The blazing hot Australian summer of 1929 doesn’t deter the Hon. Phryne Fisher (Murder in the Dark, 2009, etc.) from taking on two new cases.
A distraught mother asks Phryne to investigate her son’s death by drowning. Though the fatality has been ruled an accident caused by strong liquor, Mrs. Manifold says that her son Augustine, self-educated owner of a successful antique shop, never took more than a glass of sherry at Christmas. The second case is brought to her by a lawyer representing the Bonnetti family. Their mother recently died, and her will divided her considerable fortune among her children. The problem is that the family suspects she had an illegitimate child before she was forced to marry their father. Finding whether the child exists and is still living will be no easy task. Augustine’s friends are a bizarre bunch ranging from wealthy snobs to spiritualists, Kif smokers and a mysterious motorcyclist, all evidently in search of treasure. Phryne, who’s used to dealing with offbeat people, finds most of this crowd loathsome. On the other hand, the oh-so-proper Bonnetti family members are uneasy and obviously hiding secrets. Phryne receives her customary support from friends, including her lover Lin Chung, her family, staff and DI Jack Robinson as she plunders the present and past for clues.
Phryne’s devoted following will rejoice as she glides through dangerous situations and survives the sizzling summer in inimitable style.