Unnatural Habits is the 19th in the Phryne Fisher series by Melbourne writer Kerry Greenwood. Set in Melbourne in 1929, it is a riveting tale of missing journalists, unfortunate girls, sadistic sisters (of the religious kind) and white slave traders.
The Hon. Phryne Fisher is on the trail of Polly Kettle, a journalist with no sense of self-preservation who has gone missing after investigating a spate of missing girls. Following in her footsteps, Phryne and her companion Dot delve into Melbourne’s demi-monde, the Abbotsford convent and end up on a boat bound for the East.
It is the type of book that has me sitting up until midnight to finish it, Mr BG already tucked up in bed :).
One of the things I love about Kerry Greenwood, is her devotion to historical research. She provides a bibliography at the end of the book, with brief notes. The historical accuracy brings a sense of realism to the books, particularly when describing the conditions of laundries operated by religious orders as a means of employing young women whose only crime was that they were single and pregnant.
Above all it is a rollicking read and another page turner from one of the doyennes of Australian crime fiction.