MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Murder in Montparnasse

A Phryne Fisher Mystery

by Kerry Greenwood

Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood X
Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2004, 276 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2006, 266 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

BookBrowse notes:

  • The setting of this opening chapter is St Kilda - a small town in Victoria, Australia, that became fashionable in the 1850s. It's about 4 miles (6 kms) from the city of Melbourne.
  • A knout (as used in the second paragraph) is a leather whip twisted with wire and hardened. It was used in Russia to flog criminals.

Chapter One

The extremely active existence we lead does not leave us leisure to devote the necessary care to the upkeep of our bodies.
- Auguste Escoffier, Ma Cuisine

The sun glared off the shop windows, the wind blew fine sand which stung the eyes. It was both chilly and sunny, a thoroughly uncomfortable combination only found in the less successful ski slopes and in Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda on this particular day in 1928.

The Hon. Phryne Fisher blinked, wiped her eyes, wished she had brought sun goggles and wrapped her sables more closely about her thin frame. With her fur coat, fur hat and Russian leather boots she looked like one of the smaller members of the Tsar's guard who was about to lose his temper with a serf and resort to knouts.

She was cold, cross, half-blinded by the wind and just about to decide that she had chosen the wrong day or possibly planet for trying to understand St. Kilda's street numbering system when she simultaneously found Café Anatole and a well-dressed male body left it, mainly through the window.

Phryne stood back courteously to allow the man to complete his swallow dive. He hit the pavement with a thud and lay still. Phryne was mentally balancing (1) the duty of every human to go to another's aid when they have been thrown through windows and (2) the danger of getting blood on her sinfully lavish and exceptionally expensive sables when the prostrate one rolled over, groaned a fair bit, then scrambled to his feet and stumbled away. This solved her problem.

And Café Anatole might easily prove more interesting than she had been led to believe. Bits of lettered glass crunched under her stacked leather heels as she opened the door and went in.

The letter had arrived the day before. Written in flawless, formal French, it had invited her to a special lunch at Café Anatole. It had been sent by Anatole Bertrand himself. Phryne had heard that his cuisine was remarkable and since the distance was not great, she had walked from her own house on the Esplanade.

A moment before she had been regretting the journey. Now, as a heavenly aroma stole over her senses, she would have walked twice as far, over a lot more than broken glass.

The scent took her straight back to Paris in 1918. Onion soup. Real French onion soup, made with cognac, with real gruyère cheese melted onto real baguette. As the slim, good-looking person in an apron tripped forward to greet her, she gave him a blissful smile which knocked him back on his heels.

'Miss Fisher,' she said.

'Mam'selle does us great honour,' said the waiter, taking her hat and coat. He saw a small woman with black hair cut in a cap, pale skin, bright green eyes and the most beautiful smile. He sagged slightly under the weight of the coat, hung it carefully behind the bar, and conducted Phryne to a table set for one at the back of the café.

'The chef will be very sorry that such a scene greeted such a charming lady,' he said. Phryne waved a hand.

'Bring me a pastis,' she said, 'and we will say no more about it. Are other guests expected?'

'No, mam'selle, just yourself,' the waiter told her, beckoning to the girl behind the bar. Two men were already outside, fixing a tarpaulin over the broken window. In the kitchen, someone was roaring. Phryne recognised the voice of the bull chef in rut and nodded to the waiter that he could go. He grinned at her and fled.

Excerpted from Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood, pages 1-12. Copyright© 2002 by Kerry Greenwood. Excerpted by permission of the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Master Class
    Master Class
    by Christina Dalcher
    Christina Dalcher's Master Class shows America sleepwalking into a perfectionist eventuality not ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Pronounce Knife
    How to Pronounce Knife
    by Souvankham Thammavongsa
    Many examples of immigrant fiction dedicate a portion of their storytelling to exploring details of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Easy Part of Impossible
    The Easy Part of Impossible
    by Sarah Tomp
    Teenager Ria Williams is a skilled diver. She is on track to compete at the Olympic level, but ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire in Paradise
    Fire in Paradise
    by Alastair Gee , Dani Anguiano
    On November 8, 2018, a fire started in Northern California's Butte County after 50-70 mph winds ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Daughter of the Reich
    by Louise Fein

    A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Paris Hours
by Alex George

One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

B I T T Water

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.