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The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher is feeling dull. But is she bored enough to leave her identity, her home and family behind and join Farrell's Circus and Wild Beast Show?
There have been strange things happening at the circus. And when Phryne is asked by her friends - Samson the Strong Man, Alan the carousel operator and Doreen the Snake Woman - to help them, curiosity gets the better of her. Peeling off her wealth and privilege, Phryne takes a job as a trickhorse-rider, wearing hand-me-down clothes and a new name. Someone seems determined to see the circus fail and Phryne must find out who that might be and why they want it badly enough to resort to poison, assault and murder.
Diving into the dangerous underworld of 1920s Melbourne and the wild, eccentric life under the big top, Phryne proves her courage and ingenuity yet again, aided only by her quick intelligence, an oddly attractive clown, and a stout and helpful bear...
Australian author Greenwood's light-hearted Phryne Fisher mystery, the sixth chronologically and 11th to be published in the U.S. (after 2006's Murder in the Dark), isn't one of the series high points. Flapper sleuth Fisher goes undercover in a circus after Alan Lee, a former love interest, asks for her help identifying the person or persons behind a series of attacks connected to the circus, which culmi-nate in the murder of company member Mr. Christopher. Fisher and Det. Insp. Jack Robinson must ferret out the information needed to keep Miss Parkes from being hanged as the killer. Fisher's loyal retinue, who served her well in other exploits, play less of a role this time. The writing is less humorous than in some of Greenwood's other Fisher books, and the far-fetched solution may leave fans disappointed.