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Ruddy Gore (2006)

Ruddy Gore (2006)
3.79 of 5 Votes: 5
1590583140 (ISBN13: 9781590583142)
poisoned pen press
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Ruddy Gore (2006)
Ruddy Gore (2006)

About book: On her way to the theatre, Phryne and her friend Bunji rescue an old Chinese woman from some thugs. In thanks, the woman and her son take her to their home for a reviving tot of cognac and a quick clean of their clothes. Phryne is immaculate, as always, but Bunji went all in and tore her stockings and dirtied her dress. Phryne is dressed all in silver with winged shoes (as Mercury) and the old woman likes her immediately. So does the young man.The theatre production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore is interrupted at interval when one of the leads collapses. Second half, he is replaced by his understudy who also collapses. Later that night, the older man dies, and Detective Jack Robinson is now investigating a murder. They have been dosed with laudanum. The manager, Sir Bernard Tarrant, is an old friend of Phryne’s and he asks her to check into other odd occurrences. He believes the ghost of his old lover, Dorothea, is haunting this production. People have lost gloves, mysterious messages have been delivered to lovers (and were fake) and there have been so many accidents. But she died more than twenty years ago, so how could people have seen her? And what does she want?***I’ve never heard of Ruddigore but it is a real G&S play, so there you go.The production is strained by the fact that it has not one, but two super flirty cast members, Leila Esperance and Gwilym Evans. They have unnerved everyone with their antics. Playing admirers off against each other.Unluckily, the doctor in the audience who is called up to help, is Dr Mark Fielding - another old flame of Phryne’s. She let him go, but she feels the pain of him paying attention to others. But the gorgeous Chinese man is intrigued by her and Lin Chung proves to be a wonderful lover. (Go girl)Jack is at a bit of a loss. The theatre is Phryne’s world. And the rivalries between all the different groups; dressers, doormen, wardrobe workers, electricians, stage production people, chorus, actors, and directors make it all the more intriguing.Plus, Jack is challenged by an overly aggressive Sergeant. He’s used to pummeling confessions out of people. It’s useless, because as Jack tells him, any good lawyer gets it thrown out at the court level and it wastes everyone’s time. His name is John Smith; called ‘Alias’ by everyone. *snorts*Dot makes sure that Phryne has her St Christopher medal when she attends a meeting with a medium. Bless her, but most of the usual supporting cast are less important in this volume and I miss them.It takes her a bit of time and some info from her new lover, to solve it all but she eventually does.Kerry Greenwood’s groups of inclusion this volume are homosexuals and the Chinese.An easy, entertaining read but not as good as the others3 stars

My deep adoration of Phryne Fisher, fashion plate, independent thinker, & lady detective extraordinaire, is confirmed by this outstanding outing. Deeply reminiscent of Ngaio Marsh for its setting in a Melbourne theater full of larger-than-life personalities, self-satisfied yet easily hurt actors, & way too many emotional outbursts, Ruddy Gore sees Phryne dealing with a series of mysteries revolving around a production of Gilbert & Sullivan's "Ruddigore" that seems to be cursed - especially when two cast members playing the same character are both poisoned during the course of one show. Add some strange goings-on in the local Chinese community, & ever-faithful ladies' maid Dot has good reason to be worried. Of course, she needn't be - Phryne dodges all kinds of danger & figures everything out without so much as a hair out of place. It's wonderful fun to read a series about a character like this - she's honestly someone I'd like to know, & definitely to have as a friend. Long live Phryne.
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I agree, I've read them all in order up to now, but after this I'm ready for a break. Not sure if it's the G & S, which I, too, loathe or just that the story isn't as good as the others.
Prepearing, as I was, a blog entry on the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta of the same name, this Australian import caught my eye in the Waterstones clearance box - still cost me £4.99 though! It seems that Phryne Fisher, the glam 20's flapper detective, has quite a following, this being the 15th in the series, apparently.Just as well, as I can't really work out who else would read this book other than her loyal fans or G&S alumni. Being one of the latter, I found it tremendous fun, if as contrived and ridiculous as one of Gilbert's plots (I think this was the point though), and Greenwood really nails the personality types who do inhabit this world of this type of theatre.
This installment sees Phryne investigating a series of deaths in a theatre company staging a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore—it's very much a case in which life imitates art, with some of the more over the top plot twists clearly a tongue-in-cheek homage to G&S. Phryne also gains a new, potentially long(ish) term partner in the form of Lin Chung, a local silk merchant. It's great to see an Asian man represented as a smart and desirable lover, and I do like the combination of him and Phryne.
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