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?