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Raisins and Almonds


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About the Author

Kerry Greenwood was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has degrees in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on the 1st April 1982, a day which she finds both soothing and significant. Kerry has written three series, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D'Arcy, is an award-winning children's writer and has edited and contributed to several anthologies. The Phryne Fisher series (pronounced Fry-knee, to rhyme with briny) began in 1989 with Cocaine Blues which was a great success. Kerry has written twenty books in this series with no sign yet of Miss Fisher hanging up her pearl-handled pistol. Kerry says that as long as people want to read them, she can keep writing them. In 2003 Kerry won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Association.


The mysterious strychnine poisoning of scholarly Jewish immigrant Simon Michaels leads to one of the more complex and somber cases in the career of Greenwood's Australian Jazz Age amateur sleuth Phryne Fisher (Urn Burial, etc.). Fearing that the killing may signal a rise in anti-Semitism, affluent community leader Benjamin Abrahams hires Fisher to clear the name of his tenant, bookseller Sylvia Lee. Fisher, only slightly distracted by Benjamin's devastatingly handsome son, quickly exonerates Lee and dashes off in pursuit of the theory that Michaels was killed for a coded message that might be related to the local Zionist movement. Compared with some of the other entries in Greenwood's popular series, the mood is more serious and the identity of the murderer more mysterious, but fans will have no cause for complaint. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

I'm not afraid to say that I'm a fan of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher crime novels. They use the historical background and social currents of 1920s Melbourne to great effect. Private detective Phyrne herself is, of course, larger than life. Rich and beautiful, dressed in the most fashionable clothing (and indeed judging others by the style of their clothes) she has had an adventurous life with many lovers along the way. In Raisins and Almonds, Phryne is hired by the father of her latest beau, Simon Abrahams, to investigate the poisoning of a young Jewish man in an Eastern markets bookstore owned by Sylvia Lee. Sylvia has been locked up for the murder by the reliable, but slightly thick, Inspector 'call me Jack' Robinson, but as Phryne soon discovers, Sylvia is quite innocent. The trail leads into the dark alleyways and backstreets of Jewish politics, mysticism, poison and alchemy. While a bit darker than the usual Phryne Fisher novel, Raisins and Almonds still maintains a high standard of intrigue and fun. Kudos to Bolinda Audio for its commitment to bringing Australian books to the audio market. This is read by the engaging Helen Daniels, who brings the text to life with verve and aplomb. Shane Strange is a bookseller at Paperchain Bookstore, Canberra

Australian social pillar Phryne Fisher's penchant for offbeat lovers involves her in a case that requires the close study of Judaism....Anyone would enjoy dancing with handsome young Simon Abrahams.The clever heroine manages to carry on an affair with Simon, placate his doting mother, improve her knowledge of all things Jewish and ultimately solve a tricky and dangerous case....Another smashing tale of mystery and manners between the world wars.--Kirkus Reviews
Compared with some of the other entries in Greenwood's popular series, the mood is more serious and the identity of the murderer more mysterious, but fans will have no cause for complaint.--Publishers Weekly

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