RogerBW's Blog

Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood 19 September 2016

1989 historical detection, first in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Intelligent, beautiful, rich, and bored, the Hon. Phryne Fisher travels to Australia in order to find out whether John Andrews is poisoning his wife, her clients' daughter.

Before the matter is resolved, she'll have dealt with abortionists, drug dealers, communists, and a pleasingly attractive Russian dancer called Sasha. Though really, to be fair, the mystery is not the point of this book, though it's handled well enough: it's more of an excuse on which to string tales of Melbourne in the 1920s.

Phryne herself is largely an iconic character, changing in herself only insofar as she decides to stay in Australia and be a detective by the end of the book; she is more prone to produce change in the people she deals with, and has a boundless energy that's sometimes tiring just to read about, but is never overconfident. Pacing is a little uneven, with a fairly slow start (introducing many of the recurring characters of the series, all reaonably developed and interesting, but it does take time) and a second half that gathers pace into the climax.

The book is basically fluff, but it's enjoyable fluff, in a short book that doesn't wear out its welcome. Followed by Flying Too High.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 existential risk falklands war fandom fantasy film firefly first world war flash point food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo-nebula reread humour in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux mecha museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha quantum rail ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1