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Excellent Greenwood , as always
Queen of the Flowers is the fourteenth book in the popular Phryne Fisher series by Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. For the 1928 Flower Festival in St Kilda, Phryne is to be Queen of the Flowers. Appropriate outfits and Flower Maidens have to be organised, adding to Phryne’s usual busy schedule. On top of this, Ruth, one of Phryne’s adopted daughters, is intent on finding her father; an acquaintance (or two) from Phryne’s days in England turn up; and she receives a cryptic card in the post. Then one of the Flower Maidens goes missing, and Ruth fails to return home. This installment has elephants, musical sailors, TB, a Gambling Boat, someone performing CPR, a miserly grandfather, a dangerous man with a shotgun and, finally, a parade. Bert and Cec, Dot, Jane and Ruth, Li Pen and Lin Chung all do their part, and the Butlers provide background support. Mr Butler’s Refreshing Cocktail is helpfully provided in the appendix. Each chapter ends with some communication between two people that sheds light on Ruth’s parentage. Characters from several earlier books rate mentions or cameos, but this book can be enjoyed without having read previous installments. Phryne fans will enjoy revisiting this unique household with its adopted daughters, ladies maids, and a Chinese lover whose wife designs his lover’s garden. My favourite passage: ”The day dawned far too bright and fair……Dot was awake, dressed and characteristically cheerful. Dot liked dawn. Phryne only liked it from the other side.” Excellent Greenwood , as always.