Paris in July; Series Challenge (book 12 of 20)
Phyrne Fisher is my hero. She's a woman far ahead of her time. Granted, it's her money that allows her to do what she likes, but she still does it. Set in 1920s Melbourne, the effects of the first world war are still being felt. Because she was an ambulance driver in France, I think she knows life is fleeting, and thus does what ever she wants. Be a dame detective? check. Have a Chinese lover and invite his intended wife over for dinner? check. Take in abused girls and give them opportunities? check. Wear the most fashionable, scandalous outfits? check and check.
Most of the books in this series are set in Australia, but luckily for Paris in July, much of this book is a flashback to Phryne's (fry-knee) time in Paris after the war, when she was hanging with the art crowd. Her buddies, Bert and Cec, met up with their army buddies in Paris for a crazy couple of days, and now, ten years later, someone is killing them off in Australia. They must have seen something, and Phryne is going to solve the case.
Phrne Fisher books are light, but with a noir feel, with dames that carry guns and aren't afraid to use them and snappy dialogue. Although set in the same time as Maisie Dobbs, they are really the exact opposites. I enjoy both, especially for the connections both have to the first world war and its effects, but where Maisie is methodical and introspective, Phryne flies along (sometimes in her plane!) and figures things out very quickly.