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Urn Burial by Kerry Greenwood
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Urn Burial (original 1996; edition 1996)

by Kerry Greenwood

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260643,918 (3.61)17
Member:katefrancis
Title:Urn Burial
Authors:Kerry Greenwood
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1996), Paperback, 257 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Urn Burial by Kerry Greenwood (1996)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Series have high points, and series have lows: this book definitely falls into the latter category. It won't stop me from reading the series -- the central character is still very engaging, the characterization is still strong, and the clothes are still great. But the story is confusing and unclear. The author seems to have been trying out a standard of pre-war British crime fiction -- the isolated country house, complete with a long and murderous guest list -- but it gets out of control. The house is too weird, the guests are too ill assorted, and the fact that EVERYONE has reason to kill goes a bit too far. Also, Phryne's Chinese boyfriend is cast into the shadow. I look forward to the next in the series, but if you are starting out, there are better Phryne Fisher novels earlier in the series. ( )
  annbury | Sep 4, 2014 |
This one was full of surprise couples and twists. I'm sure some readers kinda went, whoa, I didn't expect that. Me, I was surprised somewhat, Greenwood had been going that direction for a while now. This is a marketed as a cozy type of mystery so she might have lost a few readers like Suzanne Brockmann did when she introduced her Jules and Robin storyline in her romance series. Still, Greenwood wrote a wonderful romp of a mystery, with a big cast of characters (list provided at the beginning of the novel) and she mixes and matches people like a pro.

I liked the not so veiled hints and homage to Agatha Christie. Enjoy the Miss Marple, And then there were none homage, Greenwood had a bit of fun with it.

Phryne Fisher is a one of kind heroine in the cozy mystery genre and with this novel Greenwood is kinda moving the character away from the stereotype and creating something unique. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Apr 15, 2013 |
This was a pretty good one. Shockingly, she actually had the same boyfriend for two books in a row!
This was a full-on Agatha Christie house-party mystery, complete with a fluffy old lady named Miss Mary Mead. Ha. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
This is an enjoyable, Australia-set take on a country house mystery. Phryne Fisher decides to visit a friend's estate in order to recover from her experiences in Ruddy Gore—of course, this being the series that it is, she's not there very long before there's all sorts of mischief afoot with murdered housemaids and hidden secrets. I enjoyed all the OTT twists and turns, Dot (as per usual; what a great example of a female character who is competent and brave without being a Strong Female Character cliché), and Phryne being unashamedly polymorous. However, while I also really enjoy Lin being represented as a desirable, heroic figure, and do like that Greenwood subverts some expectations (Lin identifies as Chinese but was born in England and educated in Oxford), there's still some exoticisation going on here which makes me wince. Ditto the frequent comparisons made here to Phryne as a Manchu Princess—Phryne is a fantastic character in and of herself, and using a (nameless, non-white) female Other as a shorthand symbol of that awesome is just unnecessary. And, you know, a little racist. The one recurring irritation in what is otherwise a really fab series of books. ( )
  siriaeve | Apr 17, 2012 |
see comments ( )
  jwydeen | Sep 14, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kerry Greenwoodprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Daniel, StephanieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norling, BethCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'But man is a noble animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave, solemnizing nativities and deaths with equal lustre, nor omitting ceremonies of bravery in the infamy of his nature.'

~ Urn Burial, Sir Thomas Browne, Chapter V.
Dedication
This book is dedicated to my sister

Amanda Butcher, dear Sam.
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The shot boomed out of the mist.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159058368X, Paperback)

The redoubtable Phryne Fisher is holidaying at Cave House, a Gothic mansion in the heart of Australias Victorian mountain country. But the peaceful surroundings mask danger. Her host is receiving death threats, lethal traps are set without explanation, and the parlour maid is found strangled to death. What with the reappearance of mysterious funerary urns, a pair of young lovers, an extremely eccentric swagman, an angry outcast heir, and the luscious Lin Chung, Phrynes attention has definitely been caught. Her search for answers takes her deep into the dungeons of the house and into the limestone Buchan caves. What will she find this time? Kerry Greenwood, winner of the Australian Crime Writers Asso-ciation Lifetime Achievement Award, began her Phryne Fisher series in 1989 with Cocaine Blues. She has written 16 books in this series with no sign yet that Miss Fisher is hanging up her pearl-handled pistol. Ms. Greenwood lives and writes in Australia. www.phrynefisher.com

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:12 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Vacationing at a Gothic mansion in Australia's Victorian mountain country, Phryne Fisher becomes embroiled in a mystery involving death threats to her host, the strangling murder of a parlor maid, and the presence of mysterious funerary urns.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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