Greenwood, Kerry 1954-

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Greenwood, Kerry 1954-

PERSONAL:

Born June 17, 1954, in Footscray, Victoria, Australia; daughter of Alan (a wharf laborer) and Jean Greenwood. Education: Melbourne University, English degree, L.L.B., 1979. Religion: Taoist. Hobbies and other interests: Embroidery, reading science fiction and fantasy.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Footscray, Victoria, Australia. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and lawyer. Worked variously as a folk singer, factory worker, film director and producer, translator, costume maker, cook, and barrister and solicitor for Sunshine Legal Aid. Advocate in Magistrates Court for Victoria Legal Aid Commission.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Aurealis Award, 1996, for The Broken Wheel; Children's Book of the Year Award honour book (Australia), 2002, for A Different Sort of Real: The Diary of Charlotte McKenzie, Melbourne, 1918-1919; Davitt Award, Sisters in Crime, 2002, for The Three-Pronged Dagger; Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

The Childstone Cycle, Mandarin (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1994.

The Broken Wheel, Collins Moonstone (Australia), 1996.

Whale Road (science fiction), Hodder Headline (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1996.

Cave Rats (science fiction), Hodder Headline (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1997.

Feral (science fiction), Hodder Headline (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1998.

Alien Invasions, Addison Wesley Longman Australia (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

The Three-Pronged Dagger, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

A Different Sort of Real: The Diary of Charlotte McKenzie, Melbourne, 1918-1919, Scholastic (Lindfield, New South Wales, Australia), 2001.

The Wandering Icon, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2002.

Danger: Do Not Enter, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

The Long Walk, Hodder (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2004.

Journey to Eureka, 2005.

"PHRYNE FISHER" SERIES

Cocaine Blues, McPhee Gribble (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1989, 2005, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2006.

Flying Too High, McPhee Gribble (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1990.

Murder on the Ballarat Train, McPhee Gribble (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1991, Fawcett Gold Medal (New York, NY), 1993, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 2005.

Death at Victoria Dock, McPhee Gribble (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1992, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2006.

The Green Mill Murder, McPhee Gribble (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1993, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2007.

Blood and Circuses, McPhee Gribble (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1994, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2007.

Ruddy Gore, McPhee Gribble (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1995, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2005.

Urn Burial, Penguin (Ringwood, Victoria, Australia), 1996, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2005.

Raisins and Almonds, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, Victoria, Australia), 1997, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2007.

Death before Wicket, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, Victoria, Australia), 1999, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2008.

Away with the Fairies, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 2001, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2005.

Murder in Montparnasse, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 2002, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2004.

The Castlemaine Murders, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 2003, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2005.

Queen of the Flowers, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 2004.

Death by Water, 2005, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2008.

Murder in the Dark, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 2006.

"DELPHIC WOMEN" SERIES

Cassandra, Mandarin (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1995.

Electra, Mandarin (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1995.

Medea, Mandarin (Kew, Victoria, Australia), 1997.

"CORINNA CHAPMAN" SERIES

Earthly Delights, 2004, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2007.

Heavenly Pleasures, 2005, Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2008.

Devil's Food, 2006.

Trick or Treat, 2007.

"STORMBRINGER" SERIES

Stormbringer, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

The Rat and the Raven, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

Raven's Rising, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2006.

Stormbringer: Lightning Nest, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2006.

OTHER

It Seemed like a Good Idea at the Time: A History of Springvale Legal Service (nonfiction), Monash University Press, 1994.

(With Jenny Pausacker) Recipes for Crime, Penguin (Ringwood, Victoria, Australia), 1995.

The Thing She Loves: Why Women Kill (nonfiction), Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia), 1996.

On Murder: True Crime Writing in Australia, Black Inc. (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

On Murder 2: True Crime Writing in Australia, Black Inc. (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2002.

(Editor) Bad to the Bones, CrimeWriters Queensland (Holland Park, Queensland, Australia), 2002.

Contributor of short fiction to anthologies, including Shadow Alley, edited by Lucy Sussex; A Dick for a Day, edited by Fiona Giles; Hide and Seek, edited by Jenny Pausacker; and Dreaming Down Under.

SIDELIGHTS:

Kerry Greenwood is a prolific and popular novelist in her home country of Australia. Best known for her "Phryne Fisher" mystery novels, Greenwood has also written science fiction for young adults and nonfiction titles about murder and the commission of crimes.

Greenwood's Phryne (pronounced Free-nee) Fisher is a fabulously wealthy, single Australian woman living the high life in the late 1920s. Phryne has servants and a beloved red sportscar, her clothing is lavish, and her culinary tastes decidedly haute cuisine. She also craves adventure, a penchant that has led her to work as a private detective.

Cocaine Blues is the first book in the series and was later published in the United States, although not in the order of the originals. It introduces the characters, including Inspector Robinson and others who return throughout the series. This first book also explains how Phryne's previous poverty has resulted in her empathy for those less fortunate. Cocaine and back-alley abortions figure in the cases she investigates in the opener. Phryne appears in Flying Too High as a pilot and as the subject of nude paintings. In Murder on the Ballarat Train, passengers succumb to chloroform, and Phryne comes to their rescue.

Phryne's windshield is shattered by bullets and a young man dies in her arms in Death at Victoria Dock. Anarchists threaten the members of Phryne's household, including her maid and companion, Dot, and Mr. and Mrs. Butler, who manage the household. She meets Peter Smith at a party, and he becomes her lover and aids her in discovering that a bank robbery is being planned to finance a revolution.

Australian Book Review contributor John Carroll reviewed the novel, writing: "All this is pure, unabashed Girls' Own Fantasy…. Greenwood carries it off because she writes well … talks the talk, knows her way around old Melbourne and reveals excellent insights into the criminal and political milieux of the period."

Other Greenwood books that have been reprinted include The Green Mill Murder, in which Phryne is investigating the murder of a dance contest participant. In Blood and Circuses, Phryne is asked by her former lover, carnival worker Alan Lee, to investigate incidents occurring at Farrell's Circus. A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote: "Circus oddities and exciting men produce a thrilling series of challenges for Phryne."

The plot of Ruddy Gore revolves around a revival of Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore. Actors are being poisoned, and company manager Sir Bernard Tarrant asks his friend Phryne to help stop the killings. Urn Burial finds Phryne and her Chinese lover, Lin Chung, taking a holiday, but the racist wife of the innkeeper gives them separate rooms at opposite ends of the building. Someone is leaving funeral urns for Phryne, who has a fling with another man while the mystery unfolds. Booklist contributor Jenny McLarin commented that this episode is "a cut above" and also described it as being "the most erotic to date."

In Away with the Fairies, a children's book illustrator is murdered, and in Murder in Montparnasse, Lin Chung is about to be married, while Phryne may be losing her staff. The Castlemaine Murders finds Phryne investigating the mystery of a bullet-riddled mummy.

Raisins and Almonds, first published in 1997 and then in the United States in 2007, features Phryne looking into the death of a young student in a bookshop, where the owner has been arrested for murder. Convinced that Miss Sylvia Lee is an unlikely murderer, Phryne is soon immersed in the Yiddish world (the book's title comes from a Yiddish lullaby) and a political mystery. "For a series that is generally light and amusing, this book is easily one of the darkest and most somber," wrote a contributor to the Mysterious Reviews Web page. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called Raisins and Almonds "another smashing tale of mystery and manners between the world wars."

Phyrne is looking for the missing sister of her maid Dorothy "Dot" Williams in Death before Wicket, first published in Australia in 1997 and printed in the United States in 2008. Rumor is that Dot's sister ran off with another man, abandoning her children and despot of a husband, but Dot cannot believe that her sister is partying around town and abandoning her children. The novel is set in Sydney, and "the change of scene … gives the delightfully refreshing Phryne … one of her best cases to date," noted a Kirkus Reviews contributor. The novel finds Phyrne not only looking for Dot's sister but also working on who stole copies of tests from a university safe. Along the way, she encounters dabblers in black magic. Harriet Klausner, writing on the Genre Go Round Reviews Web site, called the book "a terrific entry in one of the best historical mystery series on the market today." An Internet Bookwatch contributor noted that the author "has created a story that grips the reader's total attention from beginning to end."

Greenwood also has written a variety of other works. Her adult novels Cassandra, Electra, and Medea are treatments of ancient women of Greek fable. For young adults, she has written a loosely related science fiction series, including Whale Road, Cave Rats, and Feral. Magpies contributor Helen Purdie found Feral to be "an interesting study of a future society whose good intentions have been subverted by evil men."

Greenwood is a lawyer and has worked as an advocate with the Victoria Legal Aid Commission. From her experiences with women inmates she wrote one of her nonfiction titles, The Thing She Loves: Why Women Kill, a study of what motivates women to commit murder.

Corinna Chapman is the central character in a trio of books that begins with Earthly Delights. The title refers to the Melbourne bakery owned by the protagonist who lives in an apartment building populated by an interesting group of people, including a professor, a witch, computer nerds, a lady gardener, and two aspiring actresses/models who help in the bakery. The trouble begins when threatening letters begin arriving at the doors of Corinna and the other women in the building. The threats escalate to spray-painted warnings, the first appearing on the wall of the shop of dominatrix Mistress Dread. Corinna is helped in her investigation by Daniel Cohen, who delivers food to the homeless. "Poles apart from Greenwood's popular heroine Phryne Fisher … but equally delightful," noted a Kirkus Reviews contributor.

In Heavenly Pleasures, the next book in the series, new neighbors move into the building, which is in danger of being blown up. Where Phryne has a maid and butler, Corinna continues to be helped in the bakery by Goss and Kylie, as well as Jason, a recovering drug addict. The title refers to a shop that is being targeted by someone who is spiking the chocolates. Aussiereviews.com contributor Sally Murphy described the novel as "a delicious offering."

In her next book in the series, Devil's Food, Greenwood pits Corinna against a cult that denies the way of the flesh, including eating baked goods. When a body turns up dead from malnutrition, Corinna suspects that the cult has something to do with the death. Subplots include the strange Café Vlad Tepes and Corinna's hippie mother showing up after Corinna's father has taken off with all their money in search of young love. A contributor to the Tea and Tattered Pages Web site declared: "I truly relish her decadent little tales." In Trick or Treat, Corinna finds that her Earthly Delights bakery is facing stiff competition from a low-cost franchise bakery and from a tall and beautiful blond who is staying with Corinna's boyfriend, Daniel. In the meantime, there is an unusual spurt of people seemingly going mad around the Lonsdale Street area.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Australian Book Review, July, 1992, John Carroll, review of Death at Victoria Dock, pp. 57-58; February-March, 1993, Jane Stephens, review of The Green Mill Murder, pp. 51-52; June, 1994, John Carroll, review of Blood and Circuses, pp. 62-63.

Booklist, May 1, 2005, Jenny McLarin, review of Ruddy Gore, p. 1524; January 1, 2006, Jenny McLarin, review of Urn Burial, p. 67; March 15, 2006, Jenny McLarin, review of Cocaine Blues, p. 31; May 1, 2006, Ilene Cooper, review of Flying Too High, p. 22; September 1, 2006, Sue O'Brien, review of Murder on the Ballarat Train, p. 61; October 1, 2006, Sue O'Brien, review of Death atVictoria Dock, p. 41; March 1, 2007, David Pitt, review of The Green Mill Murder, p. 67; September 15, 2007, David Pitt, review of Raisins and Almonds, p. 39.

Internet Bookwatch, March, 2007, review of Death before Wicket.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of Ruddy Gore, p. 512; September 15, 2006, review of Death at Victoria Dock, p. 931; February 1, 2007, review of The Green Mill Murder, p. 102; March 15, 2007, review of Earthly Delights; April 15, 2007, review of Blood and Circuses; August 1, 2007, review of Raisins and Almonds; October 15, 2007, review of Death before Wicket.

Law Institute Journal, June, 1995, Ruth Boltman, review of The Childstone Cycle, pp. 595-596; November, 1995, Kate Armstrong, review of Recipes for Crime, p. 1172.

Law Society Journal, June, 2001, Irene Nemes, review of On Murder: True Crime Writing in Australia, p. 90.

Magpies, July, 1996, Jo Goodman, review of The Broken Wheel, p. 34; September, 1998, Helen Purdie, review of Feral, pp. 37-38; March, 2001, reviews of Recipes for Crime and The Three-Pronged Dagger, p. 14; March, 2003, review of The Wandering Icon, p. 33; March, 2004, Jane Connolly, review of The Long Walk, p. 34; September, 2005, Jo Goodman, review of Journey to Eureka, p. 35; November, 2006, Michael Janssen-Gibson, review of Stormbringer: Lightning Nest, p. 41.

Publishers Weekly, April 23, 2007, review of Earthly Delights, p. 33; July 30, 2007, review of Raisins and Almonds, p. 60.

ONLINE

Age,http://www.theage.com.au/ (August 14, 2003), "On the Couch with Kerry Greenwood," interview.

Aussiereviews.com,http://www.aussiereviews.com/ (June 3, 2007), Sally Murphy, reviews of The Green Mill Murder, Urn Burial, Death before Wicket, Ruddy Gore, Murder in Montparnesse, The Castlemaine Murders, Earthly Delights, and Heavenly Pleasures.

Bookloons,http://www.bookloons.com/ June 3, 2007, Mary Ann Smyth, reviews of Cocaine Blues, Flying Too High, Death at Victoria Dock, The Green Mill Murder, Ruddy Gore, Urn Burial, and Murder in Montparnasse, Nina de Angeli, reviews of Away with the Fairies and The Castlemaine Murders.

Earthlydelights.net.au/,http://www.earthlydelights.net.au/ (January 1, 2008), profile of author.

Genre Go Round Reviews Web site,http://genregoroundreviews.blogspot.com/ (November 4, 2007), Harriet Klausner, review of Death before Wicket.

Kerry Greenwood Home Page,http://www.phrynefisher.com (June 3, 2007).

Mysterious Reviews,http://www.mysteriousreviews.com/ (January 1, 2007), review of Raisins and Almonds.

Spacedoutinc.org,http://www.spacedoutinc.org/ (January 1, 2008), "Getting Feral with Kerry!," interview with author.

Tea and Tattered Pages Web site,http://bookedy.blogspot.com/ (January 11, 2006), review of Devil's Food.

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Greenwood, Kerry 1954-

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