Friday, February 6, 2015

Phryne Fisher and Nancy Drew




The Nancy Drew books (in their earlier incarnations) were one of my early reading addictions -- at one point I owned most of them and devoured them eagerly. No matter that the characters were completely one dimensional and the plots predictable -- Nancy was a take-charge, redoubtable heroine who ran the show without having to rely on others. I adored the books -- even though I find them pretty much unreadable now.

Well.


Imagine Nancy Drew all grown up and a member of the British aristocracy. Imagine that she's dumped the faithful blue roadster for a jazzy, shining red Hispano-Suiza and she's ditched boring old Beth and George for a private secretary/maid and a gaggle of interesting accomplices.  Hannah Gruen has been put out to pasture and a broad-minded and accomplished cook/butler couple are in charge of the somewhat rackety household which includes a series of distracting lovers  and beautiful boys who have replaced stodgy old Ned. 


Imagine that the setting is 1920s Australia. Imagine that Nancy has transmogrified into a glorious flapper, clad in the height of fashion (oh, the clothes she wears!) and as independent as a hog on ice. 

What you have is the PHRYNE FISHER BOOKS by Kerry Greenwood -- twenty plus gloriously entertaining confections.



I received the first four as a Christmas present and have been galloping through them much as I used to gallop through Nancy Drew. This isn't great or challenging writing but I found the books compulsively readable. Phryne is, like Nancy, pretty much one-dimensional and the plots are predictable - at least in these first four books -- there are many more in the series which I'll be reading soon. (There's a TV series as well but I haven't seen it--yet.)

As I said, lots of fun!








13 comments:

June said...

I have some "guilty pleasure" authors, whose books I read simply for the atmosphere, and for the descriptions of clothing. Kerry Greenwood sounds as if she could be one of those.

Ms. A said...

My little sister loved Nancy drew when she was young. I swear she ate books, always had one with her. Now she has to read when she can find the time.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

This sounds like a fun series and will definitely look into it. I loved Nancy Drew as a girl. I really enjoy reading and have a (bad?) habit of reading every book in a series, back to back, when I find a new author I like. I latched on to Lee Child's Reacher and couldn't put it down. Am on the (very looong) waiting list at the library for his latest book.
Sam

KarenB said...

I adore these books! So much fun! I'm also a big fan of Kerry Greenwood's Corinna Chapman books. They are modern day Melbourne with a cranky baker of ample size for the protagonist. I've seen one season of the TV show and, while they don't follow the plots, they do capture the feeling of the books.

Barbara Rogers said...

Oh joy...I also loved Nancy Drew, much more adventurous than Pollyanna who was promoted by my family. I have devoured Phyrne Fisher, and mistakenly pronounced her name to sound like a green potted plant (Fern) until seeing the Netflix set of the TV shows...which have great period costumes, houses, and autos! But I continue to read other female sleuths...many of whom are predictable...Marcia Muller's are my current light reading.

Jim Egerton said...

Yeap, We watch the series on PBS. Is as Vicki describes it. The lead character is vivacious. The lead character was asked what kind of life do you dream of and her reply was I live the life I dreamed of. Some kind of dreams that lady lives.

Frances said...

Vicki, I think that you will also enjoy the stylish tv programs. They have a certain arch attitude and interesting casting.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that more episodes are to be filmed.

(Yes, I also whipped through Nancy Drew, as well as The Hardy Boys books. Seems like there might have been a couple of other similar series?)

xo

NCmountainwoman said...

I haven't read any of the Phryne Fisher books, but I have become addicted to the series on Netflix. Just simple and good entertainment that doesn't require a lot of concentration.

Thérèse said...

I read as well all the Nancy Drew's, in French at the time of course. Her name was Alice Roy! :-)
I will perhaps give a try one day to Phryne.

Darla said...

I found your love of the Phryne Fisher books intriguing … because I can't get through the first one. ;-) That said, maybe it's because I watched the Australian series first and absolutely love it? Or just personal taste? No matter -- always happy to see someone enjoying their reading, and sharing their recommendations. Have fun!

Friko said...

hm, well, if you say so. If, in spite of the obvious danger of reaching the boredom threshold sooner rather than later you recommend these ;confections’ perhaps I will have a go.

I trust your judgement.

Carolyn said...

I haven't read the books, but I've loved Phryne on Netflix. Such fun. I love the period costumes and settings and Phryne always has a glint in her naughty eye. I was addicted to Nancy Drew, too. Much prefer the pre-1958 (?) I think it was when they were modified. I purchased several of the very old collectable ones through the years, but, like you, can no longer get through them.

Brian Miller said...

huh . how very interesting...
i of course read the hardy boys growing up...ha...its good to get lost in these easily readable books....