Saturday, January 30, 2021

Book and Audio Review: Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

Cocaine Blues

Kerry Greenwood
Narrator: Stephanie Daniel
Series: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
Publication: Poisoned Pen Press; Reprint edition (November 3, 2015)
Length: 210 p. (5 hours and 48 minutes)

Description: From the author of the bestselling Phryne Fisher Series comes Cocaine Blues, the first historical mystery featuring the sensual, posh, and intrepid murder detective Phryne Fisher...

"Phryne can not get enough of adventure and the reader can not get enough of Phryne."—Deadly Pleasures

The London season is in full fling at the end of the roaring 1920s, but the Honourable 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. Tension and danger rise like steam, and Phryne must save herself and other young women before it's too late.

My Thoughts: The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher has gotten tired of the London social set and takes off for Australia to look into the marital troubles of the daughter of one of her dinner party seatmates. She books into the exclusive Windsor Hotel and is soon deep into a number of mysteries.

Phryne traveled to Australia with a female doctor named Doctor Elizabeth McMillan who is taking over a women's hospital. The doctor is very useful to her in her investigations. Phryne also hires a young woman named Dorothy Bryant as her lady's maid who has just been let go from her job as a housemaid after she rejected the attempts of the son of the house to seduce her.

Between searching for an abortionist whose most recent victim is a patient at Dr. McMillan's hospital, she also gets involved with some Russian dancers who are trying to bust a cocaine ring because their mother died from cocaine usage. Not to mention her investigation of Lydia Andrews to discover if her husband is really trying to kill her.

The setting is well done. Australia at the end of the 1920s is fully realized. Phryne is a great character who is quite an original. She's daring, smart, brave and not at all the usual sort of young woman. I enjoyed the audio of this story and thought Stephanie Daniel did a great job with all the accents. 

Favorite Quote:
The apparition of Miss Fisher, clad in rags, escorted up to the front door by a shirtless dancer and two grinning cab-drivers made a lasting impression on the doorman, who had previously been willing to bet that he had seen everything.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I may read this book one day, thanks for reviewing it. I like the TV series and have wondered about the books, and read a lot of mystery books.

  2. I love the 1920s setting, though, I don't think I've heard of this series before.

    Thanks for sharing!


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