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Cocaine Blues | [Kerry Greenwood]

Cocaine Blues

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (995 )
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4.3 (743 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cheap and Lazy 06-15-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Fun Mystery with Super-Heroine"

    in an interesting setting (a time of extensive social upheaval). I enjoyed the over-top-ness of super-Phryne; she’s a wonderfully interesting and entertaining heroine. The relentless descriptions of her clothing were a bit tedious, but that’s me. The story was fun and intriguing, while nonetheless confronting the serious topics of abortion and women’s changing place in society. The secondary characters added depth and life. The narrator, Stephanie Daniel, did a fine job with the variety of accents, which added to the experience for me. The next book in the series is on my list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christy 03-09-14
    Christy 03-09-14 Member Since 2015

    christy045

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    "Really enjoyed this the second time around!"

    I have to say that the first time I listened to this first book in the Phryne Fisher series, I wasn't crazy about Miss Fisher (an earlier review of mine states that emphatically). But I liked the setting of Australia in the 1920's enough to give Phryne another try, proceeding to listen to about 10 more of her stories so far over the past couple of years.

    Through those books I've become very fond of Phryne and her quirks, her thoroughly modern point of view, and her escapades. I recently discovered that there was a television series made about her and watched the first episode. I was happy to have pictures of the period (the cars and the clothes, particularly), but I remembered nothing about the book from watching the first episode (also called Cocaine Blues).

    So I decided to give the book another listen. I think that I enjoyed it so much more because it reminded me of where Phryne met and befriended Dot, Bert and Cec, and gave a little background on Dr. MacMillan. Since I'm now I'm aware of Phryne's quirks and attitudes, as well as her generous spirit, I was able to be more sympathetic to her and see her as a person.

    I guess my point is: (1) If you are a Phryne Fisher fan but also recall the first book as unsympathetic, give it another try.
    (2) If you are NOT a Phryne Fisher fan and decided not to proceed with the other books after reading this one, please give her other books a try and come back to this one after that!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Lynne 03-05-14
    S. Lynne 03-05-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Daring Dame"
    If you could sum up Cocaine Blues in three words, what would they be?

    Sexy, Wild, Smart


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Phryne, easily. She's unique - smart, independent, rich but since she's had less she has no problems with those who aren't in her "class"


    What about Stephanie Daniel’s performance did you like?

    Very good. She does the voices well and reads and a good pace.


    Who was the most memorable character of Cocaine Blues and why?

    (okay -- this seems redundant -- see above-- though the Russian dancer is memorable as well).


    Any additional comments?

    Occasionally it gets a little racy -- just be forewarned.

    Found out afterwards this is also an Australian mystery series available on Netflix. The stories have been changed somewhat, as might be expected. I'm enjoying both the show and the books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Neeley columbus, ohio 01-22-14
    K. Neeley columbus, ohio 01-22-14 Member Since 2013

    krn

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    "Narrator drives me crazy"
    What did you like best about Cocaine Blues? What did you like least?

    I almost couldn't finish this book because the narrator made me crazy. I felt like I could hear her swallowing every other minute. Surely an audible book narrator can find a way to combat this problem. Perhaps the producers can edit that horrible sound out? It is so distracting!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stephanie Daniel’s performances?

    No way.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deanna United States 01-15-14
    Deanna United States 01-15-14 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Nobody likes a know-it-all"

    I loved the setting and the subtly descriptive way that the author had of fleshing out the world in this novel--Australia in the 1920s, I believe it was. However, the main character does not grow in this book. She comes equipped with every skill she could possibly need to save her life, regardless of the ridiculousness and her young age. The author has Phryne accomplish these random and sometimes quite difficult tasks with no more effort than slipping on a new hat, and tries to make a joke of it by having Phryne mention how it was jolly good luck she'd slept with that gigalo in Paris or rubbed elbows that one time with a race car driver!

    In the end, while the story was entertaining, the main character came off as an inconsistently pretentious know-it-all without much thought in her head beyond social interactions, feminism, clothes, and sex. Luckily, the predictable mystery is tailored to her exact experiences, or I don't think I could ever have believed she would solve it.

    Unlike the fairly tame Royal Spyness novels, this book could be considered slightly racy, although not especially graphic. The content is a solid PG-13, and does not necessarily contain realistic consequences for anyone's actions. I don't think I would recommend it for men, as the only men in the story are witnesses, criminals, or foreign lovers that are never developed beyond a flat and stereotypical role.

    As for the narration, it was somewhat mediocre with the occasional spot on voice for a minor character. Nothing irritating, but also nothing incredible here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sylvia CULLMAN, AL, United States 12-31-13
    Sylvia CULLMAN, AL, United States 12-31-13 Member Since 2015

    Armchair traveler

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    "Far, far better than the TV series!!!!!"
    Where does Cocaine Blues rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audio books I have listened to. I love MC Beaton's Agatha Raisin, Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness, and Alexander McCall Smith's Number One Ladies Detective Agency books. This is better than all of those! Of course, it is a bit different in that while it is also a period novel, it is more "adult" in its content than the others. But it is by no means "scandalous" and has only very mild language.The listener will still laugh aloud from time to time. Like the other books, I wish I knew some of the characters in real life!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters and places are described so colorfully! The story is sufficiently complex without being confusing. There is a suitable ending for each character.


    Any additional comments?

    I usually swim a half mile each morning. Yesterday, I swam an entire mile because I was listening to this on my underwater iPod and didn't want to interrupt the story to shower and get dressed. Finally, I had to get out of the pool, but I kept the earphones in the rest of the day in order to finish the novel. Couldn't put it down! I loved it!!!! Just bought the next one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria 12-14-13
    Victoria 12-14-13 Member Since 2009
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    "A thoroughly modern girl"
    What about Stephanie Daniel’s performance did you like?

    Stephanie Daniel's has a wonderful voice that subtly changes from character to character, dialect to dialect. Each voice is appropriate, but none of them are annoying (unless appropriate). There is a quality to her voice that just seems to match the era - a sense that late nights in nightclubs and parties and "gaspers" (cigarettes) have shaped the voice and informed a slightly world weary tone.


    Any additional comments?

    The era between WWI and WWII has held a fascination for me for several years now. The young adults lost so many friends, seen and done such traumatic things. For those years, the old rules were challenged, put aside - drugs, alcohol, sex were explored without limits. But at the same time some had grown up, learned empathy and some really useful skills. Phryne Fisher is a wonderful character for this time. She finds life after war somewhat boring and challenges traditional mores, class boundaries, and gender roles. And she does it with class, empathy for others less fortunate. Wonderful characters in this book.In addition to wonderful characters, the descriptions of the clothes, interiors and street scenes are so delightful. The author even sprinkles in slang in a non obtrusive way to give a sense of the era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wbc 11-05-13
    wbc 11-05-13
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    "Delightful"
    Where does Cocaine Blues rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is a very pleasant escape!


    What other book might you compare Cocaine Blues to and why?

    This story reminded me a bit of the Vicky Bliss books by Elizabeth Peters.


    What about Stephanie Daniel’s performance did you like?

    The reader was excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    I took a chance on this book and chose it by the excellent reviews. I was so pleased. It is a pleasurable read with a strong and interesting female character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aneetra ATLANTA, GA, United States 09-27-13
    aneetra ATLANTA, GA, United States 09-27-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Don't underestimate Phryne"
    What did you love best about Cocaine Blues?

    The readers voice & the plot & of course Phryne Fisher!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes


    What does Stephanie Daniel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her voice & her ability to draw me into the characters


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but only when I got about 1/3 way through


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebekah 09-25-13
    Rebekah 09-25-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clever Female Detective!"

    The first chapter catches your attention because Phryne identifies a robber within seconds of the theft.
    I had trouble getting used to the writing style and narration as both are very clipped due to short sentences. But I got over that halfway thru the book.
    She's very clever. The book moves at a decent speed so you don't get bored. A nice, easy, interesting read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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