Phryne Fisher is doing one of her favorite things --dancing at the Green Mill (Melbourne's premier dance hall) to the music of Tintagel Stone's Jazzmakers, the band who taught St Vitus how to dance. And she's wearing a sparkling lobelia-coloured georgette dress. Nothing can flap the unflappable Phryne--especially on a dance floor with so many delectable partners. Nothing except death, that is.
The dance competition is trailing into its last hours when suddenly, in the middle of "Bye Bye Blackbird" a figure slumps to the ground. No shot was heard. Phryne, conscious of how narrowly the missile missed her own bare shoulder, back, and dress, investigates.
This leads her into the dark smoky jazz clubs of Fitzroy, into the arms of eloquent strangers, and finally into the the sky, as she follows a complicated family tragedy of the great War and the damaged men who came back from ANZAC cove.
Phryne flies her Gypsy Moth Rigel into the Australian Alps, where she meets a hermit with a dog called Lucky and a wombat living under his bunk....and risks her life on the love between brothers.
The Green Mill Murder is book five in the Phryne Fisher series and you can read them as stand-alone's, although you probably will get a better insight into the characters by reading from the beginning. I have so far read all but one prior to this book, but I have also seen the TV-series. And, have you seen the TV-series will you definitely both have a familiar feeling reading these books, but also feel that so much is different. And, the one thing I miss most of all is the flirtatious relationship between Phryne and Detective Jack Robinson. In this book, at least he was present for a little while, although I would have loved for him to have had a larger part.
As for the murder case at the Green Mill was it pretty easy to figure out how the man was murdered and I had an inkling to whom the murderer was. But, I was still a bit surprised when it all came together at the end. I may have guessed the murder weapon and the murderer, but I did have the whole picture. But, the part that I found myself liking the best was the later part of the book when Phryne flies into the Australian Alps looking for a man who wandered off years ago, left his family and civilization and become a hermit. The milieu that was described made me yearn to travel to Australia.