Summary and book reviews of Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood

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

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Join Phryne Fisher, the feminist sleuth who always gets her man, on a tightly plotted maze of thrilling adventure set in 1920s Australia.

Always enticing in divine twenties fashion, Phryne, one of the most exciting and likeable heroines in crime writing today, leads us through a tightly plotted maze of thrilling adventure set in 1920s Australia.

Seven Australian soldiers, carousing in Paris in 1918, unknowingly witness a murder and their presence has devastating consequences. Ten years later, two are dead...under very suspicious circumstances.

Phryne's friends, Bert and Cec (sometimes cabbies and sometimes men for hire), appeal to her for help. They were part of this group of soldiers in 1918 and they fear for their lives and for those of the other three men. It's only as Phryne delves into the investigation that she, too, remembers being in Montparnasse on that very same day.

While Phryne is occupied with memories of Montparnasse past and the race to outpace the murderer, she finds troubles of a different kind at home. Her lover, Lin Chung, is about to be married; and the effect this is having on her own usually peaceful household is disastrous....

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 ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The year is 1928, the setting St Kilda - a fashionable town close to Melbourne, Australia, with many flashbacks to Paris in 1918. Phryne Fisher (pronounced Fry-knee, to rhyme with briny) is faced with two puzzles - the disappearance of a young woman about to marry a much older man and the death of two ex-soldiers that have been written off as accidental, but are anything but. When clues lead to Paris during WWI, Phyrne (who served as a volunteer ambulance driver towards the end of the war) finds memories from her past coming back to haunt her with a vengeance.

The first Phryne Fisher mystery , Cocaine Blues, was published in Australia in 1989, and there are now a total of 14 books in this popular series; but this, the 12th in the series, is the first to be available in the USA. Although this book is a complete story in its own right, I can't help feeling a little short changed coming into the series at this point because by now Phryne is surrounded by a broad compliment of dubious friends, professional acquaintances, adopted family, animals and general hangers-on; each of which, I feel sure, will have had a leading role in one or more earlier books.

Nevertheless, if you enjoy a good mystery, I recommend you browse Murder in Montparnasse. As Library Journal writes, 'a most charming, sexy, independent, and candid heroine; clever, literate dialog; and closely woven plotting will win immediate fans for this debut series.'

On a lighter note, let me leave you with a few of Phyrne Fisher's sayings, and encourage you to browse this fun book for yourself.

It is acceptable to kiss and tell, more acceptable to kiss and not tell, but entirely improper to tell and not kiss.

Smile sweetly and carry a hatpin.

A man in the kitchen is worth two in a dance-hall.
  

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

While the narrative's prime twist stems from an artificial device, and the main villain's identity is too obvious, the charm of the setting and the characters more than compensates.

Booklist - Jenny McLarin

Brimming with glamour, high life, and a hint of debauchery, Greenwood's series delivers a literary glass of champagne, lifting readers' spirits while tickling their fancies. 

Library Journal

A most charming, sexy, independent, and candid heroine; clever, literate dialog; and closely woven plotting will win immediate fans for this debut series. 

Reader Reviews

Cloggie Downunder

Phryne fans will love it!
Murder in Montparnasse is the twelfth book in the popular Phryne Fisher series by Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. A request from the French chef/owner of Café Anatole to locate a missing prospective young bride has Phryne thinking back to her ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Murder in Montparnasse, try these:

  • The Dry jacket

    The Dry

    by Jane Harper

    Published 2018

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Winner of the 2017 BookBrowse Debut Novel Award

    A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.

  • Detroit Shuffle jacket

    Detroit Shuffle

    by D.E. Johnson

    Published 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Johnson's immaculate plotting and high-tension writing make for a spellbinding read set in early twentieth-century Detroit.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...
  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's set."
—NPR

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Wonder Valley
    by Ivy Pochoda

    A visionary and masterful portrait of contemporary L.A. from the author of Visitation Street.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.