Cocaine Blues: a Phryne Fisher mystery

2006
Cocaine Blues

Phryne Fisher didn’t intend to solve crimes; as a flapper she was enjoying wealth and free time after a childhood of hunger and deprivation.    After many parties and dancing, shopping and theater trips, her boredom and restlessness made her wonder what to do with her life.  A daring jewelry theft during a high-society ball causes her to spring into action and brilliantly solve the crime, and a detective is born.  One of the guests, impressed by her intelligence, asks Phryne to help find out what is going on with her daughter Lydia, who fears she is being poisoned.  As a lark, Phryne decides to visit Australia and check up on Lydia's well being. 

Once in Melbourne, Phryne visits top society events to find out what is wrong with ­Lydia and why she fears her husband.  She becomes passionately involved with a Russian dancer, tracks down a cocaine ring, and makes some wonderful new friends—none from her social class—who will become her loyal friends and assistants in solving crime.

Wonderful characters, the unusual setting of 1920s Melbourne, and carefully plotted mysteries are great reading--even when better listened.  The audio version is perfectly voiced by Stephanie Daniel. 

Kerry Greenwood has degrees in English and Law, has written plays, novels, and children’s books.  Her stories are well-researched and reflect the social and political events of the time without being preachy.

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