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Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher Series #1)

Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher Series #1)

4.0 32
by Kerry Greenwood

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This is where it all started! The first classic Phryne Fisher mystery, featuring our delectable heroine, cocaine, communism and adventure. Phryne leaves the tedium of English high society for Melbourne, Australia, and never looks back. The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher—she of the green-gray eyes,


This is where it all started! The first classic Phryne Fisher mystery, featuring our delectable heroine, cocaine, communism and adventure. Phryne leaves the tedium of English high society for Melbourne, Australia, and never looks back. The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher—she of the green-gray eyes, diamant garters and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions—is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia. Almost immediately from the time she books into the Windsor Hotel, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned wives, cocaine smuggling rings, corrupt cops and communism—not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse—until her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The growing American audience for Kerry Greenwood's independent 1920s female sleuth will be delighted that Cocaine Blues: A Phryne Fisher Mystery, the Australian author's diverting first mystery, is finally available in the U.S. Fisher's quick, off-the-cuff, solution to a high society jewel theft leads her to a variety of other puzzles, including identifying the king of snow, who has taken over the Melbourne drug trade. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"The growing American audience for Phryne Fisher, Australian author Greenwood's independent 1920s female sleuth, will be delighted that her diverting first mystery is finally available in the U.S. Fisher's off-the-cuff solving of a high society jewel theft leads her to her first professional engagement when a witness to her brilliance asks her to investigate a possible poisoning-in-progress. The detective's admirable willingness to intervene to help those in distress involves her in a variety of other puzzles, including identifying the King of Snow, who has taken over the Melbourne drug trade. Many of the members of Fisher's entourage familiar from later novels make their debuts as well." -Publishers Weekly

"The tricky plot, lively writing, likable flapper sleuth, and superb sense of period will delight readers who have already read (or will be motivated to seek) later books in the series already issued by Poisoned Pen." -Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

"With Phryne Fisher, the indefatigable Greenwood has invented the character-you-fall-in-love-with genre." -The Australian

To all the ladies of indeterminate age I have offended - I proffer this apology. Well most of an apology. Definitely in the realm of thirty percent of an apology? For several years now I have been recommending the Phryne Fisher series to ladies of indeterminate age. The flaw in this recommendation is not in the books themselves, but in basing my recommendation on a review by someone who I thought was trustworthy in their assessments of books (I am seriously readdressing my confidence in their judgment). Meaning? Up until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn't read Cocaine Blues myself—Man, I didn't know what I was missing! These books are great fun! Cocaine Blues , the first in series, is wonderful. When we meet Miss Fisher, she is approached by an anxious father and mother (family acquaintances) who are worried about their daughter. They think that their daughter's husband might be poisoning her in order to inherit her money. Miss Fisher, who is at loose ends in England, agrees to the commission and sails to Melbourne (Australia in case you are geography challenged) to investigate. And investigate she does! Uncovering communists, corrupt cops and cocaine in the execution of her commission - it was one wild ride! Now this is where I must offer up at least twenty-five percent of an apology. I was under the impression that these books were written in the traditional English cozy style (think Agatha Christie only in Australia), a subgenre famous for its lack of onstage violence or sex and strong language. Well, those of you who have read Miss Fisher must be giggling a little by now - since Miss Fisher breaks all these rules! She has few qualms with following the investigation (or her own fancy) wherever it may lead, whether it is letting a Russian dancer seduce her, perpetrating revenge or cracking a smuggling ring - she does it all on her own terms. Which is great fun to read! There is swearing, drinking, sex, violence and much more—and yet these books are charming. Greenwood does a great job of dancing on and around the line keeping them both tasteful and shocking - without becoming gratuitous. The main mystery itself is well worked and plotted, perhaps as a veteran reader it is a hair obvious, however all the smaller mysteries are a bit more obscure and well executed. Greenwood also does a great job in creating an array of people whom you become interested in reading about and getting to know better in future installments. I managed to devour the first five of the series in rapid succession before I had to forcibly slow myself down or I would read them too fast! Here's where I am offering fifteen percent of an apology to all the relatives and to the ladies themselves (of indeterminate age) who came in looking for nice soft cozies, books where "ah shucks!" is the strongest epithet used and a peck on the cheek considered scandalous. Readers who might have been a bit shocked when they started reading about Miss Fisher's exploits. Now that I have read these delightful, well polished mysteries I have a hard time even offering up ten percent of an apology! Especially since I find myself in a position where my formerly uninformed opinion of the books was good, now that I have read them my good opinion has been strengthen to great! So here it is - To all the ladies of indeterminate age & their families I have offended by offering an excellent book ( Cocaine Blues ) which did not follow the conventions of the fiction I thought I was suggesting - I offer five percent of an apology and the assurance that in the future I will place a caveat (ie. telling them its lack of coziness) on this great series when I place Cocaine Blues in their hands and tell them they should read it!
Historical Novel Society
But in every other way, the novel is as entertaining and satisfying as the TV series, and it will delight new readers as well as long-time fans of the irrepressible, intrepid Miss Fisher.
Cocaine Blues is a whodunnit with racy bits and a nod to fashion history.

Product Details

Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date:
Phryne Fisher Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

Cocaine Blues

A Phryne Fisher Mystery

By Kerry Greenwood

Poisoned Pen Press

Copyright © 1989 Kerry Greenwood
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-59058-385-2


Will go, like the centre of sea-green pomp ... upon her irretrievable way.

'The Paltry Nude Starts on a Voyage',

Wallace Stevens

The glass in the French window shattered. The guests screamed. Over the general exclamation could be heard the shrill shriek of Madame St Clair, wife of the ambassador, 'Ciel!Mes bijoux!

Phryne Fisher stood quietly and groped for a cigarette lighter. So far the evening had been tedious. After the strenuous preparations for what was admittedly the social event of the year, the dinner had been a culinary masterpiece—but the conversation had been boring. She had been placed between a retired Indian Colonel and an amateur cricketer. The Colonel had confined himself to a few suitable comments on the food but Bobby could recite his bowling figures for each country match for two years—and did. Then the lights had gone out and the window had smashed. Anything that interrupted the Wisden of the Country House matches was a good thing, thought Phryne and found the lighter.

The scene revealed in the flickering light was confused. The young women who usually screamed were screaming. Phryne's father was bellowing at Phryne's mother. This, too, was normal. Several gentlemen had struck matches and one had pulled the bell. Phryne pushed her way to the door and slipped into the front hall, where the fuse box door hung open, and pulled down the switch marked 'main'. A flood oflight restored everyone except the most gin-soaked to their senses. And Madame St Clair, clutching melodramatically at her throat, found that her diamond necklace, reputed to contain some of the stones from the Tsarina's collar, was gone. Her scream outstripped all previous efforts.

Bobby, who had a surprisingly swift grasp of events, gasped, 'Gosh! She's been robbed!' Phryne escaped from the babble to go outside and scan the ground in front of the broken window. Through it she could hear Bobby saying ingenuously, 'He must have broken the jolly old glass, hopped in, and snaffled the loot! Daring, eh?'

Phryne gritted her teeth. She stubbed her toe on a ball and picked it up—a cricket ball. Her feet crunched on glass—most of it was outside. Phryne grabbed a passing gardener's boy and ordered him to bring a ladder into the ballroom.

When she regained the gathering she drew her father aside.

'Don't bother me, girl. I shall have to search everyone. What will the Duke think?'

'Father, if you want to cut out young Bobby from the crowd, I can save you a lot of embarrassment,' she whispered. Her father, who always had a high colour, darkened to a rich plum.

'What do you mean? Good family, goes back to the Conquerer.'

'Don't be foolish, Father, I tell you he did it, and if you don't remove him and do it quietly the Duke will be miffed. Just get him, and that tiresome Colonel. He can be a witness.'

Phryne's father did as he was bid, and the two gentlemen came into the card room with the young man between them.

'I say, what's this about?' asked Bobby. Phryne fixed him with a glittering eye.

'You broke the window, Bobby, and you pinched the necklace. Do you want to confess or shall I tell you how you did it?'

'I don't know what you mean,' he bluffed, paling as Phryne produced the ball.

'I found this outside. Most of the glass from the window was there, too. You pushed the switch, and flung this ball through the glass, to make that dramatic smash. Then you lifted the necklace off Madame St Clair's admittedly over-decorated neck.'

The young man smiled. He was tall, had curly chestnut hair and deep brown eyes like a Jersey cow. He had a certain charm and he was exerting all of it, but Phryne remained impervious. Bobby spread out his arms.

'If I pinched it, then I must have it on me. Search me,' he invited. 'I won't have had time to hide it.'

'Don't bother,' snapped Phryne. 'Come into the ballroom.' They followed her biddably. The gardener's boy erected the ladder. Mounting it fearlessly (and displaying to the company her diamanté garters, as her mother later informed her) Phryne hooked something out of the chandelier. She regained the floor without incident, and presented the object to Madame St Clair, who stopped crying as suddenly as if someone had turned off her tap.

'This yours?' Phryne asked, and Bobby gave a small groan, retreating to the card room.

'By Jove, that was a cunning bit of detection!' enthused the Colonel, after the disgraced Bobby had been allowed to leave. 'You're a sharp young woman. My compliments! Would you come and see m'wife and m'self tomorrow? A private matter? You could be just the girl we've been looking for, bless my soul!'

The Colonel was far too firmly married and full of military honours to be a threat to Phryne's virtue, or what remained of it, so she agreed. She presented herself at 'Mandalay', the Colonel's country retreat the next day, at about the hour when it is customary for the English to take tea.

'Miss Fisher!' gushed the Colonel's wife, who was not a woman generally given to gushing. 'Do come in! The Colonel has told me how cleverly you caught that young man—never did trust him, reminded me of some of the junior subalterns in the Punjab, the ones who embezzled the mess funds ...'

Phryne was ushered in. The welcome exceeded her deserts and she was instantly suspicious. The last time she had been fawned over with this air of distracted delight was when one county family thought that she was going to take their appalling lounge-lizard of a son off their hands, just because she had slept with him once or twice. The scene when she declined to marry him had been reminiscent of early Victorian melodrama. Phryne feared that she was becoming cynical.

She took her seat at an ebony table and accepted a cup of very good tea. The room was stuffed to bursting with brass Indian gods and carved and inlaid boxes and rich tapestries; she dragged her eyes away from a very well-endowed Kali dancing on dead men with a bunch of decapitated heads in each black hand, and strove to concentrate.

'It's our daughter Lydia,' said the Colonel, getting to the point. 'We are worried about her. She got in with a strange set in Paris, you see, and led a rackety sort of life. But she's a good girl, got her head screwed on and all that, and when she married this Australian we thought that it was the best thing. She seemed happy enough, but when she came to see us last year she was shockingly pale and thin. You ladies like that nowadays, eh? But all skin and bone, can't be good ... er ahem,' faltered the Colonel as he received a forty-volt glare from his wife and lost his thread. 'Er, yes, well, she was perfectly all right after three weeks, went to Paris for a while, and we sent her off to Melbourne brisk as a puppy. Then, as soon as she arrived back, she was sick again. Here is the interesting thing, Miss Fisher: she went to some resort to take a cure, and was well—but as soon as she came back to her husband, she was sick again. And I think ...'

And I agree with him,' added Mrs Harper portentously. 'That there's something damned odd going on—beg pardon, my dear—and we want some reliable girl to find out.'

'Do you think her husband is poisoning her?'

The Colonel hesitated but his spouse said placidly, 'Well, what would you think?'

Phryne had to agree that the cycle of illness sounded odd, and she was at a loose end. She did not want to stay in her father's house and arrange flowers. She had tried social work but she was sick of the stews and sluts and starvation of London, and the company of the Charitable Ladies was not good for her temper. She had often thought of travelling back to Australia, where she had been born in extreme poverty, and here was an excellent excuse for putting off decisions about her future for half a year.

'Very well, I'll go. But I'll go at my own expense, and I'll report at my leisure. Don't follow me with frantic cables or the whole thing will be U.P. I'll make Lydia's acquaintance on my own, and you will not mention me in any of your letters to her. I'll stay at the Windsor.' Phryne felt a thrill at this. She had last seen that hotel in the cold dawn, as she passed with a load of old vegetables gleaned from the pig-bins of the Victoria Market. 'You can find me there, if it's important. What is Lydia's married name and her address? And tell me—what would her husband inherit if she died?'

'Her husband's name is Andrews, and here is her address. If she dies before him without issue, he inherits fifty thousand pounds.'

'Has she any children?'

'Not yet,' said the Colonel. He produced a bundle of letters. 'Perhaps you'd like to read these,' and he put them down on the tea table. 'They are Lydia's letters. She's a bright little thing, you'll find—very canny about money—but she's besotted with this Andrews feller,' he snorted. Phryne slipped the first envelope and began to read.

The letters were absorbing. Not that they had any literary merit, but Lydia was such an odd mixture. After a dissertation on oil stocks that would not have disgraced an accountant, she indulged in terms of such honeyed sentimentality about her husband that Phryne could hardly bear to read it. My tom-cat has been severe with his mouse because she was dancing with a pretty cat at supper last night, read Phryne with increasing nausea. And it took two hours of stroking before he became my good little kitten again.

Phryne ploughed on while the Colonel's wife kept refilling her tea-cup. After an hour she was awash with tea, and sentiment. The tone became whining after Lydia reached Melbourne. Johnnie goes out to his club and leaves his poor little mouse to pine in her mouse-house ... I was ever so sick but Johnnie just told me I'd over-eaten and went to dinner. There is a rumour that Peruvian Gold is to start their mine again. Don't put any money into it. Their accountant is buying his second car ... I hope that you took my advice about the Shallows property. The land is adjacent to a church right-of-way and thus cannot be overlooked. It will double in value in twenty years. I have transferred some of my capital to Lloyds, where the interest rate is half a percentage higher ... I'm trying baths and massage with Madame Breda, of Russell Street. I am very ill but Johnnie just laughs at me.

Odd. Phryne copied out the address of Madame Breda in Russell Street and took her leave, before she could be offered any more tea.


Or old dependency of day and night Or island solitude, unsponsered, free Of that wide water, inescapable.

'Sunday Morning', Wallace Stevens

Phryne leaned on the ship's rail, listening to the sea-gulls announcing that land was near, and watched for the first hint of sunrise. She had put on her lounging robe, of a dramatic oriental pattern of green and gold, an outfit not to be sprung suddenly on invalids or those of nervous tendencies—and she was rather glad that there was no one on deck to be astonished. It was five o'clock in the morning.

There was a faint gleam on the horizon; Phryne was waiting for the green flash, which she had never seen. She fumbled in her pocket for cigarettes, her holder, and a match. She lit the gasper and dropped the match over the side. The brief flare had unsighted her; she blinked, and ran a hand over her short black cap of hair.

'I wonder what I want to do?' Phryne asked of herself. 'It has all been quite interesting up until now, but I can't dance and game my life away. I suppose I could try for the air race record in the new Avro—or join Miss May Cunliffe in the road-trials of the new Lagonda—or learn Abyssinian—or take to gin—or breed horses—I don't know, it all seems very flat.

'Well, I shall try being a perfect Lady Detective in Melbourne—that ought to be difficult enough—and perhaps something will suggest itself. If not, I can still catch the ski season. It may prove amusing, after all.'

At that moment there came a fast, unrepeatable grass-green flash before the gold and rose of sunrise coloured the sky. Phryne blew the sun a kiss, and returned to her cabin.

* * *

Still wrapped in her robe, she nibbled a little thin toast and contemplated her wardrobe, which was spread out like a picnic over all available surfaces. She poured a cup of China tea and surveyed her costumes with a jaundiced eye.

The weather reports promised clear, mild conditions, and Phryne briefly considered a Chanel knitted silk suit, in beige, and a rather daring coat and skirt in bright red wool but finally selected a fetching sailor suit in dark blue with white piping and a pique collar. The waist dropped below her hips leaving five inches of pleated skirt, which even the parochial taste of Melbourne could not find offensive.

She dressed quickly and soon stood up in cami-knickers and silk stockings which were gartered above the knee, and dark-blue leather shoes with a Louis heel. She examined her face in the fixed mirror as she brushed ruthlessly at her perfectly black, perfectly straight hair, which fell into a neat and shiny cap leaving the nape of her neck and most of her forehead bare. She pulled on a soft dark-blue cloche, and with dexterity born of long practice, sketched her eyebrows, outlined her green-grey eyes with a thin kohl pencil, and added a dab of rouge and a flourish of powder.

She was pouring out her final cup of tea when a tap at the door caused her to dive back into the folds of the robe.

'Come in,' she called, wondering if this was to be another visit from the First Officer, who had conceived a desperate passion for Phryne, a passion which, she was convinced, would last for all of ten minutes once the Orient docked. But the answer reassured her.

'Elizabeth,' announced the caller, and Phryne opened the door and Dr MacMillan came in and seated herself on the stateroom's best chair, the only one free of Phryne's clothes.

'Well, child, we dock in three hours, so that affected young Purser told me,' she said. 'Can you spare the rest of that toast? That blighted woman in steerage produced her brat this morning at three of the clock—babies seem to demand to be born at benighted hours, usually in a thunderstorm—there's something elemental about babies, I find.'

Phryne passed over the tray—which still bore a plate of bacon and eggs and more toast than Phryne could possibly eat after a long day's famine—and surveyed Dr MacMillan affectionately.

She was forty-five if a day, and having had the formidable determination to follow Dr Garret Anderson and struggle to become a doctor, she had had no time for anything else. She was as broad and as strong as a labourer, with the same weatherbeaten complexion and rough, calloused hands. Her hair was pepper-and-salt, cut ruthlessly into a short Eton crop. For convenience, she wore men's clothes, and in them she had a certain rather rugged style.

'Come up, Phryne, and watch for the harbour,' said Dr MacMillan. Phryne slipped the sailor suit on and joined her in the climb to the deck.

Phryne leaned on the rail to watch Melbourne appear as the Orient steamed steadily in through the heads and turned in its course to find the river and Station Pier.

The city was visible, the flag on Government House announcing that the Governor was at home. It appeared to be a much larger city than Phryne remembered, though admittedly she had not been in any position to see it clearly when she had clung to the rail on the way out. Dr MacMillan, at her side, threw a foul cigar overboard and remarked, 'It seems to be a fine big city, well-built stone and steeple.'

'What did you expect? Wattle-and-daub? They aren't savages, you know, Elizabeth! You'll find it much like Edinburgh. Possibly quieter.'

'Ah well, that will be a change,' agreed the doctor. Are your trunks packed, Phryne?'

Phryne smiled, conscious of three cabin trunks, two suitcases, a shopping bag and a purse in her cabin, and seven large trunks in the hold, no doubt under a lot of sheep. Her dangerous imports into her native land included a small lady's handgun and a box of bullets for it, plus certain devices of Dr Stopes' which were wrapped in her underwear under an open packet of Ladies' Travelling Necessities to discourage any over-zealous customs official.


Excerpted from Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood. Copyright © 1989 Kerry Greenwood. Excerpted by permission of Poisoned Pen Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Kerry Greenwood is the author of more than 40 novels and six non-fiction books. Among her many honors, Ms. Greenwood has received the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award from the Crime Writers’ Association of Australia. When she is not writing she is an advocate in Magistrates’ Courts for the Legal Aid Commission. She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered Wizard.

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Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
flatboat More than 1 year ago
I'm a guy, don;t like romances stories, and LOVE the Phyrne Fisher series. I listened on audio on a long commute but got my wife and daughter the books. Great entertainment in different time (1928 was a time shaped by the first world war, a different place 1928 Australia with characters from around the globe), a different society (blue bloods and communists, high life and low life, and Russian royalty on the run) and a delightful woman with very modern ideas and her interesting band of helpers, and some too believable villians in need of being removed from society. I really enjoy the length, a lot is covered, personalities revealed and never a dull boring moment. This is real Hollywood material and characters, I mean that in the best possible way. Kerry Greenwood is a wonderful writer, and with the turn of a phrase she gives you great insight and understanding. If you start here you are sure to have a great time reading subsequent books. I recommend reading the first 3 or 4 in order to get most of the characters in place. I didnt do that and enjoyed them, but knowing the characters background does help the enjoyment of later books. What else do i like, so you may have some idea if we have similar tastes? Alan Bradley, John Grisham, Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, Orson Scott Card, David Weber, Edgar Rice Rurroughs, Robert E Howeard, amd Brian Greene. Try Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher and then her Corina Chapman series. You will be delighted.
NicoleTrist More than 1 year ago
What a fantastic read! Who wouldn't love a woman who drives fast cars, knows the intricacies of the martial arts, can take down a man twice her size and does it all while wearing white gloves, a french hairstyle and the most stylish of couture. Full Review; http://bookywooks.blogspot.com/2010/01/snow-king.html
harstan More than 1 year ago
It is the height of the London season, but the Honorable Phyrne Fisher is bored when the Colonel and his wife asked her to check on their daughter Lydia in Australia. She jumps at the chance. They fear that someone is poisoning Lydia because when they see her she looks sickly, but upon returning home she appears very healthy. Phyrne arrives in Melbourne loaded with baggage as she meets cabbies Bert and Cec, who take her to the Windsor Hotel.---- She meets Dorothy Bryant, who is waiting outside a certain establishment with a knife in her hands. She befriends the woman, who was almost raped by her employer¿s son before getting fried. Phyrne gets revenge on the bloke and hires Dorothy as her maid she also finds a way to meet Lydia at a soiree. She promises Cec and Bert she will help them find a butcher abortionist killing innocent girls. Phyrne also becomes entangled with a troupe of exiled Russian who seek revenge on acertain personthe person who got a family member hooked on coke. She promises to help them too as this is a part of a normal day for the reinvented Phyrne.---- This is the first Phyrne Fisher mystery, which introduces readers to the sleuthing origins of a highly regarded protagonist. She is a strong believer in women¿s rights, but works within the system to get what she wants whether it is information or sex with a partner of her choice. As always 1920s Australia is fascinating as Kerri Greenwood uses vivid descriptions to make it come alive in the mind¿s eye.----- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cocaine Blues is the first in the series of "Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries" books by award-winning Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. Australian by birth, born to poverty, and raised to wealth only by fortunes of inheritance, Miss Phryne Fisher is delightfully adventurous and provocatively "modern" in 1928 society. She has been engaged to investigate a young lady's unexplained illness by alarmed and concerned parents, and her journey to solve the riddle takes her from England to the land of her birth in distant Melbourne Australia. There she storms the bastions of Melbourne society, rescues more than one society underdog, pilots a race car at dizzying speeds, faces down corruption and cocaine smugglers, and generally beguiles and enchants nearly all those she encounters. The descriptive text is a feast for the eyes and the imagination. The reader will find delightful insights into the lifestyles of both the hoi-poloi and the commoner of the late 1920s. If you've seen the Australian ABC TV show MISS FISHER MURDER MYSTERIES, then be prepared for a pleasant surprise; the book is even more delightful than the visually entrancing portrayals of the show. Put on your finest bib and tucker, your most fashionable wrap, and jump in with both feet. A delight awaits!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent story- I love both the characters and this book's historical setting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first book in a ligh-hearted, addictive series. Phryne (rhymes with shiney) is a modern woman who takes 1920's Melbourn by storm. The mysteries aren't especially difficult but they're fun & full of period detail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not completely believable in parts, but good fun
Guest More than 1 year ago
The London Season is in full fling at the end of the 1920¿s, but Phryne finds herself bored with the usual high society trivialities. So she decides that it might be fun to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia. The Colonel and his wife have asked her to look into the matter of their daughter. She has been sickly since she married and moved to Australia and they feel that there is more to it than meets the eye. Phryne leaves the tedium of English high society for Melbourne, Australia, and never looks back. From the time she arrives Phryne is entangled in mysterious goings on: poisoning, cocaine smuggling, corrupt cops and communism. Not to mention erotic encounters with a handsome Russian dancer. I really enjoyed this book. Phryne is a high spirited, delightful and memorable character who I can¿t wait to read more about. She has more fun and adventure in a day than most people have in a lifetime. It was a terrific read from beginning to end. A fun romp thru the 1920¿s yet with gripping details about the struggles of women during this time. The story line was wonderful, the characters were intriguing , the period detail was just great (love the clothing), and the dialogue spirited and witty. Phyrne Fisher is a heroine you will want to read about again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
everyone needs a hero and i have found a new one in miss phryne! an uncompromising female character, this first novel introduces fabulous characters and a well thought out plot. gives a glimpse into the flapper age in australia. can't wait to read the rest! ps catch the PBS tv series - awesome, but the book is better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book and will be reading the entire series. I was first introduced to Phryne by the tv series on Netflix (which I absolutely loved) because of my interest in mysteries in general. The characters were lots of fun. And it had just the right amount of sex and humor. It was witty and scandalous. But I truly enjoyed the adventurous, brave and liberated Miss Phryne Fisher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't get into the character or the writing. Didn't seem to go anywhere.
TSeith More than 1 year ago
I had only known this series through a tv mystery series, via Netflix. I liked it so much, I decided to read the book, and I was delighted! I think the books are a bit darker than the tv version, and the plots are different, but it's not a bad thing at all. The books are very well written and readers will enjoy Miss Fisher's unorthodox life. The atmosphere of the twenties is delightful. I had a tough time putting it down....and then read the next four books in quick succession. So, mystery lovers, give this a try!
kaywKK More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book and wonderful series. Seriously addictive series - bought one and am now on book 14 (of 19). Recommendation 10 stars!!
DavidCFL More than 1 year ago
Cocaine Blues is the first in the series of "Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries" books by Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. Miss Phryne Fisher is delightfully adventurous and provocatively "modern" in 1928 society. There she storms the bastions of Melbourne society, rescues more than one underdog, pilots a car at high speeds, faces down corruption, smugglers, and generally beguiles and enchants nearly all those she encounters. The text is a enjoyment and imaginative. The reader will find delightful insights into the lifestyles of both the high society and the commoner of the late 1920s. If you've seen the Australian ABC TV show MISS FISHER MURDER MYSTERIES, then be prepared for a pleasant surprise; the book is even more delightful than the visual portrayals of the show. Put on your finest, your most and jump in with both feet. A delight awaits!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually watched the series on Netflix and really enjoyed it so I decided to give the books a try and was not disappointed. A great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoy but as another review suggested try to read in order can be a little confusing t v pbs series nice follow uo but they twick and omit read first pbs on dvds her modern day traditional figure baker is a good series too Mom
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
meSF More than 1 year ago
love this series will be reading them all