Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
Murder on the Ballarat Train
Amazon US HC Amazon Canada HC
Class/Genre: Mystery Historical Woman Main Character
Series: Phryne Fisher # 3
Poisoned Pen, Oct 2006, $22.95, 160 pp.
In Australia, the Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher is on the train to Ballaret to visit some cousins when she wakes up in her compartment to the smell of chloroform. She starts opening the window reviving herself and her maid Dot. They open the windows in the other three compartments in first class. One elderly woman, Mrs. Henderson is missing until her body is found thirty feet from the track.
Her daughter Eunice hires Phryrne to find out who killed her mother. Another mystery on the train presents itself in the form of a young child suffering from amnesia. Phryrne calls her Jane and takes her home with her and has her examined by her doctor who tells her the child was sexually molested. Phryrne is determined to find out who did this to the child and who killed Mrs. Henderson; because of her reputation, she has the full support of the Melbourne police who are in awe of the indomitable Miss Fisher.
In chronological order, the third Phryne Fisher mystery is as exciting as the rest of the books in this fabulous series. Taking place inin Australia in the 1920’s where women are gaining more freedom, the heroine is in the forefront of the equality under the law movement. She is independent, stubborn and generous to those she cares about. The killer hides in plane sight and for a time, much to Phryrne’s chagrin, fools the intrepid heroine.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner