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Reviews
Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon
Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass
Dark Days by James Ponti
Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood
The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan
Doctor Who: The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve
The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Crazy Critter Race by Maxwell Eaton III
For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu
Fred and Ted's Road Trip by Peter Eastman
Free Fall by David Wiesner
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
Ghostbusters: Get Real by Erik Burnham
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 3: 1983-1984 by Ed Piskor
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper
The Master of Jalna by Mazo de la Roche
Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood
Nothing Up My Sleeve by Diana López
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean
The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
The River by Alessandro Sanna
Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen
The Sleepover by Jen Malone
Threadbare by Monica Ferris
To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson
Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

Miscellaneous
Diversity report for September 2016

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Death at Victoria Dock: 09/19/16

Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood

Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood is the fourth of the Phryne Fisher mysteries and the fourth as well in the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries television series (having swapped places with The Green Mill Murder).

The books always seem to have two mysteries: one domestic and one criminal. Phryne is usually hired by a woman to solve a case closely tied to her home or her place of work. The mystery is usually along the lines of a missing, injured, or ill person. Meanwhile, she usually through her personal exploits, gets involved in something nefarious: quite typically a death that ends up being a murder.

In the television series, these two mysteries are painfully forced together into one over arching plot making it so that Phryne only manages to solve the criminal case because of her intimate knowledge of the domestic case. This turns historical fiction with mystery trappings into a very stilted cozy where the historical setting is its gimmick. The books though the share the same characters and settings are much different in tone and except for their length, I wouldn't even try to consider them cozies.

Take for instance the opening scene of Death at Victoria Dock.

In the television show Phryne is at the dock at night to have a clandestine meeting with the dock's owner over the disappearance of his daughter. He believes her going missing is directly related to the labor strife the local anarchists are stirring up at the dock. On the way home this notion is born out when Phryne is recognized leaving the office and is shot at. An anarchist protester is caught in the cross fire.

In the book Phryne is by the docks because it is a short cut home. She is driving home late at night because that's when a young liberated woman has her fun. She's a night owl. She likes to drink, dance, and pick up beautiful men. The man shot is running from another man. She stops to help not because she works for his employer but because she horrified at the violence of the act.

It is also this volume that finally introduces Constable Hugh Collins. Here's the thing. He does not work for Detective Jack Robinson. He works for the docks. That is his beat. Here's another big difference, he's just as Catholic as Dot is. This whole idiotic problem with their budding romance over ties to one sect or another is made up for the television series to force some unneeded sexual tension between the two "pure" characters.

Three stars

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