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more excellent Greenwood
Death Before Wicket is the tenth in the Phrynne Fisher series by popular Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. It is summer 1928 and Dot and Phrynne take the train to Sydney: Dot to visit with her sister Joan, Phrynne ostensibly to watch a Test Match (was it Bradman’s first?) and dine with the University’s Vice Chancellor. Phrynne has promised Dot there will be no murders, but two handsome young Uni students have asked her to look into a theft of exam papers from the Dean’s safe for which their good friend has been blamed. The investigation gets complicated as Phrynne learns that the safe was also emptied of the Faculty books, a valuable papyrus, an illuminated book, an Aboriginal stone axe, the Dean’s wife’s rubies and the petty cash, expanding the list of suspects exponentially. Dot’s visit also hits a snag: it seems her thoroughly respectable sister has turned into a lady of the night. This instalment has Phrynne dining with Professors, traipsing through slums, quoting poetry in a Bohemian café, getting the better of a standover man, making amulets, watching several cricket matches, removing curses and being thrown into a well. The plot has plenty of twists and there is theft, blackmail, magic, politics and roses. As usual, Phrynne is not shy when confined in close quarters with the right man. It was truly enjoyable to read a Phrynne set in Sydney, especially at my old Alma Mater, the University of Sydney, and I wholly concur with Brazell’s opinion of missionaries. I am fairly certain, though, that stutterers do not do so in their thoughts. Another excellent Greenwood novel.