Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Lady with the Gun Asks the Questions: The ultimate Miss Phryne Fisher collection (Phryne Fisher)


The Lady with the Gun Asks the Questions is a beautifully curated selection of Phryne Fisher short fiction by Kerry Greenwood. Released 17th May 2022 by the Poisoned Pen Press, it's 272 pages and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

The book contains 17 stories; 13 previously released and 4 new stories from 2019-2020, along with an informative and really enjoyable introduction by the author on Phryne, how she came about, and some behind the scenes glimpses into her (Greenwood's) working processes. 

This is top shelf Phryne at her irrepressible best. One of the reasons I like anthologies and collections is that they're full of authors being allowed to test new techniques and plotting and story devices without the commitment of a full novel.  I've always had a particular fondness for collections/anthologies because short fiction is spare and technically challenging, so you get a better feel for an author's expertise with the form. Short fiction is less of a time commitment as well, so if one story is not working for you, there's another piece readily available in a few pages. This is all of that and definitely a must-read for current fans of Ms. Fisher. Much of the info in the author's introductory essay was known to me, but I had somehow previously missed out on her background and genesis. 

I loved that Ms. Greenwood says that:  

"She blossomed from the moment I wrote the first line of Cocaine Blues, and after the first five chapters, I had no further control over her. I feel like I discovered Phryne, rather than invented her".

Four stars. Good stories, well written. This would make a super introduction to the characters and settings for new fans as well as a nostalgic read with bonus new content for current fans of the series. The stories and novels are really solid and there are 21 extant novels plus various shorter stories/novellas; a great candidate for binge reading. Phryne herself is refreshingly uninhibited and there are occasionally frank discussions of physical and carnal appetites in the canon. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

No comments:

Post a Comment