Patrons in the front row, beware: Orchestra conductors are dropping like flies.
That clever, beautiful and sometimes-deadly sexual free spirit, the Honorable Phryne Fisher, is always happy to help her friend Melbourne DI Jack Robinson with investigations in which he feels at sea. Case in point: Widely disliked conductor Hedley Tregennis is found dead, part of the score of Mendelssohn’s "Elijah" thrust down his throat. Before choking on the score, he’d been poisoned with morphine. At Jack’s urging, Phryne joins the Melbourne Harmony Choir, which is rehearsing at the Scots Church Assembly Hall, in search of the killer. Appearing as a lecturer at the same hall is the coldly brilliant and physically striking English mathematician Rupert Sheffield, accompanied by Dr. John Wilson, who’s in love with him. Adding complication, there have recently been several attempts on Rupert's life, possibly from someone with a grudge against him dating to his work as an agent and codebreaker during the war. Phryne had been Wilson’s only female lover when they were both helping in a field hospital during the hellish battles of World War I. Once she renews their affair, she’s determined to get the self-absorbed Rupert to understand and value John’s love. In an effort to uncover the conductor's killer, Phryne cultivates the choir members and staff. When a second, equally unpopular conductor is poisoned with arsenic and the attacks on Rupert continue, Phryne enlists the help of her immediate family and diverse friends to help solve both cases.
Another action-filled adventure from the Roaring ’20s (Unnatural Habits, 2013, etc.) lifted to the upper reaches of the series by its pointed social commentary.