The right book can instantly transport you to anywhere — and anytime — in the world. Every Thursday, we recommend one of our favorite books with a strong sense of place so you can see the sights, meet remarkable people, go on exciting adventures, and feel big feelings. Bonus: You don't even have to put on pants.
This post is part of our 'Weekend Getaway' series.
This weekend, we recommend a getaway to Queenscliff, Australia, with the glamorous mystery novel Dead Man’s Chest. You’ll enjoy a lovely holiday by the sea and join in the search for buried treasure with the indomitable Phryne Fisher.
A few things to know about our heroine Phyrne: She’s a fashionable feminist in 1928 Melbourne. She’s a wealthy aristocrat, and she’s a private detective who can fly a plane.
She also drives her Hispano-Suiza car like she’s on a race track at all times and wears trousers when it’s convenient. She’d never be caught without her pearl-handled pistol or a bottle of chompers.
In this installment (#18 in the series of 20; no need to read them in order), she and her household — her indomitable sidekick Dot, Phyrne’s adopted daughters, and their dog Molly — decamp to the beaches of Queenscliff for a bit of fun in the sun.
But trouble and Phyrne often arrive in town at the same time.
When the elderly caretakers of their rented house disappar, she’s on the case. The mystery of the missing couple leads to the discovery of a kidnapping, a smuggling ring, attempted murder, the menace known as the Phantom Pigtail Snipper, and, naturally, buried treasure.
Along the way, Phryne is unflappable as ever and adds a new member to her beautifully cobbled-together found family. Oh! There are Surrealists and plenty of cocktails, too. G&T, anyone?
The film Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears — Phryne and Jack and Dot and Collins on the big screen! — premieres on Acorn TV on 23 March. This is, perhaps, an excellent time to don a fancy outfit and raise a glass to our favorite lady detective. For more Phryne Fisher-related diversions, you might try The Miss Fisher Philes Podcast, The Adventuress Podcast, and Every Lady Needs a Hobby Podcast.
Phryne was getting out of the car. Dot closed her eyes. Miss Fisher was about to happen to someone again. — Kerry Greenwood
This charming mystery (250 pages) was published in November of 2010 by Poisoned Pen Press. The book takes you to the beach in 1920s Australia. Melissa read Dead Man's Chest and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.
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Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
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