‘So, we’ve got Gratitude collecting girls who’re in trouble or can’t make a fuss,’ summarised Lin Chung. ‘Having no family, or none that want them back. We have an agency that is also collecting – or trying to collect – pretty little blonde girls. We have two ships, Thisbe and Pandarus, and we do not need to think about which one holds the slaves.’
‘We don’t?’ asked Bert.
‘Trust me that it will be the Pandarus,’ said Phryne. ‘It’s another name for pimp.’
‘Right-o,’ said Bert.
‘You said that this De Vere was English?’ asked Lin Chung.
‘Yair,’ said Collins, who still loathed the man.
‘Then a university education has clearly been wasted on him,’ he said calmly. ‘Both ships are named from Shakespeare. A Midsummer Night’s Dream and…’
‘Troilus and Cressidra,’ said Robinson, who doted on Shakespeare. A man who could sit down and buy a beer for, should he still be extant.
‘So we have all the facts,’ said Phryne. ‘This is what I plan to do.’
She expounded. Only Lin Chung and Dot were not very, very shocked.
By now, I’ve noticed something: every one of Miss Fisher’s books focuses on one aspect of the 1920s life in particular. This one concerns itself with the condition of women, and even more so with the white slave trade that seemed to be going on particularly in that decade (though there’s debate about whether it was as prominent as the media made it to be).
It is a strong novel, with a definite plot (more so than others I’ve read), that touches on the many different aspects of being a woman in that decade. Maybe even a bit too much, since in places, the depiction of the women’s condition takes over the story and follows the mystery only loosely. We learn especially of the difficult position girls who got pregnant out of wedlock found themselves in. It was still a time when a single mother was considered a disgrace her herself, her baby and especially her family. Many girls suffered heavy mistreatment for this.
But I also enjoyed learning about Miss Fisher’s past a bit more in details. Here she remembers her experience in WWI in particular and her miserable childhood in passing. I like it because this creates a character who is more complex than it may seem at first.
I really enjoyed this one.
In post is part of the Thursday Quotables meme. If you want to discover more about this meme and maybe take part in it, head over to Bookshelf Fantasies