Away With the Fairies: A Phryne Fisher Mystery by Kerry Greenwood

By Kerry Greenwood

It’s the Nineteen Twenties in Melbourne and Phryne is requested to enquire the difficult dying of a well-known writer and illustrator of fairy tales. to take action, Phryne takes a task in the women’s journal that hired the sufferer and reveals herself enmeshed in her colleagues’ deceptions.
But whereas Phryne is studying the bits and bobs of journal publishing first hand, her own existence is thrown into chaos. Impatient for her lover Lin Chung’s impending go back from a silk-buying day trip to China, she as an alternative gets an strange summons from Lin Chung’s family members via a chain of mysterious attacks and warnings.

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Sample text

For how long could she draw out the process? With tea, the making of which was already a complex ritual, it could be hours, and Phryne wanted to get back to Robinson. ’ asked Miss Gallagher. ‘I don’t know,’ said Phryne truthfully. ‘It’s very nice. You could get rid of all the fairies,’ suggested Miss Gallagher, picking up an apostle spoon, examining it, and putting it down again. ‘Possibly,’ said Phryne. ’ ‘Oh yes,’ said Miss Gallagher, staring at a saucer as though trying to redesign the grotesques in her head.

At that moment the shop man caught sight of her silver ring, a big entwined dragon and phoenix. It might be true that to Asians all roundeyes look alike, but he had clearly seen the ring before. He shouted something urgent to someone at the back of the shop, then respectfully withdrew the corded black silk and returned it to its place. Another blue-coated man walked from behind the counter with a half bolt of glossy, fine, sensuous red so liquid that it almost dripped from Phryne’s grasp. He bowed.

After a year I could afford to move into a house. Of course, after the war my husband came home, and I returned to the house. Such wild fancies as paying women a living wage only happen in wartime. But it was a very important experience, Miss Fisher. ’ 44 FAIRIES TEXT PAGES 15/10/03 3:27 PM Page 45 ‘But not go too far,’ mused Phryne. ‘To salt your magazine with enough fashion notes and “Hilda and the Fairies” so that you won’t shock your readership and drive them away. ’ Mrs Charlesworth beamed.

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