Kerry Greenwood’s Flying Too High is the second of her Phryne Fisher books, and it’s the one that’s convinced me not to read any more.

When I read period books, I have a lot of tolerance toward characters with period attitudes. These characters think women are inferior? This character is an awful homophobe? As long as the book itself doesn’t seem to agree with the characters, I nearly always skip right by that without being unduly bothered. This may not be an ideal reaction, but it’s how I read.

And so there was a scene near the end of the first book that got really weird in a homophobic way—I’m reluctant to go into details for spoiler reasons—but it didn’t bother me unduly for that reason. But when the second book went to the same place in an even weirder and more offensive way (again, don’t want to spoil something from near the end), and did so in a way where it was clear that the author wasn’t writing super-weird/offensive historical attitudes but thought they were just writing something normal… yeah, no. The ick factor is high on this one.

So: tentative recommendation withdrawn, and I won’t be reading any more of these.


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