“Phryne was getting out of the car. Dot closed her eyes. Miss Fisher was about to happen to someone again.”
– Dead Man’s Chest
A few years ago I was on the hunt for a new crime series when I found a single copy of Cocaine Blues (the first Phryne Fisher) on the shelf at work. Despite being an avid reader of crime, I had never seen it before. I instantly fell in love with the cover, paid for it immediately and sat down for lunch and started reading. Two weeks later I had a birthday and received a very generous gift card and I went in to work and bought the rest of the books in the series. The rest they say is history!
Phryne Fisher is my favourite fictional character. She is everything I want in a character – independent, elegant, wealthy, spirited, seductive and completely outrageous!
Set in Melbourne in the 1920’s, Phryne makes a name for herself as a private detective. She fearlessly jumps into any situation and expects to land on her feet. With her trusted sidekicks, she has taken on some of the shadiest characters lurking in Melbourne’s dark alleyways and yet she always leaves them running for their lives. She is a formidable character who knows what she wants and knows exactly how to get it (and enjoy it!). Having experienced the worst that life can offer, Phryne surrounds herself with the very best of everything – this applies to all aspects of her life including good food, great cocktails, beautiful clothes and handsome men!
Whilst Phryne is not the most emotional of characters, she happily accumulates friends and family members, most of whom she has saved or stood up for, or occasionally engaged in their services to help solve a case. With their help, she takes on the most unusual cases – joining the circus, flying planes, cracking cocaine rings, working for a women’s magazine, joining a choir and attending the most extravagant parties! She certainly knows how to have a good time.
The thing I love most about these books is the way they are written. Kerry Greenwood has a wicked way with words that evokes the most wonderful images in your mind while maintaining a good dose of tongue-in-cheek humour. Each of her characters is equally rounded and yet diverse, and as wholly enjoyable as Phryne herself. Her characters are true to themselves and every new book is like catching up with my favourite friends. Greenwood’s books are definitely on the lighter end of the crime spectrum but I love them all the more for it. They are the perfect balance of great detective crime and a mix of everything else I love!
In a word, these novels are utterly delightful!
Over to you – who is your favourite fictional character and why?