Phryne Fisher

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Phryne Fisher
Phryne Fisher mysteries character
First appearance Cocaine Blues
Created by Kerry Greenwood
Gender female
Title The Honourable
Spouse(s) NA
Children two adopted daughters, Jane Fisher and Ruth Fisher
Religion Church of England

The Honourable Phryne Fisher (/ˈfr.n/, often referred to as "Miss Fisher") is the main character in Australian author Kerry Greenwood's series of Phryne Fisher detective novels. Phryne is a wealthy aristocrat who lives in St Kilda, Melbourne in 1928. She is a 28-year-old (born January 13th, 1900) detective who, with the assistance of her maid Dot and Bert and Cec (who are wharfies, taxi drivers and red raggers), solves all manner of crimes. Phryne is no ordinary aristocrat, as she can fly a plane, drives her own car (a Hispano-Suiza) and sometimes wears trousers. However, while displaying bohemian panache, she manages also to maintain style and class.[1] Her personality seems to match exactly that of her 4th century BC namesake, Phryne.

Phryne's history[edit]

Phryne was not always rich, having been born into a poor family in Richmond, Melbourne. During World War I several young men between the 'title' and her father died, thus making her an Hon with an enormous fortune. After finishing school, Phryne ran away to France where she joined a French women's ambulance unit during WWI, receiving a reward for bravery and a French war pension. She then worked as an artist's model in Montparnasse after the war. After several years here and there, Phryne moved from England to Melbourne temporarily to investigate for a family friend. She enjoyed the lifestyle so much she stayed on permanently. Through the course of the books, Phryne collects a personal maid, Dot; two adoptive daughters, Ruth and Jane (whom she rescued from slavery); a cat, Ember; a dog, Molly; and two loyal servants, the Butlers. She also has relationships with a string of lovers, most notably Lin Chung, a wealthy Chinese man (whom she rescues in the city one evening). Lin is the only lover with whom she maintains a relationship for more than a few books and even goes so far as to make a deal with his grandmother that when he is married she be allowed to continue a relationship with him. So far Phryne's life is going swimmingly.

Main characters[edit]

  • Phryne Fisher
  • Dorothy 'Dot' Williams – Phryne's confidential maid and social secretary
  • Jane (née Graham) and Ruth (née Collins) Fisher – Phryne's adopted daughters
  • Detective Inspector John 'Jack' Robinson – Phryne's police insider
  • Lin Chung – Phryne's lover
  • Li Pen – A Shao Lin monk and Lin's bodyguard
  • Bert and Cec (Albert Johnson and Cecil Yates) – Phryne's investigative assistants
  • Mr and Mrs Butler – Phryne's butler and cook
  • Hugh Collins – one of Jack's policemen and Dot's husband-to-be

The books[edit]

  1. Cocaine Blues (1989) aka Death by Misadventure[2]
  2. Flying Too High (1990)
  3. Murder on the Ballarat Train (1991)
  4. Death at Victoria Dock (1992)
  5. The Green Mill Murder (1993)
  6. Blood and Circuses (1994)
  7. Ruddy Gore (1995)
  8. Urn Burial (1996)
  9. Raisins and Almonds (1997)
  10. Death Before Wicket (1999)
  11. Away with the Fairies (2001)
  12. Murder in Montparnasse (2002)
  13. The Castlemaine Murders (2003)
  14. Queen of the Flowers (2004)
  15. Death by Water (2005)
  16. Murder in the Dark (2006)
  17. Murder on a Midsummer Night (2008)
  18. Dead Man's Chest (2010)
  19. Unnatural Habits (2012)
  20. Murder and Mendelssohn (2013)
  • The Phryne Fisher Mysteries: Cocaine Blues / Flying Too High (omnibus) (2004)
  • A Question of Death (short story collection) (2008)


Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is a television drama series based on the novels, starring Essie Davis in the title role. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Every Cloud Productions produced the series of thirteen one-hour episodes, the first series of which premiered on ABC1 on 24 February 2012.[1]


  • Greenwood, Kerry (2006). Cocaine Blues. Scottsdale, Arizona: Poisoned Pen Press. ISBN 1-59058-236-5. 
  • Greenwood, Kerry (2006). Death at Victoria Dock. Scottsdale, Arizona: Poisoned Pen Press. ISBN 1-59058-238-1. 
  • Greenwood, Kerry (2006). Murder on the Ballarat Train. Scottsdale, Arizona: Poisoned Pen Press. ISBN 1-59058-241-1. 


External links[edit]