A Phryne Fisher Open Thread

I told you I’d tell you which cozy mystery series has recently captured my attention. Not that this particular series is recent, of course; the Phryne Fisher books began publishing in 1989 and the television series (which I watched on Netflix a few years ago) premiered in 2012.

But I was searching the internet for “murder mysteries set in big old houses that aren’t by Agatha Christie,” which does in fact yield a relevant search result on a cozy mystery blog, and that blog post’s mention of the Murder She Wrote tie-in novels (two of which I gave to my brother-in-law this past Christmas, since he is a huge Jessica Fletcher fan) reminded me that in Phryne Fisher’s case, the books came before the television series—and I hadn’t read any of them.

Now I’ve read the first six and am halfway through number seven. The library has ’em all on ebook, and every time I get to the end of one book it’s both easy and irresistible to return it and check out the next one (in other words, if you’re curious whether the Netflix binge-episode model works just as well for books, YES IT DOES).

What I love about these books is the long game going on between all of the murders. Although you could theoretically read the books out of order, or start with the third one or whatever, author Kerry Greenwood sets up this delightful slow-build character development in which, for example, characters reflect on decisions they made two books ago and use that self-understanding to make a different decision this time around.

Which is also why we all loved the television series, right? We wanted to see people grow and change and learn and begin to trust each other and so on.

(We also wanted to see all the clothes, which are just as lavishly presented in the novels.)

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been reading lately and I wanted to let you know how much I’ve been enjoying it. The thread is open—have a good weekend! ❤️