Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.
Phryne's second outing is solid, if it somewhat lacks some of the charm of the first. Greenwood's tendency to have two mysteries, unconnected, running concurrently, gets a bit bothersome here, especially since I was much more interested in the murder than the kidnapping and the latter takes over the second half of the book. Hell, we even have to read through Phryne's erotic tryst with clumsy Dr. Fielding before we get to the solution to the murder, which was actually extremely clever, especially considering the little hints left throughout the book, about Ancient Egypt being all the fad at the moment. Though it seems to me that if she had spent more time on the murder, there'd have been more clues for the reader to follow.
The addition of characters here really works, and I absolutely adore Bunji, as well as Mr. And Mrs. Butler, the housekeeper and butler to her newly purchased home base 221 The Esplanade (she went for the place because of the address, and added a B!) Bert and Cec are here again, as well as a brief appearance by detective-inspector Robinson and WPC Jones, lending a wonderful air of continuity, as well as letting us see more play of already established characters.
Ultimately, it was more disjointed than the first, which was a shame, because I felt as if at least half of it had the makings of a really fantastic murder-mystery.