Publisher's Summary

1929: Girls are going missing in Melbourne. Little, pretty golden-haired girls. And not just pretty. Three of them are pregnant, poor girls from the harsh confines of the Magdalene Laundry. People are getting nervous. Polly Kettle, a pushy, self-important Girl Reporter with ambition and no sense of self-preservation, decides to investigate - and promptly goes missing herself. It's time for Phryne and Dot to put a stop to this and find Polly Kettle before something quite irreparable happens to all of them. It's all piracy and dark cellars, convents and plots, murder and mystery...and Phryne finally finds out if it's true that blondes have more fun.
©2012 Kerry Greenwood 2012. (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kate on 31-10-2012

Nothing Unnatural about Phryne

All good books should have a little of everything - humour, fear, grief, relaxation and exhilaration. And this book has all those in spades.

I have to say, I've got a bit of a lady-crush on Phryne. She's the kind of gal you love to love. Wild and chic, tough and compassionate, feisty and laid back. She has a wardrobe I'd love to own; a collection of lovers I doubt I could say no to, a butler who makes cocktails I dream about tasting, but most importantly, she always gets her bad guy.

Considering the number of years over which the character of Phryne has strutted her stuff (from 1989 when Cocaine Blues was published, to now in Unnatural Habits), I am continually amazed at how true Kerry stays to her character. Very few authors have the ability to delineate such a clear and resonating character who is maintained in all their glory from book 1 to book 19; especially when the dates of publication span more than 2 decades! But Phryne is just as lustrous a character in book 19 as she was in book 1; not a jot of her wit, passion or intelligence has dulled over time. And while she has grown as a person, there have been no jarring changes in personality traits to disrupt the beautiful flow of the series.

Like many others, I was introduced to Phryne via the Australian ABC TV series, and as someone who has rarely ventured out of the classical literature and fantasy/sci-fi genres, these books have blown me away, and as usual, upon reaching the end of the book I bemoaned the need to wait for however long for the next to be published!

The content of this story line provided ample opportunity for Phryne's strengths and weaknesses to be amplified. With a darker tone to the mystery placed before her, and more at stake than just finding a killer to be brought to justice; the achingly intense sense of futility that Phryne feels as she works her way through this case is very poignant, and cannot fail to strike a sympathetic chord with the listener.

Stephanie Daniels is, as ever, the perfect Phryne. Just as Kerry has remained true to the Phryne character over years of development, Stephanie has also maintained such a solid consistency over the duration of the recordings that each character is instantly identifiable from book to book. She is a pleasure to listen to.

I heartily recommend this book - and if you haven't read the others in the series before it, you won't be disappointed with those either, and I do suggest reading them first. Although each book is a complete story in its own right, there are certain aspects of the storyline that carry over from previous books in the series, that although not necessary to the overall understanding of this book, will certainly enhance your enjoyment of it.

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25 of 25 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Rio Delta Wild on 31-12-2012

I'll endeavor to hear more Phryne Fisher titles!

Would you consider the audio edition of Unnatural Habits to be better than the print version?

of course! Who doesn't enjoy hearing a story? The accents are wonderful and add lots of depth.

What did you like best about this story?

This was a great mystery; one mystery set inside several others.

Have you listened to any of Stephanie Daniel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Stephanie Daniel's performance was great!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Profound interest...I could hardly bear interruptions while I was listening!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mrs. Rm Walters on 17-03-2014

Brilliant book

Would you consider the audio edition of Unnatural Habits to be better than the print version?

I haven't tried the printed version, though given time I may very well buy it for my Kindle

What was one of the most memorable moments of Unnatural Habits?

All of it.

Have you listened to any of Stephanie Daniel’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, but I will be downloading more from this lady.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There are certainly some funny moments in the book, but also some which make me cross at the inhumanity of mankind.

Any additional comments?

A thoroughly good listen, which I had expected having read another of the books in this series. Can't wait to download more.

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