Cocaine Blues

Cocaine Blues

by Kerry Greenwood

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Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher solves theft in 1920s London High Season society, and sets her clever courage to poisoning in Melbourne Australia. She – of green eyes, diamant garters and outstanding outfits – is embroiled in abortion, death, drugs, communist cabbies – plus erotic Russian dancer Sasha de Lisse. The steamy end finds them trapped in Turkish baths.

A while back I started watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix and it didn’t take more than a few episodes for me to be hooked on the show. The music, the costumes, the cars, and of course the amazing Phryne Fisher kept me coming back episode after episode. And then I realized the series was based on the books by Kerry Greenwood, and I had to read a few over my vacation. 

Cocaine Blues is the first book in the series, and the first episode of the show. We are introduced to Miss Fisher, who has a huge personality and an insatiable taste for danger and adventure. We also meet her loyal cast of supporting characters: Dottie, Bert, Cec, Dr. MacMillan, Mr. Butler, and Inspector Jack Robinson. Phryne, who grew up in poverty, has returned to Melbourne as a rich heiress. She has been asked to check on the grown daughter of a family friend, and it’s not long before Phryne is hunting down a butcher abortionist, as well as, the King of Cocaine. 

I love that the show and story as so similar. Sure, I knew who did it, but I was totally fine with that because I felt as if I was rewatching the episode as I read. Already knowing the characters made the story even more enjoyable for me. And there were enough difference between the two mediums to keep me engaged throughout the story. 

Sadly, I did not find the book to be very well written. It lacked the vibrant details that I expected to read after seeing the show. I had hoped to see more setting development; scenes that included the sights, smells, and sounds of the physical background. Thankfully, Greenwood did take time describing the attire of our characters. Normally I could care less about clothing but there is just something about the extravagance of 1920s era clothing that keeps me hooked

Read Cocaine Blues! It is the perfect snarky, fast pace mystery that one needs to get through the stress and bustle of the holiday season. I couldn’t put it down, despite already knowing the outcome, and immediately picked up the second book! 

Are you a fan of Phryne Fisher? What do you love most about the quirky female detective?

Lindsay

Ghosts of Key West

Ghosts of Key West

by David L. Sloan

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Key West’s past comes alive with thirteen incredible stories of the southernmost ghosts. From Victorian era spirits returning to claim what is rightfully theirs, to haunted dolls that continue to send chills down their visitors’ spines, Ghosts of Key West beautifully captures the true spirit of Florida’s second oldest city. Ghosts of cigar makers, pirates, wreckers and voodoo practitioners all await you. While their ghostly journeys continue through time, yours is just about to begin. Ghosts of Key West author David L. Sloan founded Key West’s original ghost tour and is the leading authority on the island’s hauntings.

 I needed a spooky read to help get me extra excited about a tropically vacation, and luckily Ghosts of Key West was just sitting there on our shelves. It was just what I needed! 

Ghosts of Key West is a super short read, taking only an hour or so to get through, and is told in a ‘stories around the campfire’ format. There are tons of black and white pictures of historic key west homes and portraits of the people still haunting the island. The ghost stories are educational as they provide a decent amount of island history alongside the ghostly tales. Its broken up in to short chapters, each with their own ghost story, that i feel makes it a better read.

Sadly, it is very poorly written. The plot of each story is very jumpy and full of random first person encounters. These first person stories were annoying for someone who picked up the book for history. The writing issues could have probably been fixed with a good editing or two. 

Ghosts of Key West a good starter book if you’re planning on hitting the keys for a vacation. It’s a nice introduction to the ghostly history of the island, but I definitely recommend taking a tour if you visit. 

Anyone else love a good ghost story? Who else loves the Florida Keys?

Lindsay