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

Friday, February 2, 2018

Bea Reviews Murder on a Midsummer Night by Kerry Greenwood

Bea's Book Nook, Review, Murder On A Midsummer Night, Kerry Greenwood
Series: Phryne Fisher #17
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: February 6th, 2018 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository*  | iBooks* |
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Blurb from goodreads:

The Hon. Phryne Fisher, languid and slightly bored at the start of 1929, has been engaged to find out if the antique-shop-owning son of a Pre-Raphaelite model has died by homicide or suicide. He had some strange friends - a Balkan adventuress, a dilettante with a penchant for antiquities, a Classics professor, a medium, and a mysterious supplier who arrives after dark on a motorbike. Simultaneously, she is asked to discover the fate of the lost illegitimate child of a rich old lady, to the evident dislike of the remaining relatives.

With the help of her sister Beth, the cab drivers Bert and Cec, and even her two adoptive daughters, Phryne follows eerie leads that bring her face-to-face with the conquest of Jerusalem by General Allenby and the Australian Light Horse, kif smokers, spirit guides, pirate treasure maps, and ghosts.

My Thoughts:

I've been loving this series and the TV show. Because I'm me, I've been reading the books wildly out of order, which is occasionally confusing. Also confusing at times is the difference between the books and the show. Key characters in the books are missing from the show and vice versa. This book had several characters that don't exist in the show; one's a primary character and the other a minor one. So, I was a bit confused at first until I sorted out who was who and then the confusion cleared up.

"Murder on a Midsummer Night" was so-so entry in the series. It lacked some of the verve and fire of other books in the series. There are two mysteries going on, and in unusual move for Greenwood, they are not related. The first mystery has to do with a young shop owner who may or may not have committed suicide. His mother of course doesn't believe that he did and hires Phryne to look into it. She agrees but is firm that she will report exactly what she finds, even if her finding is that yes, he did kill himself. That story line should have been interesting but just wasn't compelling; my interest kept lagging. And some of the characters, the suspects, were both boring and over-the-top.

The other story line involved tracking down a child who may or may not have been born; who may, if they exist, be in line for an inheritance. That one was more interesting though I didn't love the resolution. The search itself was interesting. I read so much contemporary that I found it intriguing to see how the research was conducted almost a hundred years ago, back in the 1920s. 

"Murder on a Midsummer Night" is adequate. The story is moderately interesting, and often slow-paced. The usual cast is enjoyable and I enjoyed seeing Phryne's sister Beth as well as Phryne's lover Lin Chung. The book is well-researched, full of details, and feels authentic. Phryne, however, is larger than life as always. She can sometimes be thoughtless but in this story she surprised me and showed true compassion and tact towards her assistant Dot, and I liked seeing that.

If you are new to the series, don't start with this one. On that note, I recently purchased the first book in the series. I'm finally going to read the start of the series! LOL

Favorite Quotes:

 Phryne left, a little stunned. She had never been sneered at by a budgerigar before.

Jane held onto her hat, shut her eyes, and tried not to hear what the other drivers were saying about Miss Phryne's skill, morals, antecedents, and the marital status of her parents. Not to mention the screeching of brakes and an outraged shout from a traffic policeman who had nearly lost several toes which he valued.
"That was a red light, Miss Phryne," she ventured.
"Yes, it was," returned Phryne, unmoved.
Jane tried to think about anatomy. Anatomy was dead. And safe.


  1. That's too bad this was on the meh side. I've read a few books in this series but not this one. I really need to watch the show. It sounds really good and I love the time period the series is set in.

    1. I love the TV series but it is very different from the books. The costumes are gorgeous and Phryne is just as free-spirited if perhaps a little nicer than in the books.

  2. I had no idea that this series is still ongoing! I haven't yet watched the television program but it's good to know that the series is quite different from the books. Like how Murdoch Mysteries is much different. I love the books and love the actor who plays Murdoch but cannot stand his characters in the book where he's a curmudgeon. Sorry this one was just a meh read, I do have this series coming up on my TBR pile soon though!

    1. Most of the ones I've read in this series have been quite good so a clunker or two is to be expected. I didn't realize the Murdoch Mysteries were books too. I've enjoyed the episodes I've seen. Good to know he's less likeable in the books.

  3. I've seen these around, cannot believe that I did not realize there was a show. I'm sorry this one felt a bit subpar compare to the rest of them, but at least it still sounded a bit enjoyable.

    1. It was somewhat enjoyable if a bit disappointing .

  4. Oh I just binge watched the tv show this past couple weeks. Good to know about the differences between the two. I could see that being confusing at first for sure.

    1. It definitely was at first. The show made some major changes.


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