BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Bea Reviews Dead Man's Chest by Kerry Greenwood

Series: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries #18 
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press 
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review 
Release Date: December 5th, 2017 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Traveling at high speed in her beloved Hispano-Suiza with her maid and trusted companion Dot, her two adoptive daughters Jane and Ruth, and their dog Molly, Phryne Fisher is off to Queenscliff. She'd promised everyone a nice holiday by the sea with absolutely no murders, but when they arrive at their rented accommodation that doesn't seem likely at all.

An empty house, a gang of teenage louts, a fisherboy saved, and a missing butler and his wife seem to lead inexorably toward a hunt for buried treasure by the sea. Phryne knows to what depths people will sink for greed, but with a glass of champagne in one hand and a pearl-handled Beretta in the other, no one is getting past her.

My Thoughts:

I love this series but this book didn't wow me. It's also one of my least favorite episodes in the show which is funny since they have little in common in terms of characters, story, and plot. 

I liked the idea of seeing Miss Fisher and minions on holiday, and though Phryne promised her family no mysteries or investigations, she's not able to keep that promise. The lack of promised servants at the rental house also changes their plans. Ruth, who enjoys cooking and can't wait to run her own household, takes on the responsibility for cooking meals, running the kitchen, and overseeing what help they were able to hire on short notice. There was too much time and detail spent on  grocery and menu selection as well as household details but I did enjoy seeing Ruth come into her own. This was the first book, and it may have to do with the fact I'm reading the series wildly out of order, but this was the first time I really saw the difference between Jane and Ruth. While Ruth is busy cooking and managing the house, Jane is busy exploring old skeletons and hiding away to read a book. Go Jane!

Missing servants, a possible pirate's treasure, a movie being filmed in town, smuggling, a nasty prankster, a nosy neighbor, a suspicious death, and a houseful of surrealists round out the story. As always, there are many threads and several plots intermingled. Honestly, it was too much at times. I wish Greenwood had narrowed her focus more. And the missing servant storyline was overly convoluted and not very believable. I preferred the other mysteries and happenings, well, except for all the details on the mechanics of running a kitchen.

I do enjoy Greenwood's writing style. Though the books are have been in written in recent years, the tone of the writing incorporates elements both current now and those were current at the time the stories occur (see quotes below for a sampling). The behavior and thinking of the character seems true to the time period and place (bearing in mind that I know little about Australia in the 1920s).

While "Dead Man's Chest" was a fair romp, it lacked the luster of other Phryne Fisher titles. Still, it's enjoyable and I loved getting to know Ruth and Jane better, and Tinker, their newest addition to the household, was full of sass and loyalty.

Some favorite quotes ~

Phryne was getting out of the car. Dot closed her eyes. Miss Fisher was about to happen to someone again. She hoped that Phryne wouldn't get blood on her shoes. That glace kid was a beast to clean.

"...Almost caused Dot to swear." "No!" objected Jane. "Well, she blessed me a lot of times in the name of various saints and was distinctly heard to say 'drat' more than once. That's strong language for Dot." 

Tinker had cleared his plate and was now leaning back with the expression of a tiger shark who had ravened down a goodly portion of sperm whale and really couldn't eat another toothful of that nice nourishing blubber.

My reviews of other books in the series ~

#9, Raisins and Almonds
#11, Away with the Fairies
#14, Queen of the Flowers
#19, Unnatural Habits


  1. I like that this is 1920's but its Australia, and yep I know very little about life in Aussie then. Perhaps I will try a previous title. What do you recommended?

    1. Honestly, it would be best to start with book one, Cocaine Blues, and read in order. Jumping around like I'm doing is confusing.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. We enjoy hearing from our readers. Let's talk!