Cocaine Blues is the first book in the Phryne Fisher series, but one of the last to be published on audible. Which may be a good thing, because the se..Show More »ries gets blazingly better as it progresses. The series is interesting because it addresses a wide range of people and ideas grinding against each other, but the best of whom cheerfully flow through Phryne's dining room, parlor, and (yes) sometimes her bedroom. I never appreciated, until I began this series the amazing social changes that took place in a very short time between the beginning of the 1900s to the end of the roaring twenties. F. Scott Fitzgerald's Bernice did more than just bob her hair.
Phryne Fisher is a young woman living on the edge of a world changing from the Victorian ideas of women as angels in the home, to the young women who drive ambulances in World War I and are thus allowed/forced to do and see things that even five years earlier would be unthinkable for most females. Phryne herself goes from a child in Australian poverty being called "hey you", to a young woman in England called the Hon. Miss Fisher. Her reasons for returning to Australia would make Agatha Christies proud. As the series goes along we find that she has a very good time in spite of any curves life throws her. The books are well researched as to historical accuracy, and I can't wait to see how Kerry Greenwood goes from the roaring twenties to a very angry thirties, and what Phryne will do next.
amusing writer, who captures spirit of 20s and is scrupulous about historical research. Excellent narrator. Don't miss last five minutes of audiobook,..Show More » which contain interview between narrator and Kerry Greenwood.
The book opens with an entire train-car being drugged, and things just keep getting better - or worse if you're the victim. Phryne is fun & sophistic..Show More »ated as usual, and the story is never boring - I love this series! Plus, this is the book in which we meet Jane & Ruth & Ember the cat!!! If you've never met Phryne Fisher before, imagine James Bond & the Saint mixed together, and then make that person into a beautiful woman in 1920's Melbourne, Australia. Add to that mix Stephanie Daniel, a fabulous reader who makes a great book even better. This book is definitely credit-worthy, and so is the entire series. I just wish that Audible would get the few that it does not have yet.
When I first discovered the Phryne Fisher Mysteries, I loved the carefree and lighthearted atmosphere created by the author, Kerry Greenwood, and..Show More » the narrator, Stephanie Daniel. Death at Victoria Dock opens with Phryne's windshield shattering from gunfire, and her discovery of a wounded young man who dies in her arms. This beginning signals a Phryne Fisher adventure which is not so lighthearted as the rest.
In trying to solve the murder of the young man, Phryne becomes involved with Latvian anarchists (who apparently really were active in 1920's Australia), some of whom kidnap her secretary Dot. She takes an anarchist known as Peter Smith for her lover, and opposes the actions of the other anarchists, leading a plan which thwarts a planned bank robbery by the Latvians.
In the meantime, Phryne has taken on an investigation into the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl who is assumed by her father to have run away. The girl is in school with Phryne's adopted daughters, so they help with the investigation, which uncovers some unsavory goings-on within the girl's family. Needless to say, Phryne solves the mystery and recovers the girl.
All this is accomplished by Phryne with her usual aplomb, but not quite with the same elan as usual. I think this is probably because of the more serious crimes being dealt with. Even at a slightly less lighthearted level, this tale is fun and enjoyable, and even teaches a bit about Australian history. Stephanie Daniel does her customary extraordinary job of narration, giving life to Phryne, Dot, the girls, Bert and Cec, and all the other characters.
In addition, like the other Phryne Fisher audible books, there is the added bonus of a conversation between the author and the narrator, usually talking about where Greenwood got her ideas for the plot of that particular book, and the historical basis for those ideas.
Once again, I highly recommend the Phryne Fisher books to those who like a mystery which is lighthearted, not too violent, and not too graphic in the lovemaiking department.
What a marvelous book! Lovely story and I learned SO much. I didn't even know that Gilbert and Sullivan had written a play called Ruddigore. I lear..Show More »ned about it, about Australia in the 1920's and had a marvelous murder mystery to boot!
If you're into sex, suspense and sadistic gore, this is NOT the book for you, but if you love old-fashioned whodunits, download this book today!
The narrator is wonderful and she even sings! (Quite well, too!). More Phrynie Fisher please!! She's wonderful!
I've been thoroughly enjoying the Phryne Fisher stories. The history of 1928 Australia is very interesting. Having Jewish grandparents, I particular..Show More »ly enjoyed this this book. And Stephanie Daniel did GREAT Jewish accents, nu?
I loved every minute of it. One is not often able to read books set in 1920's Australia. The details of a city I know well as a modern 21 century ci..Show More »ty were delightful and accurate, the characters were wonderfully crafted and just as I would have imagined them to be in the 1920's.
Relaxing, fun, engaging ..... just made you smile and feel warm inside. Wonderful narrator who turned what could have been a very bland read into something well worth listening to. Congratulations - a job very well done.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have read several others now in the series. The heroine is a very unusual, brave single woman who rose from rags t..Show More »o riches and leads a unique household and life. Original mystery series set in 1920's Australia.
I think this is the strongest of the Fisher mysteries. Masterful narration once again by Stephanie Daniel. I have downloaded all of the titles avail..Show More »able in this series and I highly recommend. Fun period mysteries that are well-paced, easy to listen to, and not too fluffy. A solid notch above typical chick-lit romances.
This was a treat to my ears ,Miss Fisher lady detective is witty and timeless ,her constant composed manner delighted me to no end ,she is a wonderful..Show More » charterer surrounded by warm and generous cast of friends, all spoken with love by the out standing narrator.I plan on reading all of them with in the near future.
All good books should have a little of everything - humour, fear, grief, relaxation and exhilaration. And this book has all those in spades.
..Show More »>I have to say, I've got a bit of a lady-crush on Phryne. She's the kind of gal you love to love. Wild and chic, tough and compassionate, feisty and laid back. She has a wardrobe I'd love to own; a collection of lovers I doubt I could say no to, a butler who makes cocktails I dream about tasting, but most importantly, she always gets her bad guy.
Considering the number of years over which the character of Phryne has strutted her stuff (from 1989 when Cocaine Blues was published, to now in Unnatural Habits), I am continually amazed at how true Kerry stays to her character. Very few authors have the ability to delineate such a clear and resonating character who is maintained in all their glory from book 1 to book 19; especially when the dates of publication span more than 2 decades! But Phryne is just as lustrous a character in book 19 as she was in book 1; not a jot of her wit, passion or intelligence has dulled over time. And while she has grown as a person, there have been no jarring changes in personality traits to disrupt the beautiful flow of the series.
Like many others, I was introduced to Phryne via the Australian ABC TV series, and as someone who has rarely ventured out of the classical literature and fantasy/sci-fi genres, these books have blown me away, and as usual, upon reaching the end of the book I bemoaned the need to wait for however long for the next to be published!
The content of this story line provided ample opportunity for Phryne's strengths and weaknesses to be amplified. With a darker tone to the mystery placed before her, and more at stake than just finding a killer to be brought to justice; the achingly intense sense of futility that Phryne feels as she works her way through this case is very poignant, and cannot fail to strike a sympathetic chord with the listener.
Stephanie Daniels is, as ever, the perfect Phryne. Just as Kerry has remained true to the Phryne character over years of development, Stephanie has also maintained such a solid consistency over the duration of the recordings that each character is instantly identifiable from book to book. She is a pleasure to listen to.
I heartily recommend this book - and if you haven't read the others in the series before it, you won't be disappointed with those either, and I do suggest reading them first. Although each book is a complete story in its own right, there are certain aspects of the storyline that carry over from previous books in the series, that although not necessary to the overall understanding of this book, will certainly enhance your enjoyment of it.