Twitter Tumblr FlickrFacebookContact me
Now Previous Articles Road Essays Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio

Recent posts


Month in review

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

Previous month

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



Murder on the Ballarat Train: 09/14/16

Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood

Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood is the third of the Phryne Fisher mysteries and the inspiration for the second of the television series. It's also the point where I've been convinced that I much prefer book Phryne to television Phryne.

Though the books are short, each one coming at around 175 pages, they are more detail oriented than the episodes. For instance, this book opens with Phyrne woken to the bitter smell of chloroform which has penetrated the entire first class car of the Ballarat Train. A woman is found with a rag of it to her face and burns from the chemical.

In the TV episode, the woman recovers within minutes and is carefully whisked away by Phyrne before Jack Robinson can interrogate her. While, yes, she does end up going home with Phryne it's a much more drawn out series of events. She spends about half of the book recovering from being chloroformed.

And that brings up the next big difference between book and TV. While both are set in and around Melbourne and the series is filmed in Melbourne, I suspect the TV producers have only limited access to places.

So rather than going to the place described, they go somewhere that can pass for it. Which means they can take short cuts and places are compressed for plot convenience. Meaning, that when the train to Ballarat is attacked and the woman's mother is murdered, somehow the train is within Jack Robinson's jurisdiction. It's also an easy trip for Mr. Butler to bring Phryne her car. Ballan, where the train stops for the night, is about 40 miles from Melbourne, not too far by modern standards but in the 1920s when highways were first being paved, 40 miles was a goodly distance in deed.

Then there's Phryne herself. Although she's still portrayed as a sexually liberated woman, she is more prim on TV than she is in the books. In The Train to Ballarat there is a young man on the rowing team. In the book there are two chapters dedicated to Phryne "interrogating" him from her bed. In the TV episode she says she couldn't possibly sleep with him while she's on a case!

Five stars

Comments (0)


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment: