot had decided to travel by train from their home in Melbourne to Ballarat for a restful few days, little knowing the nightmare they would soon be embroiled i
Another enjoyable outing with Phryne, and this one starts to really bring together her found family with the addition of Jane and Ruth. While I’m noticing some inconsistencies in characters that aren’t Phryne (Dot’s surname changes, for example, and apparently the hair colours of Jane and Ruth too), it’s still fun and those are only really noticeable because I’m reading the books all more or less together, in one glorious reread.

(Note: this is still an excellent way to consume them, though I’m n
Aug 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another well-written installment and one that I quite enjoyed--for the most part. Unfortunately, one of the later chapters was decidedly un-cozy in tone -- unsavory men and young, innocent girls and selling them into awful professions -- but the humanity of Phryne and her friends got to shine the more for it. Even so, I'm hoping that the other books in the series follow more along the lines of "Away with the Fairies."
Lisa Brantly
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, australia
nice light quick read. exactly what I wanted. different from the tv series, so it stands in its own. I like that.
The Honorable Phryne Fisher and her loyal companion Dot Williams are travelling by train to Ballarat when they are overcome by chloroform fumes, near Ballan. When order is restored it is discovered that one of the travellers in the first class carriage, Mrs Ann Henderson, has disappeared, most likely through the train window. Eventually her badly battered body is found near the train track, and it seems she may have been pulled out of the window and up onto the roof of the train.

Phryne is e
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Honorable Phryne Fisher, British ex-pat now living in Melbourne, Australia, can't even board a train without stumbling onto a mystery. While en route to Ballarat in Victoria, the train's passengers are chloroformed and an elderly lady disappears from the train. At the same time, an amnesiac young girl appears on the train. The woman's daughter, Eunice Henderson, hires Phrynne to investigate the disappearance. So Phryne embarks on solving two mysteries: a disappearance and an appearance. Need ...more
Murder on the Ballarat train by Kerry Greenwood is the third Phryne Fisher Mystery book. Fast paced action and adventure from when Phryne foils plans to chloroform the passengers on the Ballarat train. She is hired to solve the murder of one of the passengers as well as help another girl on the train who has lost her memory and is found to have been molested. I enjoyed this book very much. Non-stop action kept me reading through to the end making it a quick read. I loved catching up with and fin ...more
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading about Phryne's adventures. This open with a murder on a train and introduces some new characters. Lot's of fun in this series!
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

I’ve watched Phryne, I’ve read Phryne, and now I’ve listened to Phryne, and she’s utterly marvelous no matter how she is experienced.

I’m absolutely certain that the “beautiful young man” in Murder on the Ballarat Train would wholeheartedly agree. Although his roommate probably would not.

That Phryne refers to the man she seduces, vamps and ravishes in this book as “the beautiful young man” multiple times is part of the reason that the character of Phryne see
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not bad but ultimately forgettable. Still don’t really click with any of the characters, least of all Phryne. Which is strange because I adore her and the others in the tv show. I did like Eunice though, and Bert.
As for the mystery, I already knew who the murderer was because I watch the tv show, but even still it was predictable and as soon as the person is introduced they act so suspiciously that it’s pretty obvious they’re the killer.
The subplot with the girls being kidnapped honestly gave m
Super fun as always. I love the glamorous Phryne and I love her sass.
The mysteries are rather good. Third book in the series and I'm really enjoying these for light entertainment.

Pic from the TV series (I've not watched it but I like Phryne's look).
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoying this series.

Not great literature, but wonderful fun. Well drawn characters and good plots.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge
Fun, quick read. Phryne is such a fun, caring character. Amazing how seemingly unrelated events all intertwine.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Phryne Fisher Mysteries: 3
Same old same old - Phryne is richer than Croesus, drives like a racer, and is a talented seductress. Am still not sure what the appeal of this series is. There's a lot of time spent on pointless trivia - fashion and food mainly. Diverting read if only because it's short.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy these books , especially after seeing the shows on tv. Fun diversion.
A fine mistery story with new characters coming into view.

Yet, somehow, I still miss "my" Phryne (from the TV series)...

Nicole Field
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was just marvellous in its simplicity!

Most people will recognise this story as the first one from the Miss Fisher's Mysteries TV show, although I think that it's even better in book format (who's surprised?). Phryne is sleeping on a train to Ballarat when she is woken by the scent of chloroform; the killer's method of making sure to knock out the carriage in order to get away with his murder.

I absolutely love Phryne Fisher, completely agreeing that she's about as unrealistic character
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
The third and I hope final set-up novel in the Fisher series, in which Jane and Ruth and Ember join Phryne's menage. Not Ms Greenwood's best work, very little substance. A quick light read, but I figured out who the baddy was almost immediately after said baddy made an appearance. Not much in the way of red herrings for either of the mystery threads involved. There was a rather major failing, in that it is repeatedly stated that "you can't be hypnotised if you don't want to be" and yet mesmerism ...more
MURDER ON THE BALLARAT TRAIN (Amateur Sleuth-Australia-1920s) – G+
Greenwood, Kerry – 3rd in series
Allen&Unwin, 2005- Trade Paperback
Phryne Fisher and her companion Dot are on the Ballarat Train. Phryne awakens realizing the first class car is filled with chloroform fumes. She opens the windows, saves the passengers but realizes that the quarrelsome mother of one of the passengers is missing. The mother’s body is found badly broken and Phryne agrees to find the killer. Additional, Phryne resc
Laura Morrigan
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heroines
While I usually enjoy these books, I have to agree with some of the reviewers and say that all the slimy characters and references to paedophiles and sexual slavery left me with a distinctly nasty taste in my mouth and an unfriendly feeling towards humanity in general. This eventually wore off.

However, this is not half as enjoyable as the other Phryne Fisher books, which, while dealing with murder and kidnapping, are usually fun adventures with wonderful food, clothes and exciting and dangerous

I am a huge fan of the Phryne Fisher mysteries, both in print and in audio, and this is one of the best. Stephanie Daniel is an excellent narrator, and I cannot say enough about how well she does voices and background, timing and emphasis.

I've recently listened to a couple of new audio versions of long-time sci-fi/fantasy favorites, and I wish the narrators had listened to Ms Daniel as a training exercise.

Very highly recommended.

From my Audible review
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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 20 books)
  • Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1)
  • Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2)
  • 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)
  • Away with the Fairies (Phryne Fisher, #11)
“She was sensible of the fact that while there were two sets of masculine arms to fall into, and one of them her current pet, Phryne had fallen into Dot’s.” 6 likes
“I want to find the murderer too. I don’t like having my journeys interrupted by chloroform.” 2 likes
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