This is the first book in the Phryne Fisher Mystery series, a charmingly written series set in in early 20th century Melbourne, Australia. The atmospheric and well-researched details in these novels create an engrossing view into 1920s Melbourne society at all levels. The cast has its regulars, like Jack Robinson, the long-suffering and orchid-loving policeman, Cec and Burt, the wharfies who hope for a socialist revolution, and Lin Chung, the well-to-do son of Chinese immigrants. Included in each book is an ever-changing variety of folks from all walks of Australian life, who round out the cast. Occupying center stage is the beautiful and wealthy Honourable Phryne Fisher, from lower-class roots and enjoying her unexpected upper-class life due to a strange and sideways inheritance. Phryne's hair is cut in a modish bob, her figure is fashionably boyish, her outfits "should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions," and her adventures never fail to entertain.