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Murder on a Midsummer Night–no sparkle to this mystery

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Murder on a Midsummer Night

by Kerry Greenwood

Murder on a Midsummer NightIn Murder on a Midsummer Night, there are two major non-connected mysteries and one minor mystery. A man with no apparent reason to commit suicide is found drowned, and Phryne Fisher is hired to discover what really happened to him. Simultaneously she takes on a case to find a person who was given up for adoption many years prior. A mother has died and her will indicates that this person should be included in receiving monetary benefits. At the end of each chapter is a brief part of yet another tale. It appears very disconnected from the main plot lines until the very end of the book at which time it is tied into one of the threads. Rather than being clever, I found it distracting.

This is the first Phryne Fisher mystery that I have not totally enjoyed. In addition to the dangling mini-mystery, the characters did not have the pizazz that they normally have. The author relates the actions the characters take rather than allowing the reader to watch the action, participating vicariously. I regretted that Phryne’s family members as well as other regulars in the series are present but not very active. The result is a flat feeling to the story. In addition there are a number of truly distasteful characters in this book. Phryne doesn’t like them, and the reader has no reason to like them.

I am a big fan of the Phryne Fisher Mystery Series, but this mystery was disappointing. If this were my first experience with the series, it would probably be my last. Knowing the usual quality of the books in this series, however, I will be back.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Poisoned Pen Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

Category: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Notes: #17 in the Phryne Fisher Mystery Series

Publication: February 6, 2018—Poisoned Pen Press

Memorable Lines:

There was never any point being cross about weather, it was like politicians: to be born patiently, because it was compulsory.

She didn’t care what anyone said about the association of Phryne and Lin Chung, especially James, who was leaning against the white-painted wall, looking exquisite and drinking his third glass of the revolting port. That appeared to be the sum total of his social skills but Phryne supposed that he might have hidden depths.

But then, every country has its mistral, its meltemi, its own terrible wind.


  1. For so e reason I don’t understand the hype on this series. Phyrne comes across to me as opinionated person and is condensing a lot of times. She does no real detecting and comes up with the answer out nowhere at least in this book. Admittedly, I don’t have a feeling for the characters. I will Re a at least one more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      Sad to say, I agree with you on this book. Just not well done. I’m wondering if more will be available through netgalley. They have been coming out about one per month, but no new ones are scheduled right now. I do like Phryne’s saucy attitude. Also, she has not always been rich so she can be quite generous with others.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have been looking for them. I am auto approve for poison pen a d haven’t seen one. This must the 3/4 time they have released.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will have a bunch of new ones from NetGalley this week. I have got to stay away from looking. I have over 700 followers on WordPress, another 50 on Tumblr so I am getting close to Berkeley 1000 followers. I have more on Goodreads and Google so I apparently qualified as there are a couple o Berekely books there.

        Liked by 1 person

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