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Blood and Circuses (Miss Fisher's…

Blood and Circuses (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries) (original 1994; edition 2017)

by Kerry Greenwood (Author)

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3691529,371 (3.54)22
Title:Blood and Circuses (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries)
Authors:Kerry Greenwood (Author)
Info:Poisoned Pen Press (2017), Edition: Reprint, 220 pages
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Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood (1994)



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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Full disclosure: I got this from NetGalley in return for an honest review

I like a cosy mystery but this just wasn't good enough. The plot was slack; the protagonist spends much of the book wandering around and observing an awful lot of not much in particular. Eventually she puts it all together in the space of a paragraph without it feeling like a logical conclusion of all that's come before.

Perhaps the structure is better than I'm giving it credit for but if so I can only assume the fact I wasn't able to appreciate it was because of the prose. 'Rules of writing' can be prescriptive but Greenway could do more to show and not tell; characters regularly read out chunks of their own or each other's bios as if from some concordance. Very few people understand their motivations as well as the characters in this book and fewer still soliloquise to almost complete strangers about them.

I wanted to like this a lot more than I did – I'm a sucker for mystery novels, a bigger sucker still for mystery novels with a posh bird getting her stocking tops out on the cover – but it just wouldn't let me. It was so clumsy and demonstrative it constantly pushed me away. I shan't be reading any more Phryne Fisher. ( )
  m_k_m | Apr 16, 2017 |
Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood is the sixth book in the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Phryne Fisher is home alone on a Sunday, and she is bored. Then the doorbell rings and she finds Samson, Alan Lee and their friends on her doorstep. They need Phryne’s assistance with problems that are plaguing Farrell’s Circus and Wild Beast Show. If the person behind these nasty incidents is not found, the circus may go under. Phryne agrees to go undercover as a trick rider if she can learn the routine in the next week. Meanwhile, Constable Tommy Harris responded to a call at Mrs. Witherspoon’s boarding house on Brunswick Street. Mr. Christopher was found dead inside his room. Miss Amelia Parkes is arrested for his murder, but Tommy does not believe Miss Parkes committed the crime. Detective Inspector Jack Robinson is of a similar mind, but they need proof. Phryne with the help of her companion, Dot gets ready to join the circus as Fern Williams. Phryne needs clothes that are more aligned with her new station as a performer (no silks or satins for Fern). Phryne learns how to do tricks on a horse and is soon ready to set off with the others for Farrell’s next performance. Tommy is out at night trying to get intel and quickly lands in hot water. Thankfully, Lizard Elsie comes to his rescue, patches him up and returns him to his police superiors. It turns out that the problems besetting the circus and the murder of Mr. Christopher are tied together. Jack quickly sets out for Farrell’s latest location and hopes that he is not too late to save Phryne. See if Phryne makes it back home to Dot, Mr. & Mrs. Butler, and her extended family in Blood and Circuses.

Blood and Circuses is nicely written, but it is different from the prior books in the series. Phryne is not quite herself in this edition. I missed Phryne’s engaging personality. She seemed more subdued and contemplative. I was, though, happy to see more of Jack in this novel. What I enjoy most is the interactions between Phryne and Jack. They are always fun and witty together. When you first start reading the story, there are two different storylines. They are eventually tied together and it all makes sense. It can be a little confusing in the beginning especially with the introduction of the two gang factions (Roy Boys and the Brunnies). The pace is sluggish as well (which always makes a book feel longer than it is). Figuring out the identity of the killer is not rocket science. I wish it had been more complicated (like the storylines). If you have watched the show that relates to this book, you will find it different in many regards (there are similarities). In a way, I preferred the show (I found it more entertaining). There is extreme violence and intimate relations included in Blood and Circuses. Phryne finds herself with two lovers in this book. I give Blood and Circuses 3.5 out of 5 stars. There is circus lingo that I found difficult to interpret. I did find the second half of the book more entertaining the first part (as the separate storyline tie together and there are fewer people to keep track of). While I did not find Blood and Circuses as enjoyable as the first five stories in the stories, I will definitely keep reading the series. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Mar 18, 2017 |
Would have to be one of the more ridiculous Miss Fisher mysteries written. Phryne's activities during the book are pretty silly, and most of the work is done by Jack and his young colleague. We see very little of Dot and the Butlers. ( )
  michdubb | Nov 5, 2016 |
Basically Phryne runs away and joins the circus. Ostensibly to help with some friends in the circus who are seeing accidents happen around them but can't see what's happening. She has to learn how to be a member of the circus and finds it a challenge to be away from her luxury. There's a look at how those who were determined to be freaks at the time could find space in a circus to be themselves. Phryne discovers more about herself that I'd say will have consequences.

The murder victim was more Jack's purview this time, a hermaphrodite who is killed in boarding rooms, part of the circus and the killer could be anyone else in the house, with an obvious killer in a woman who had previously killed.

It was interesting and made me think. The mystery wasn't as interesting as the circus life. and now I'm humming Simon Smith and his Amazing Dancing Bear, the bear was one of the best characters in the story. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Mar 3, 2016 |
Might be my favorite one yet ( )
  ewillse | Jan 18, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kerry Greenwoodprimary authorall editionscalculated
Daniel, StephanieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norling, BethCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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‘People must be amused, Squire… they can’t always be a-working, nor yet they can’t always be a-learning. Make the best of us, not the worst.’ —Hard Times, Charles Dickens
For John Greenwood, my dear brother.
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Mrs. Witherspoon, widow of uncertain years and theatrical background, was taking tea in her refined house for paying gentlefolk in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
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Phryne Fisher is bored. So when she is asked to investigate some strange goings-on in Farrell's Circus and Wild Beast Show, her curiosity gets the better of her. Stripped of her identity, wealth and privileges, Phryne takes a job as a trick horse-rider. But what connects the circus with the particularly nasty murder in Mrs Witherspoon's house for paying gentlefolk? Phryne proves her mettle yet again, aided only by her wits, an oddly attractive clown, and a stout and helpful bear.… (more)

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