The Joy of Cocaine Blues

I always like a good murder mystery, and I especially love quirky characters. So Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries quickly became a Netflix favorite of mine. Imagine my joy when I discovered the TV series was based off of a series of books! Now, obviously, the disgruntled reader in me downloaded the book with some trepidation, fearful that I’d find it a disappointment after the charming TV show, but no! The book is wonderful! (Well, the first book at least. I haven’t read the rest of the series yet…)

I read Cocaine Blues: A Phryne Fisher Mystery, by Kerry Greenwood, and simply adored it. The book is set in post WWI Australia, where a wealthy young flapper, Phryne Fisher, decides to help some family friends investigate the illness of their daughter. Phryne is quickly swept up into both the glamor and underbelly of Melbourne, as she solves smaller crimes in the midst of her investigation into her friends’ daughter.

The book is fun and fast-paced, and Ms. Greenwood’s attention to detail is captivating. She sets each scene down to the clothes Phryne chooses to wear, bringing 1920s Australia to life, and she even takes it a step further, ensuring the characters speak the slang proper to their social class. The tone of the book is always lighthearted, as Phryne’s wry, humorous cynicism kept me engaged and chuckling.

Technically, I listened to this book, rather than read it, and I highly recommend a listen. While I often struggle with narrators, the woman reading the novel was brilliant. She did such a magnificent job capturing the emotion, excitement and glamour of the book. I easily got lost in the story, returning to reality only when forced by external circumstances.

My goal with any book is to get lost in the story, and Cocaine Blues delivered. I highly, highly recommend this story!