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ARC Review: Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood

Submitted by on December 14, 2012 – 4:55 amNo Comment

Author: Kerry Greenwood
Title: Unnatural Habits
Release: December 31, 2012
Series: Phryne Fisher mysteries #19
Reviewer: Noa
Source: Netgalley/Publisher
Purchase: |Book Depository

1929: Girls are going missing in Melbourne. Little, pretty golden-haired girls. And not just pretty. Three of them are pregnant, poor girls from the harsh confines of the Magdalene Laundry. People are getting nervous.Polly Kettle, a pushy, self-important Girl Reporter with ambition and no sense of self preservation, decides to investigate – and promptly goes missing herself.It’s time for Phryne and Dot to put a stop to this and find Polly Kettle before something quite irreparable happens to all of them. It’s all piracy and dark cellars, convents and plots, murder and mystery …. and Phryne finally finds out if it’s true that blondes have more fun…

I want to be Phryne Fisher. I want her life, her house, her glorious outfits and her attitude towards life. Phryne is just so incredibly awesome that opening any book in the Phryne Fisher series is like opening a bar of chocolate… and Unnatural Habits was a seriously awesome bar of chocolate.

In Phryne’s latest adventure she’s faced with one of the toughest cases yet. When Phryne saves Polly Kettle, a female reporter from herself she discovers that girls have been disappearing in Melbourne, mostly poor girls and now – a group of three single and pregnant women from the Magdalene Laundry.

When Polly herself disappears after attempting to visit the home where the missing pregnant girls stayed during their confinement, Phryne decides to take matters into her own hands.

That’s when things get interesting. From Melbourne’s clubs and brothels to its poorest and then richest neighborhoods, a convent and white slavery. Kerry Greenwood has a way of weaving these stories so that every single time you think you know whodunnit there’s a bit of a twist. Yet more than the sublime plot – it’s the characters that get you every single time. Phryne and her minions (I love when she gathers her “minions”) including the newest addition of Tinker each use their own special talents to try and discover what happened to the missing girls and Polly Kettle.

This has to be one of my favorite books in the series so far. Unnatural Habits has everything that makes a Phryne Fisher mystery perfect: Swashbuckling adventure, an intriguing mystery and Mr. Butler’s cocktails but more than that, Unnatural Habits reveals a side to Phryne that the reader doesn’t get to see very often and it just made her character and this book even better. The scenes with Lin Chung are delicious but also extremely poignant and well, you just have to read it.

Unnatural Habits, 19th in the Phryne Fisher mysteries, proves that more of something good – is just a big dish of awesome and Kerry Greenwood knows how to serve awesome in spades.

Noa first fell in love with books when she discovered 100 acre wood and its inhabitants. To this day, the last pages of “The House at Pooh Corner” make her cry. In a good way. From“Calvin and Hobbes” to “The Iliad and the Odyssey” and lets not forget “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes”. Biographies, mysteries, history books and romances all have a place on her bookshelves. Who needs furniture? This 29 year old singleton’s dream is to invent the zero-calorie chocolate. But until that day arrives, she tries to create sweet confections with whatever chocolate she can find. An MA in conflict studies (need a mediator?) means Noa loves a good debate, especially when she wins. If she were in charge, books would be free for everyone.
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