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Book DetailsISBN: 9781742372433
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Book Review: Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood - Reviewed by CloggieA (22 Apr 2015)
Unnatural Habits is the nineteenth book in the popular Phryne Fisher series by Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. A chance encounter with a young female reporter for The Daily Truth in a laneway leads Phryne Fisher to investigate the disappearance of three pregnant girls and said reporter. Margaret Kettle, better known as Polly, is determined to make her name as a serious journalist and steals a colleague’s story on White Slavery. But her enquiries into the fate of three very pregnant teenagers last seen at a pious widow’s nursing home mark the last sighting of the enthusiastic if somewhat careless reporter.
Her questions in a variety of places have ruffled some feathers, but whose? Someone associated with the Convent of the Good Shepherd and their workhouse-like Magdalen Laundry business? The owners of local brothels or exclusive Gentlemen’s Clubs? Or does her disgruntled colleague have a hand in her disappearance? What does the employment agency, Jobs For All, have to do with it? And just who is going around performing involuntary vasectomies on deserving males?
In this instalment, Phryne makes full use of her daughters (on vacation from school), of Dot, of her new employee, Tink and of her taxi drivers, Bert and Cec. Her minions (as she repeatedly refers to them in this instalment) are put to work on a secret code and other researches as well as taking active parts in the interrogation of witnesses. Phryne adopts an assortment of disguises: a blonde actress, a pregnant girl and a nun, as required by the different strands of the investigation. As well as white slavery, eugenics, virginity tests, kidnapping, slave labour and a female-run fruit-growing collective all feature. With this excellent novel, Greenwood once again proves herself a mistress of historical crime fiction.
Kerry Greenwood is the author of many bestselling novels and the editor of two collections. Previous novels in the Phryne Fisher series are Cocaine Blues, Flying too High, Murder on the Ballarat Train, Death at Victoria Dock, Blood and Circuses, The Green Mill Murder, Ruddy Gore, Urn Burial, Raisins and Almonds, Death Before Wicket, Away with the Fairies, Murder in Montparnasse, The Castlemaine Murders, Queen of the Flowers, Death by Water, Murder in the Dark, Murder on a Midsummer Night and Dead Man's Chest. She is also the author of the Corinna series, which includes Earthly Delights (2004), Heavenly Pleasures (2005), Devil's Food (2006), Trick or Treat (2008), Forbidden Fruit (2010) and Cooking the Books (2011).She is also the author of several books for young adults and the Delphic Women series. When she is not writing she is an advocate in Magistrates' Court for the Legal Aid Commission. She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered wizard.
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