Review: Death in Daylesford by Kerry Greenwood

Title: Death in Daylesford {Phryne Fisher #21}

Author: Kerry Greenwood

Published: 3rd November 2020, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read November 2020 courtesy Allen & Unwin


My Thoughts:

I have a confession to make. Despite adoring Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series, I have tried, more than once, to read the Phryne Fisher series but never gotten past Cocaine Blues. To be fair, that was some time ago and at least a decade or two before Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries made its debut on TV, a show I’ve now binge-watched in it’s entirety on at least three (or five) occasions. So when I learnt that a new Phryne Fisher mystery was being published, I absolutely had to to get my hands on it. I was a teeny bit apprehensive, but thankfully I loved it.

In Death in Daylesford, Miss Phryne Fisher, accompanied by Dot, travels to country Victoria at the invitation of a war veteran who hopes to win her patronage for the spa retreat he runs for shell-shocked returned soldiers. Accommodated near Daylesford, Phryne is looking forward to a week of leisure, but almost immediately finds herself hunting a brazen murderer, three missing women, and a kidnapper, despite the objections of the oafish local officer.

Meanwhile in Melbourne, with Detective Inspector Jack Robinson on special assignment, Detective Sargent Hugh Collins’ lazy temporary supervisor is choosing the path of least resistance to solve a murder. Taking matters into his own hands, Hugh drafts Miss Fisher’s wards, Jane, Ruth, and Tinker, who are in the care of Mr and Mrs B, to help him, when it is revealed the victim is a school friend of the girls.

That makes four mysteries which Greenwood deftly develops in Death In Daylesford, skilfully laying red herrings and clues. Each of them are interesting in their own right, though the most intriguing relates to the very public murders of three young men. Deducing the perpetrator and their motive is a rare challenge for Phryne, even though the deaths occur right in front of her. My early theory was proved right, but there was a twist that took me by surprise.

I couldn’t help but visualise the actors from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries as the story unfolded, but even if you are entirely unfamiliar with the series in any form, the characters have a strong presence. Phryne is her usual unconventional, stylish and seductive self, and Dot, her stalwart, beige-clad companion. Much is made of a barmaids beauty, her suitor’s brawn, the haggard appearance of a battered wife, and a Captain eager to please.

Greenwood’s writing is wonderfully descriptive, with the era coming across in all the details of the setting and styling, she excels at showing, not telling. I’m a fan of the Phryne’s quick wit, and dry observations, the author has a great sense of timing, and and an ear for natural dialogue.

Fans of the Phryne Fisher book series are sure to delight in this newest mystery, published seven years after the last, as should those viewers mourning the possible demise of the TV series. Entertaining and clever, Death in Daylesford is a charming, and satisfying read.


Available from Allen & Unwin RRP AUD$29.99

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Indiebound

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Claire Louisa
    Nov 12, 2020 @ 23:27:48

    I have listened to all the audiobooks in this series, well before watching the series this year. This will be the first actual book I’ve read myself, I it’ll be a bit weird really lol. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Mareli Thalwitzer
    Nov 13, 2020 @ 04:45:55

    I loved Cocaine Blues and I’ve also watched a few episodes. Need to watch a few more. I enjoyed the first book so much!!

    Thanks for a great review.

    Elza Reads

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Anne - Books of My Heart
    Nov 13, 2020 @ 09:43:20

    I’ve heard of this author and think I have collected a few freebies years ago. Interesting to learn your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Helen Murdoch
    Nov 13, 2020 @ 15:08:57

    Love the cover, it’s very evocative of the book’s setting.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Brona
    Nov 13, 2020 @ 20:24:59

    I skimmed this so I wouldn’t read any spoilers by mistake!! I hope to read this very soon. A w/e in a Daylesford spa sounds like something we could all do with though right now!!!

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Mystica
    Nov 14, 2020 @ 02:38:20

    The book has an archive date of June 2021 – so unfair !



  7. Tina
    Nov 14, 2020 @ 02:52:55

    That is a pretty cover. Haven’t read that series yet.

    Ok, I missed book blogging so I am starting fresh at a new place I am calling Turn the Page. Not sure if I properly linked with the 2020 completion link but…..I will jump in on the 2021 challenge you host 🙂




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  9. wadholloway
    Nov 14, 2020 @ 15:23:43

    I jumped over from Brona’s AusReading Month. I’m a Phryne Fisher fan (and think Corinna Chapman is a bit wet, sorry!), the audiobooks are very popular in roadhouses, which is where I found them first, maybe 15 years ago. I started watching the TV series but – unlike almost everyone else – I didn’t think they got it right. In fact I thought Phryne seemed sleazy rather than free-thinking.



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