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Cocaine Blues
Phryne Fisher Series #1

by Kerry Greenwood

      Phyrne Fisher is tired of the same old social round and is delighted when a retired Colonel she sat next to at a party asks her to investigate his daughter's unfortunate marriage. Why is she always ill, and what could a woman with such an excellent brain for financial affairs see in such a man? Phyrne returns to the place of her birth - Melbourne, Australia - and sets about investigating. Apart from acquiring a maid and a Russian admirer, she is soon embroiled in another case and in danger of her life.

There is more in the first few pages of this enviably slim volume than in the whole of many other whodunits I have read lately, so no surprises somebody has at last decided to reissue this gem. First published in Australia in 1989, it has since deservedly become something of a genre classic and engendered a long series. If P. G. Wodehouse wanted to write a whodunit with a female lead he would have written this - humor, adventure, mystery and plenty of period detail. It is hard not to enjoy a book of fewer than 200 pages stuffed with cocaine, illegal operations, Turkish baths and Russian ex-pats. Phyrne is a delightfully resourceful heroine who has plenty of style, cheek and energy to make this a story about serious themes, but with that classic whodunit sense of fun. More please and soon...

The Book

Poisoned Pen Press
March 2006
Historical Crime [1920s, Melbourne Australia]
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006