By Kerry Greenwood
It’s the Nineteen Twenties in Melbourne and Phryne is requested to enquire the difficult loss of life 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 forthcoming go back from a silk-buying excursion to China, she as an alternative gets an strange summons from Lin Chung’s relatives via a chain of mysterious attacks and warnings.
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Additional resources for Away With the Fairies: A Phryne Fisher Mystery
Underneath the calmly fashionable exterior, a considerable part of Phryne was concerned with Lin Chung. That had been a very nasty dream. She opened the door and went into a large office. It was full of desks, flowers, clothes, people, typewriters and confusion. Phryne stood back as a girl rushed past her with an armload of pasted-up papers, hair flying out of its bun and pencil behind her ear. A young woman with ink on her face exclaimed, ‘Blast! Who’s taken my scissors? ’, and an old lady with white hair reproved, ‘Language, dear.
The difference it has made in the world is remarkable. ’ ‘Yes, Miss,’ said Dot. ’ ‘And one was always cold,’ said Phryne, consideringly. Both 36 FAIRIES TEXT PAGES 15/10/03 3:27 PM Page 37 she and Dot shivered at the same moment, remembering the grubby flannel, the fugitive soap, the pervasive sense of not-quite removed-grime and cold. ‘Never mind, Dot, dear,’ said Phryne bracingly. ’ Dot, thinking of deep baths full of lathery hot water above which the only part of Dot which could be seen was her nose, laughed and agreed.
The little shop was hot. Phryne was counting her time. Ten minutes for a reply was the utmost that could be expected when everyone had to translate the message. Twenty minutes was verging on discourtesy. Half an hour in a stuffy little shop was over the edge and trotting along towards a calculated insult. Outside, Little Bourke Street went on its way, noisy, prosperous, alien, strangely scented and fascinating. Inside it was tedious and getting hotter. Cantonese voices began to sound metallic in her ears as she strained after the sense of what they were saying.