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Flying Too High (1990)

by Kerry Greenwood

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Phryne Fisher Mysteries {Kerry Greenwood} (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8136020,883 (3.64)92
"Danger, excitement and love - this is how the glamorous Phryne Fisher is determined to live her life in her second enticing adventure. Walking the wings of a Tiger Moth plane in full flight ought to be enough excitement for most people, but not Phryne Fisher, amateur detective, woman of mystery, as delectable as the finest chocolate and as sharp as razor blades. In this, the second Phryne Fisher mystery, the 1920s' most talented and glamorous detective flies even higher, handling a murder, a kidnapping and the usual array of beautiful young men with style and consummate ease - and all before it's time to adjourn to the Queenscliff Hotel for breakfast. Whether she's flying planes, clearing a friend of homicide charges or saving a child from kidnapping, she handles everything with the same dash and elan with which she drives her red Hispano-Suiza"--Pub. description.… (more)
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» See also 92 mentions

English (59)  Catalan (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
While Phryne Fisher is moving from the Windsor Hotel to her new house, she is involved in solving a murder, with the help of Bert and Cec.

Then she is contacted by a fellow pilot about the kidnapping of a child. She plans the rescue and is on hand to save the child.

I like this series. Phryne Fisher is a feminist in 1920s Australia. She has the daring of any man, the taste of the refined, and is a friend to anyone who needs help. She is supported by a great cast of characters. ( )
  Bettesbooks | Mar 28, 2021 |
Phryne Fisher is beginning to build her reputation as an amateur sleuth in this episode. She is consulted by Mrs. William McNaughton who overheard a conversation between her son and her husband and now fears that her son is going to kill her husband.

Phryne goes to consult with the son at his place of business. He teaches flying lessons. Phryne herself is a devotee of flying. It is part of her daredevil nature. She impresses him with various stunts including wing-walking and convinces him to conduct further arguments with his father away from home to keep from upsetting his mother. She thinks everything is settled but the William McNaughton is found dead on his tennis court after being bashed in the head with a paving stone and Bill McNaughton is arrested.

Meanwhile, six-year-old Candida Maldon is kidnapped when she goes out, without parental permission, to buy sweets. Her father has recently won a large sum in a lottery and has attracted villains who want some of it. Phryne also gets involved in that case.

Phryne mobilizes her forces including truckers Bert and Cec to check out each of these cases. The Police Detective who is investigating the McNaughton case is a man who develops his own theories about cases and doesn't let any contrary evidence change his mind. Phryne is the one who lets the evidence guide the theories. She sends Bert and Cec to find out where the paving stone came from and to check into a group of children the daughter of the house invited in but her father threw out.

Phryne also checks with witnesses at the sweet shop where Candida was snatched and has a police officer who owes her a favor check out the partial license plate one witness remembers. This leads to identifying the kidnappers but it takes a daring plan including a dangerous airplane flight and Phryne's hitching a ride in the back of the kidnappers vehicle to find out where they have the child stashed.

This story is firmly rooted in the 1920s. Phryne is a daring young woman who isn't bound by convention. She drinks, she smokes, she takes lovers. She's also wealthy which lets her cruise around in her red Hispano-Suiza and learn to fly Gypsy Moths. The other women in the story like Mrs. McNaughton and Amelia McNaughton live more narrow lives since they are under the thumb of Mr. McNaughton who turns out to physically abuse his wife and daughter and also control all of their access to money. I was also somewhat surprised that a man accused of murder would be released from jail on his own recognizance and for a small bail.

The story was fast-paced and fun. I enjoyed Stephanie Daniel's narration and also the interview with the author at the end of the story. ( )
  kmartin802 | Feb 9, 2021 |
As Phryne is settling into her new house in Melbourne, she is invited to lunch by Mrs. McNaughton, who soon reveals her reason for the invitation: she is worried that her son Bill will kill her husband William over disagreements concerning Bill’s plan to use his aviation school to subsidize an exploratory trip to the Antarctic. It seems both men have a temper and don’t get along, so Phryne resolves to talk to Bill and try to dissuade him from any rash act; a happy chore for her because it means she can get in a plane and fly again, after far too long! Meantime, 6-year-old Candida Meldon wants nothing more than the sweets she has just bought when she finds herself kidnapped! Little did the kidnappers know that they’d be dealing with a very clever and very stubborn little girl, not to mention the fully grown Phryne…. As with the first novel in this series, there are multiple crimes to solve, including murder, but Phryne is certainly up to the tasks. Not to mention the arrival of a new lover, various domestic affairs that need to be arranged in her new household, and the help of Dot, Cec and Burt along with some new-found friends and old acquaintances like Detective Inspector Robinson. I will definitely have to ration this series over the winter as reading the first two (of 21) in 2 days is not the way to savour the experience; then again, it’s like eating a bit of candy or some potato chips - you don’t mean to eat more than one or two, but suddenly the whole bag is empty. Delicious! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Jan 15, 2021 |
I am definitely going to play “let’s see the locations IRL” on this book. Queenscliff and Studley Park (which I have been to, but I want to check out the area anew with this new perspective) and the area for Phryne’s new house.
More strong characters - Bunji is fab as an aeronautical ace. Probably should have trigger warnings right up front, as there are situations that would make many people very uncomfortable within the story. Maybe the current print edition does carry some sort of sticker or something... mine didn’t. ( )
  Vividrogers | Dec 20, 2020 |
nice ( )
  devendradave | Sep 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kerry Greenwoodprimary authorall editionscalculated
Daniel, StephanieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norling, BethCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Flying too high with some girl in the sky
Is my idea of nothing to do
But I get a kick out of you
'I get a kick out of you', Cole Porter
Dedication
To David Lewis John Greagg
My own dear darling
First words
Candida Alice Maldon was being a bad girl.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Danger, excitement and love - this is how the glamorous Phryne Fisher is determined to live her life in her second enticing adventure. Walking the wings of a Tiger Moth plane in full flight ought to be enough excitement for most people, but not Phryne Fisher, amateur detective, woman of mystery, as delectable as the finest chocolate and as sharp as razor blades. In this, the second Phryne Fisher mystery, the 1920s' most talented and glamorous detective flies even higher, handling a murder, a kidnapping and the usual array of beautiful young men with style and consummate ease - and all before it's time to adjourn to the Queenscliff Hotel for breakfast. Whether she's flying planes, clearing a friend of homicide charges or saving a child from kidnapping, she handles everything with the same dash and elan with which she drives her red Hispano-Suiza"--Pub. description.

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