Kerry Greenwood


Kerry Greenwood has written more than 60 books, including the 20-book Phryne Fisher crime series which has been made into the ABC TV series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

Clan Destine Press has the honour of publishing Kerry's ancient history novels: Out of the Black Land, set in Egypt; and The Delphic Women trilogy - Medea, Cassandra and Electra - set in ancient Colchis, Greece and Troy.

Kerry was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray. She has a degree in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on the 1st of April 1982, a day which she finds both soothing and significant. 

She has written a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D’Arcy, and has worked as a folk-singer, a factory hand, a director, a producer, a translator, a costume-maker, a cook, and also qualified as a solicitor to her great amusement. She embroiders very well, cannot knit, and has flown planes and leapt out of them (with parachute) in an attempt to cure her fear of heights. (She is now terrified of jumping out of a plane at 2000 metres but can climb ladders without fear). She can detect second-hand bookshops through walls.

She wishes it to be known that she bears no physical similarity at all to Phryne Fisher, being short and red-headed; but does resemble Corinna Chapman.

Her first book Cocaine Blues, a murder mystery set in the 1920s, was published by McPhee/Gribble in 1989 and, much to the author’s astonishment, was a success. The elegant and irrepressible sleuth, Phryne Fisher, has since returned (almost annually) in: Flying Too HighMurder on the Ballarat TrainDeath at Victoria DockThe Green Mill MurderBlood and CircusesRuddy GoreUrn BurialRaisins and AlmondsDeath Before WicketAway With The FairiesMurder in MontparnasseThe Castlemaine MurdersQueen of the FlowersDeath By WaterMurder in the DarkA Question of Death, Murder on a Midsummer Night, Dead Man's Chest, Unnatural Habits and Murder and Mendholssen

Kerry says that as long as people want to read them, she can keep writing them; and stresses that female hero’s name is pronounced Fry- knee. 

Kerry has contributed to many anthologies, edited by both Stephen Knight and Stuart Coupe; and to Dale Spender’s Weddings and Wives. She has also published a history of the Springvale Legal Service called It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time (M.U.P. 1994). 

The Childstone Cycle, a historical novel looking at seven women’s lives was brought out by Mandarin/Heinemann 1994. 

A cookbook and detective story pastiche called Recipes for Crime co-authored with Dr. Jenny Pausacker (McPhee Gribble 1995) was very well received; as was a book of essays on female murderers called The Thing She Loves: Why Women Kill (Allen and Unwin); and a story in and a story in Dreaming Downunder

Kerry’s YA fiction includes the fantasy novel The Broken Wheel which won the Aurealis Award for best Young Adult Science Fiction in 1996; WhaleroadCave Rats and Feral (a notable CBC listing).

In 2000 she edited On Murder, a series of essays on true crime and its sequel On Murder 2 in 2001. A 1918 diary A Different Sort of Real: The Diary of Charlotte McKenzie was an Honour book in CBC Book of the Year 2002. Her first young reader’s crime novel The Three Pronged Dagger won a Davitt Award, and was followed by the sequels The Wandering Icon and Danger Do Not Enter.    

These were followed by: two more childrens’ fantasy books, The Rat and the Raven and its sequel Lightning NestJourney to Eureka; the third Stormbringer book, Ravens Rising, (another CBC notable);  and a historical novel, The Long Walk, (a notable book).

In 2004 Kerry began a new detective series, featuring contemporary baker-sleuth Corinna Chapman, with Earthly Delights. Corinna returned in Heavenly PleasuresDevil’s FoodTrick or TreatForbidden Fruit. and Cooking the Books.

Kerry has a Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award and and Sisters in Crime Davitt Lifetime Achievment Award. She now wants another lifetime.

When she is not writing, she is the unpaid curator of seven thousand books, three cats (Belladonna, Dougal and Shadow) and a computer called Apple. For fun, she reads, walks and plants things.

She is not married, has no children and lives with an accredited Wizard. In her spare time, she stares blankly out of the window.