I’ve just not long finished reading “Murder and Mendelssohn” by Kerry Greenwood. This is the 20th Phryne Fisher novel – and it’s also the first one I’ve read since the television series started. Now, I have to say that Essie Davis is exactly right as Miss Fisher in all her fabulous glory; and Dot Williams is how I imagine her – as is Hugh Collins. However, Jack is about ten years younger than I imagined him, and I am 99.9% certain that he not only has a wife, he’s also still quite married to her! Also, one thing I found about returning to Miss Fisher in paperback form was having her surrounded by her entire “family” – Ruth, Jane, Mr Butler (and Mrs Butler), Tinker, the dog, Cec, Bert – I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few – instead of the relatively minimalist family she has on screen.
(Trifle disconcerting as I am watching Miss Fisher as I write about it – meta, or what?)
Anyway, back to the book(s). I’ve been reading the Miss Fisher mysteries since Cocaine Blues. I think there were maybe three or four out when I picked up my first one. I’ve always found them to be a decent variation on the traditional cozy in that there’s normally a little bit of wholesome violence, and a little bit of sex, and the Inspector isn’t a complete dick. I normally read them over a weekend, lolling on the couch with a selection of delectable morsels and a good book that’s not too deep and meaningful. So it was with great anticipation and delight that I sat down with Murder and Mendelssohn. If I could sum up the book in ten words or less…
Man, there was a LOT OF SHAGGING.
Miss Fisher is well known for enjoying the odd roll around in her perfectly made bed, but crikey. I couldn’t tell you much about the mystery because of all the sexuals. The first lot of murders centred around a choir, with loads of singing and boys. I worked out the how of the second murder (I think there was three? At least two definite deaths and a couple of attempts, anyway) and I was quite pleased with myself for being able to drag myself away from all the pashing and stuff to work out at least some of the crimes that were going on. Oh, and Lin Chun wasn’t there. Miss Fisher has been restricting herself to the delectable Lin Chun for the last couple of books – but he was away on business, so when she bumped into and old friend – woo hoo! (Despite said old friend batting for the opposition, he had a thing for one woman, and that woman would be Phryne.)
There were actually two mysteries going on (see, I told you I got confused. Too much sex leads one astray) with the ‘victims’ of the second mystery being Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman er Rupert Sheffield and Doctor John Wilson being chased by a nameless villain. Some people have found the Sherlock Holmes homage to be outrageous and not to their taste. I have to admit that I found it quite amusing (and srsly, next year, when Sherlock is back on the telly, I shan’t be looking at their relationship from quite the same perspective).
All in all, it was a jolly good romp. There was sufficient biffo, two completely preposterous crimes and way too much sex! Perfect wet weekend read, really. (Normally I’d pass these on to my lovely mum – but crikey!)