Away with the Fairies

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Set in Melbourne, Australia, in 1928, Phryne Fisher continues to solve mysteries with her sharp attention to detail, utter disregard for social norms, and her sheer penchant for getting what she wants. In this continuation of Kerry Greenwood's mystery series, Phryne Fisher, a wealthy, modern woman, investigates the unusual death of a successful writer and illustrator of fairy stories, writes a fashion column for a women's magazine, and rescues her lover from pirates. She is aided by her two, thirteen-year-old adopted daughters, her maid, and the butler and cook.

Phryne is called on first thing in the morning by the local police detective to help solve a case of a murdered woman. While Phryne questions the other tenants of the boarding house where the murder occurred, all sorts of secrets float to the surface, but none of these discoveries leads directly to solving the case. Phryne is able to take a job at the women's magazine where the murdered author had freelanced and uncovers far more betrayals, lies, and twists of fate than she previously imagined.

Meanwhile, Phryne is anxious about the disappearance of her lover Lin Chung and grows even more nervous when his grandmother, the family matriarch, confides her own fears of pirating. Phryne calls on two of her old friends to learn everything they can about the lost shipment of silks and Lin Chung. They ultimately lead her to the “ghosted” ship that Lin Chung sailed to China months before, only to find out that his capture was devised by his own cousin.