7 Reasons Why Miss Fisher Is TV’s Most Scintillating Sleuth

Sleek, stylish and sassy, Phryne Fisher is a far cry from your usual hard-bitten crime-buster…

Miss Fisher


Welcome to the world of Miss Phryne Fisher. And it very much is HER world. Sure, she lives in the early part of the 20th Century, when women are still expected to play by the rules of the menfolk, but Miss Fisher is having none of it. Being independently wealthy and independently minded, she goes wherever her whims take her, sashaying and sweeping through the glittering world of 1920s Melbourne, dazzling men (and women) wherever she goes.


Miss Fisher's wardrobe would put an entire edition of Vogue to shame. Seriously: even by the jazzy standards of the 1920s, this is a woman who slays the world with her fashion sense. Whether she's lounging around in a silk kimono, or turning up at a crime scene in a garlanded, gold-threaded waistcoat and emerald hat, she drips style from every available body part. Her hair - a mathematically precise bob, styled after silent film icon Louise Brooks - is a wonder. And her sense of style even extends to her choice of weapon. A gold-plated pistol, if you please.


Not only does Miss Fisher have the kind of whirring, deductive mind that makes her Down Under's answer to Sherlock Holmes, but she's also a dab hand with creating quick solutions from the nearest available objects. Case in point: the time she's faced with a poisonous spider, and quickly entraps it beneath her diaphragm. Now that's girl power, Jazz Age style.


Now, how many detectives out there can nonchalantly hop into a cockpit and take to the skies? That's the thing about Miss Fisher - she's nothing if not multi-talented. As well as being a daredevil pilot who looks fantastic in a pair of flight goggles, she's also a confirmed petrolhead. Breaking those gender stereotypes yet again, she has a passion for fast cars, and owns an exquisite, voluptuously contoured 1923 Hispano-Suiza. It's red, because of course she'd not going to drive around in anything drab.


Even in the roaring 20s, women are prone to being shamed for daring to have the same attitude to love, lust and romance as men do. But of course, that doesn't stop Phryne Fisher from pursuing her carnal desires at the drop of a hat. Put it this way, she's someone who relishes flirting with, teasing and seducing any man handsome enough to catch her interest. Her burgeoning love life, plus her skills with a pistol and steering wheel, almost make her a kind of female James Bond. Albeit far better dressed than Mr Bond ever was.


She might be fiercely independent, but Miss Fisher also has a heart of gold, and can't help rescuing and inspiring those in need. Especially when they're young women who don't enjoy the same privileges she herself has. One example is Dot, her faithful assistant and sidekick. Dot was a lowly maid when they first met, with no greater ambition than finding some dull man to settle down with. But under Miss Fisher's gilded wing, Dot flourishes to become a bit of a detective in her own right. Then there's Jane, a vulnerable girl with a rocky past - if anyone's in need of a saviour, it's her. And when Miss Fisher waltzes into her life, everything changes forever.


By now, it won't come as a surprise to learn Miss Fisher has attitudes that are utterly liberated for her time. Investigating a case involving a gay couple, she says, "Everybody should be allowed to marry whomever they choose. Although, personally, I'm not the marrying kind." She's also appalled at the prehistoric abortion laws that ruin young women's lives, and isn't against bending the rules to save those victimized by unjust laws. No ordinary sleuth, then. But then, there's nobody quite like Miss Fisher.