by NGuillon (france): Let me first say that I do not read Phryne Fisher mysteries as crime novels but as entertaining stories that make me smile (and admire Phryne of course). Here the different mysteries are rather thin but most characters are – as always – interesting and well constructed, although some are schematic. The entourage and household turns and twists (Mr Butler, Lin, Jack, Hugh etc.) are rather fun. I enjoyed very much discovering Phryne in Montparnasse just after the war and learning on her upbringing there. But as I am French, there is the snag ! A lot of small details are absolutely wrong… Just three examples, but there is more of course : one does not say “vin DU table” but “vin DE table” (n.f.) and yes it’s a current joke to say it is made of a real wooden table; the “chien qui fume” in Montparnasse did not exist before 1930 (but the “chien qui fume” in old Paris center, near Les Halles, did exist since 19th or even 18th century) ; it is impossible that Phryne coud see laundry drying on a line from window to window in rue Saint HonorĂ© (where is supposed to be Hotel Magnifique): this street is elegant and rather posh… and only low classes did such etc. That makes reading sometimes irritating, winch is too bad. On the other hand, the novel is really pleasant.

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