Death Before Wicket by Kerry Greenwood

In Death Before Wicket, the sophisticated and debonair The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher visits Sydney, ostensibly for a holiday, but also because she has been summoned there by two young university men to solve the mystery of some missing university documents, which were stolen from a safe at Sydney University. A friend of these young men has been blamed for the theft and they hope that Phryne can clear his name.

Phryne takes on this seemingly simple problem but soon finds herself embroiled in a mystery involving curses and black magic. The deeper she delves in the mystery the more danger she places herself in.

Her investigations into this matter are of course complicated by the fact that upon returning to Sydney, her faithful companion Dot discovers that her sister has disappeared, leaving her husband and children behind. Phryne attempts to discover the whereabouts of the missing woman, but her investigations lead her into the seedier side of Sydney life and she has to try to discover the truth without hurting Dot's feelings or Catholic sensibilities.

I did enjoy this book, although strangely not quite as much as I have her others. I think that is because the change of setting from Melbourne to Sydney may have distracted me a little bit. Having said that, Greenwood's depiction of 1920's Sydney is spot on. She captures the people of Sydney, the atmosphere and of course the heat (something I am very familiar with, especially this week with temperatures reaching almost 40C (104F) every day) so wonderfully that I felt as though I was right there in the 'heat' of the moment with Phryne.

The plot in Death Before Wicket was the most complicated plot I have read in a Phryne Fisher mystery, and whilst that sometimes made it a bit harder to follow than the other books in the series, it still added to the mystery.

Phryne herself was as sophisticated in Sydney as she is in Melbourne. As usual, my mouth watered at the descriptions of all the food and the drink that they all consume and I was particularly taken aback by the raunchiest sex I think Phryne has ever had (that I have read about anyway!).

All in all, a fabulous read and I can't wait to get my hands on another one in this series.

6.5 / 8
Really enjoyable and well written, couldn't put it down. Recommend that you buy it.

Do you enjoy reading books that are based in your own city? What do you enjoy about them?

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