Death Before Wicket
Poisoned Pen, Jan 2008, $242.95, 244pp
Poisoned Pen, Jan 2008, $22.95
Phryne Fisher accompanied by her maid Dorothy “Dot” Williams takes the train to Sydney for a vacation. The wealthy independent woman looks forward to seeing the Harbour Bridge construction and a few cricket matches though the national team seems older this year than usual. She also plans to have some champagne with the University Vice Chancellor Charles Waterhouse and squeeze in some time with renowned young modernist Chas Nutall.
However, Dot panics when her sister Joan vanishes without a trace. Although a nasty rumor insists she ran off to party with a man, Dot swears her sibling would never abandon her children especially to be left with her ever angry ironmonger husband. Dot feels a bit better although still worried when Phryne says she will investigate starting by dancing at the nightclubs in the wild Darlinghurst section of town; the most likely place Joan would have gone if she did decamp. At about the same time, two university students Jocelyn “Joss” Hart and Clarence Ottery beg Phryne to learn who broke into the Dean of Arts' safe and stole several articles as an innocent scholarship student Adam Harcourt is being accused.
DEATH BEFORE WICKET is a terrific entry in one of the best historical mystery series on the market today. Phryne remains a fresh unique heroine as she does what she wants in 1920s Australia. This time besides touring Sydney, she works on both cases in her classy but tough style. Readers will appreciate this humorous thriller as the heroine when she is not watching cricket or picking up men deals with cultists and an oafish spouse.