Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Okay, I admit it…..I’m a PBS junkie.  Downton Abbey?  Yup.  Sherlock?  Yup.  The Crimson Fields?  Yup.  Poldark?  hmmm…*swoon*…yup!  One thing I never really got into where the British Mystery shows.  Which is weird….because that is definitely my wheelhouse.  I love the Brits and I love mysteries.

So one morning, after reading the groupthink.jezebel.com page (my daily morning read), I found a mention of a show that mystery lovers would love.  “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”  I guess it’s now in Season 3, but the next time I have a snow day, I’m going to Netflix the first two series.  So then, I dug a bit more, and found that the show is based on a series of Phryne Fisher novels by Kerry Greenwood.

The Phryne Fisher Books

So, while I’m now watching the TV show, I’m also going back to start from the beginning with the books.  So, um, the books.  They’re good.  Very entertaining.  Also, VERY sexual.  The Phryne of the show is a very provocative character, but we never really see the promiscuity that the book portrays.  Maybe it was different in the first few seasons, but this season had only one instance of her being shown as a sexy sexy woman.  The books go into great depths about her sexual encounters with a variety of men, to include dancers, gypsies, clowns, college students, etc.

Set in Australia in the 1920’s, Phryne Fisher is a lady detective who assists the police (sometimes against their will) with crimes.  The first book, Cocaine Blues (#1), introduces the character of Phyrne and her delightful group of friends.  There are the cab drivers, Bert and Cec who provide an assist whenever she calls.  Dorothy Williams, a girl who becomes Phryne’s assistant after a traumatic event.  Her butler, the aptly named Mr. Butler.  Then there is Detective Inspector Jack Robinson who is Phryne’s police foil.  The show does a good job of fleshing out the character….and I’m still early in the books, so I’m keeping an eye on him.  Metaphorically of course.   Here is Jack from the show:


By watching the show first, I have an idea in my head of what the characters look like and how they talk….so it’s nice to be able to imagine the stories with the characters.  I’m just finishing book 6, Blood and Circuses (#6), out of 20…..so I’ve got quite a ways to go.  Fans of mysteries would like these.  They are quick reads (just over 200 pages a piece) and I don’t think you necessarily have to start from the beginning.  I just like to read things in order.  If you don’t start from the beginning, there are a few things you should probably know about Phyrne:

1.  Money is now object.  Her family is rich, she’s rich.  She can afford anything and everything.

2.  She can do anything.  And I mean ANYTHING.  In just the first 6 books I’ve read she’s flown a plane, stood on horesback, worked with communists, and competed in a dance contest.  She fits in everywhere and can pretty much do anything.  So, suspension of disbelief is needed.

3.  She’s a swinging, single lady.  As I mentioned before, the books do have a tendency to get very graphic on her affairs.  So, know that going into it and things are fine.   (Which is what she tells the people that come to work for her too).


So as far as my criteria….I’m in it to win it on this series.  Beautiful people, beautiful scenery, and mysteries!  The show is also create for costume porn….the 20’s had such great dresses!


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