"Anyone who hasn't discovered Phryne Fisher by now should start making up for lost time." —Booklist
Phryne Fisher is doing one of her favorite things—dancing to the music of Tintagel Stone's Jazzmakers at the Green Mill, Melbourne's premier dance hall. And she's wearing a sparkling lobelia-colored georgette dress. Nothing can flap the unflappable Phryne—especially on a dance floor with so many delectable partners. Nothing but death, that is.
The dance competition is trailing into its last hours when suddenly a figure slumps to the ground. Phryne, conscious of how narrowly the weapon missed her own bare shoulder, back, and dress, investigates.
Phryne follows the deadly trail into the dark smoky jazz clubs of Fitzroy, into the arms of eloquent strangers, and finally into the sky, as she uncovers a complicated family tragedy from the Great War and the damaged men who came back from ANZAC cove.
While fans of Australian author Greenwood's light and humorous Phryne Fisher mystery series (Cocaine Blues, etc.) may expect the plot to be subordinate to the heroine's displays of wit and libido, the degree to which that is the case this time out makes this a less successful entry than most. The action begins dramatically as Bernard Stevens, a participant in a dance marathon, drops dead in a Sydney nightclub, just before the end of the competition. Fisher, an amazingly self-possessed and competent amateur sleuth, happens to have been nearby at the time, and soon is involved in the investigation. When her date vanishes, after slipping away from the scene of the murder, ostensibly to compose himself, she's hired by his mother to trace both him and his brother, a veteran of the worst trench warfare of WWI. The period is, as always, well-portrayed, but the resolution of the whodunit will disappoint some.