Unforgettable characters and a fascinating 1920s setting.
It's the end of the roaring twenties, and the exuberant and Honourable Phryne Fisher is dancing and gaming with gay abandon. But she becomes bored with London and the endless round of parties. In search of excitement, she sets her sights on a spot of detective work in Melbourne, Australia. And so mystery and the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse, appear in her life. From then on it's all cocaine and communism until her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.
©2006 Kerry Greenwood (P)2006 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
“A delicious bon-bon of a book that will have readers eagerly looking forward to the sequel." (The Weekend Australian)
"A scintillating start to the series." (The Advertiser)
The series is a lot of fun with a throughly modern herorine and her cast of helpers and household members. Stefanie Daniels narration is top notch, if only she didn't try to sing the songs! Start at book one, this one, and read right through to the end! And they are soon to be a TV series on ABC, although I don't think the TV series can do justice to the books - the clothing, scenery, and automobiles should be splendid!
Probably not-- very light weight though entertaining in parts
This is part of a series but I gather they don't follow this subject--just Phrynne the main character.
It is a good book to listen to when your mind doesn't want to be burdened. The heroine's sexual dalliances are gratuitous but obviously part of her persona. I thought at times I stumbled into a seamy romance novel.
I liked the story, although part of the ending was distasteful to me. The characters are interesting. The narrator is good when she goes into a character voice, but her voice is very flat during the rest of the narration.
Cocaine Blues is fun mind bubble gum. I could definitely see myself on a long drive, or during chores, replaying this and maybe other books in the series again. It is a character-driven period piece set in the 20s. Kerry Greenwood has written a very whimsical book that benefits being read aloud. Stephanie Daniel reads the text using all the different voices in the book.
Phryne Fisher is a fun character. The book has more characters than the TV series (of which I am a fan). There is a sense of history and Australia in the 20s. It is not great literature, but it is a well-written novel that is very entertaining, spicy, and expects its reader to be intelligent and imaginative.
I have not heard Stephanie Daniels before. I will look for her performance reading other books.
If time had allowed me to listen to it in one sitting, I could have. It transported me through a number of bus rides and chores.
It is a relief that I don't feel the TV series or the books are better than the other. Yes, there are differences, but you can enjoy each of them. On to the rest of the gooks and episodes.
I listened to this on audio narrated by, Stephanie Daniel and was totally swept up in her narration every accent was superb and everyone had their own voice, I am so glad she narrated the rest of this series. Then this morning I heard that Stephanie Daniel passed away last week and was very saddened since I had just discovered her wonderful talent but I will honor her memory by listening to the rest of this series and anything else she has narrated. RIP Miss Daniel thank you for sharing your beautiful voice the world.
The last thing I needed was another series but that is what I got with this book, I really enjoyed the character of Phryne, she’s tough and funny and a sexual being( when you get towards the end you will understand this statement) who was way ahead of her time. This is the best kind of cozy with historical fiction thrown in. This series is set 1920’s and Phryne is bored with being a London socialite and at a party is asked by a gentleman to find out what is going on with his daughter in Australia so off she goes and so begins our adventure into the seedy world of cocaine and murder.
Sometimes a person forgets how long cocaine has been prevalent and how long it has ruined lives, what I found interesting is this wasn’t the downtrodden these were rich people addicted to cocaine and getting it right from their friendly neighborhood pharmacist. Along with this there is a story about abortion too this book and its characters seemed far ahead of their time yet at the same time you could tell the sensibilities were right for the time period.
The mystery was almost secondary to the fun cast of characters, although I did enjoy the mystery; I hope to see more of Dot, Sasha, and Cec & Bert.
I also plan on watching this episode of the TV show soon and see how it compares to the book.
If you are a fan of cozies or the 1920’s give this one a try.
I heard 10 chapter out of 34, and couldn't go on.
The story is thin and uninteresting, the characters completely 2 dimensional, just 100% soap-opera cliche. The so called "mysteries" are almost non-existent. The whole "story" seems to only exist as a feeble excuse for writing about the one thing that IS taken care of in the book: clothing. If you like reading lengthy descriptions of shopping and getting dressed, by all means, get this book. If not, stay away. There's nothing else of value here.
Retired "Okie" librarian & happy to have found Audible for good stories & staying in touch with new authors & books.
My first and first in the series of Phryne Fisher mysteries was a lighthearted romp through 1920s "Mod" Melbourne, Australia. I already have another Kerry Greenwood book in my library, "Unnatural Habits", book 19. It was on sale. I think the quick wit, and fast pace of fashion, drugs, and flapper politics make a nice break from the sometimes rich & heady reads I have like Phil Rickman, Tana French, & Peter Lovesey.
Evidently there was an "ABC" TV series I missed, but the narrator & the author's craftsmanship made up for the visual of a TV series. Besides I have seen Lord Peter Whimsey & Poirot mysteries on "Mystery", I can imagine. Catch one of these sassy stories for yourself.
Oh Missy just too quickly does she do her tricks and too easily does she get out of trouble. Drug sellers are just not quite that stupid no matter where you are .
Phryne Fisher has the potential to be a great character. Her personality and life style and the secondary characters around her distract the listener from a weak story full of plot holes that are never explained. Why, for instance, does the criminal's assistant try to warn Phryne by leaving a note in her coat pocket but later try to shot her. And why does the criminal mastermind try to set Phryne up to be arrested for cocaine possession almost from the beginning of the book. And to make matters worse, I really didn't like Phryne much. The story takes place in Melbourne but could have been anywhere. There was nothing to ground the reader in Australia. Several of the male characters sounded more cockney that Aussie.
I recently read or listened to the entire series of Phryne Fisher books by Kerry Greenwood in chronological order. I highly recommend doing it in order. I own about half of them and got the others from my library. Some were books and some were audiobooks on Audible.com or on CD. I think that listening to the books adds a great deal to the stories, since they are performed so well. The performance adds depth and definition to the characters and gives you a better feeling for the setting and the story line. As the first book in the series, listening to Cocaine Blues sets you up for visualizing the characters in other books, even if you are just reading them. Doing a mixture of both kept the characters fresh in my mind and helped define their personalities.
The Phryne Fisher mysteries are fun to read and give you a lot of background on Melbourne and other parts of Australia in the 1928+ era. The descriptions of clothes, food, settings, and activities are very interesting, and enhance what are good, light mysteries. There are recipes for cocktails, which is entertaining even if you do not plan to try them and adds to the story.
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