Created by Kerry Greenwood (1954–)
Imagine Honey West as a flapper with a vorocious sexual appetite — and a clue.
In a popular series of novels by Australian author Kerry Greenwood, society gal and flapper turned private eye PHRYNE (pronounced Fry-knee, to rhyme with briny) FISHER prowls around jazz-era Melbourne, Australia, getting into all sorts of mischief, both sexual and otherwise, bouncing along from marvelous mansions and the swankiest of night spots to the lowliest of dives, armed only with a come-hither look, a pearl-handled .38 and a diaphragm.
But she’s no bimbo.
Sure, she likes sex (Boy, does she like sex!) and she’s certainly not above using what she’s got to get what she wants, but she’s also got a shrewd eye for detail, a cunning mind and some awesome detective skills, all fueled by a steely determination to put things right.
Of course, her sexual appetites were tuned way, way down when The Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries (2012-15) was produced for television, but in casting Essie Davis, the Australian producers may have just lucked onto the most sexually charged female private eye in television history since Anne Francis took on the role of Honey back in the sixties.
That, and the scrumptious production values (plus an author still pumping out original source material) kept the show going for three seasons, attracting a more-than-decent following — or at least a decent enough following to inspire fan conventions, a Kickstarter campaign to finance a feature film, Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (the first of a proposed trilogy) and even a special edition of Clue.
But there’s more. Ms Fisher’s MODern Murder Mysteries, a series of TV movies, made its debut on the Seven Network in Australia in 2019, featuring the adventures of Phryne’s niece, the thoroughly modern Peregrine Fisher in 1960s Australia.
And due to debut in 2020 was a so-far untitled re-boot, set in 1930s Shanghai, filmed in Mandarin, and starring popular Chinese actress Yili Ma as Miss Fisher (or whatever her name will turn out to be). It’s slotted to be the first-ever Mandarin-language adaptation of an Australian TV drama, but due to COVID-19, I’m not sure if it made it on air or not.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kerry Greenwood was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has degrees in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on the 1st April 1982, a day which she finds both soothing and significant. Kerry has since written several novels for both children and adults, several plays, and has edited and contributed to several anthologies, but of course she’s best known for t he Phryne Fisher series, and she says she has no plans of having Miss Fisher hanging up her pearl-handled pistol anytime soon. In 2003 Kerry won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Association.
- Cocaine Blues (1989; aka “Death By Misadventure”)
- Flying Too High (1990)
- Murder on the Ballarat Train (1991)
- Death at Victoria Dock (1992)
- The Green Mill Murder (1993)
- Blood and Circuses (1994)
- Ruddy Gore (1995)
- Urn Burial (1996)
- Raisins and Almonds (1997)
- Death Before Wicket (1999)
- Away With the Fairies (2001)
- Murder in Montparnasse (2002)
- The Castlemaine Murders (2003)
- Queen of the Flowers (2004)
- Death By Water (2005) | Buy this book | Buy the audio | Kindle it!
- Murder in the Dark (2006)
- Murder on a Midsummer Night (2008)
- Dead Man’s Chest (2010)
- Unnatural Habits (2012)
- Murder and Mendelssohn (2013) | Buy the book | Buy the audio | Kindle it!
- Death in Daylesford (2021) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- “Taking the Waters” (2017, Bound by Mystery)
- MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES
(2012-15, ABC [Australia])
Based on characters created by Kerry Greenwood
Writers: Deb Cox, Drew Proffitt, Chris Corbett, Shelley Birse, Michael Miller, Liz Doran, Ysabelle Dean, Josephine Martino, Kelly Lefever and Elizabeth Coleman.
Directed by Tony Tilse, Kate Dennis, David Caesar, Clayton Jacobson, Emma Freeman and Daina Reid
Producer: Every Cloud Productions: Fiona Eagger and writer/producer Deb Cox
Starring Essie Davis as PHRYNE FISHER
With Nathan Page as Detective Inspector Jack Robinson
Hugo Johnstone-Burt as Constable Hugh Collins
Ashleigh Cummings as Dorothy “Dot” Williams
Richard Bligh as Mr. Butler
Travis McMahon as Bert
Anthony Sharpe as Cec
Miriam Margolyes as Aunt Prudence
Tammy McIntosh as Dr. Elizabeth “Mac” Macmillan
and Ruby Rees-Wemyss as Jane
- Series One | Buy on DVD | Buy this Blu-Ray
- Cocaine Blues” (February 24, 2012)
- Murder on the Ballarat Train” (March 2, 2012)
- The Green Mill Murder” (March 9, 2012)
- Death at Victoria Dock” (March 16, 2012)
- Raisins and Almonds” (March 23, 2012)
- Ruddy Gore” (March 30, 2012)
- Murder in Montparnasse” (April 6, 2012)
- Away with the Fairies” (April 13, 2012)
- Queen of the Flowers” (April 20, 2012)
- Death by Miss Adventure” (April 27, 2012)
- Blood and Circuses” (May 4, 2012)
- Murder in the Dark” (May 11, 2012)
- Memses’ Curse” (May 18, 2012)
- Series Two | Buy on DVD | Buy this Blu-Ray
- Murder Most Scandalous” (September 6, 2012)
- Death Comes Knocking” (September 13, 2012)
- Dead Man’s Chest” (September 20, 2012)
- Deadweight” (September 27, 2012)
- Murder A La Mode” (October 4, 2012)
- Marked For Murder” (October 11, 2012)
- Blood At The Wheel” (October 18, 2012)
- The Blood of Juana the Mad” (October 25, 2012)
- Framed for Murder” (November 1, 2012)
- Death on the Viner” (November 8, 2012)
- Dead Airr” (November 15, 2012)
- Unnatural Habitsr” (November 22, 2012)
- “Murder Under the Mistletoer” (December 22, 2012)
- Series Three | Buy on DVD | Buy this Blu-Ray
- “Death Defying Acts” (May 8, 2015)
- “Murder and the Maiden” (May 15, 2015)
- “Murder and Mozzarella” (May 22, 2015)
- “Blood and Money” (May 29, 2015)
- “Death and Hysteria” (June 5, 2015)
- “Death at the Grand” (June 12, 2015)
- “Game, Set & Murder” (June 19, 2015)
- “Death Do Us Part” (June 26, 2015)
- MS. FISHER’S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES
(2019, Seven [Australia])Inspired by characters created by Kerry Greenwood
Created by Deb Cox & Fiona Eagger
Writers: Deb Cox, Samantha Winston, Chelsea Cassio, Jo Martino
Starring Geraldine Hakewill as Peregrine Fisher
With Joel Jackson as Det. James Steed
- UNTITLED CHINESE MISS FISHER PROJECT
(2020, Shanghai 99 Visual Company)
30 42-minute episodes
Writers: Jin Weiyi
Creative consultants: Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox
Starring Yili Ma as (MISS FISHER)?
Also starring Weiguang Gao
- MISS FISHER AND THE CRYPT OF TEARS
(2019, Every Cloud Productions)
Based on Characters created by Kerry Greenwood
Writer: Deborah Cov
Directed by Tony Tilse
Starring Essie Davis as PHRYNE FISHER
Also starring Nathan Page, Ashleigh Cummings, Miriam Margolyes, Jacqueline McKenzie, Rupert Penry-Jones, Hugo Johnstone-Burt
- They Come From Lands Down Under
Eyes at Work in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand