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Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  6,451 ratings  ·  963 reviews
This is where it all started! The first classic Phryne Fisher mystery, featuring our delectable heroine, cocaine, communism and adventure. Phryne leaves the tedium of English high society for Melbourne, Australia, and never looks back. The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher-she of the green-gray eyes, diamant garters and ...more
ebook, 175 pages
Published January 5th 2012 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 1989)
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Delia Binder No, they're not - Phyrne's much younger in the books (late Twenties), and Jack is a decade older (early Fifties) and still married.

I believe the…more
No, they're not - Phyrne's much younger in the books (late Twenties), and Jack is a decade older (early Fifties) and still married.

I believe the "Caskett" relationship between Phyrne and Jack initially came about as a result of casting the fortysomething Essie Davis as Phyrne (who I think is more believable, given the character's accomplishments), and her obvious chemistry with co-star Nathan Page as Jack. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways

COCAINE BLUES (Phryne Fisher #1)
Poisoned Pen Press
$14.95 trade paper, available now

Rating: 3* of five

The Publisher Says: Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher solves theft in 1920s London High Season society, and sets her clever courage to poisoning in Melbourne, Australia. She - of green eyes, diamant garters and outstanding outfits - is embroiled in abortion, death, drugs, communist cabbies - plus erotic Russian dancer Sasha de Lisse. The steamy end finds them trapped in Turkish baths.

Dana Stabenow
A fully enfranchised flapper in Melbourne after the first War, Phryne Fisher is a heroine after anyone's heart, and Greenwood's prose does her full justice. Take this, for example:

Phryne Fisher had a taste for young and comely men, but she was not prone to trust them with anything but her body.


Phryne, carrying the cocktail, decanted it unobtrusively into a potted palm against which she had no personal grudge, and hoped that it would not give her away by dying too rapidly.

In this first novel sh
I am madly in love with the savvy, promiscuous, and fashionable Phryne Fisher. The best part is that I just now discovered the series: 19 books in all so far (Cocaine Blues is the first)! I picked up the newest in the series at the lib and read a few pages and was hooked. I forced myself to put it down and go get this one and start at the beginning (see, Delee, I'm being good!). Such fun. Five stars!
Let me begin by saying that Phryne Fisher is one of my favorite characters to come along in awhile. After reading only a few pages, I felt that here was a girl to befriend! I'm afraid that I'd be rather more like her maid, Dot, "Oh, no, miss. Surely nice girls don't wear dresses like THAT!" but there is certainly something to admire in Phryne's wild exuberance for life, and her passion for following her own mind and heart, despite what her upper-crust society would say about it! Even if she does ...more
3.5 stars. I think the best 4-word summary of this book would be "Nancy Drew Gone Wild." (Which, in my world anyway, is high praise.) Kerry Greenwood makes the most of her Roaring 20s setting and her glamorous heroine. Phryne Fisher is not without her flaws, and she is not entirely unscathed by life, but she is refreshingly free of needless self-doubt and insecurity, which makes for a nice change from many of the endlessly neurotic characters that populate so many modern books.
I'm well and truly addicted to this series now. First I read the most recent entry, Murder and Mendelssohn. Now I've read the first book. On to the others. It's possible to see how Greenwood has developed both her characters and her writing style, but it's also obvious that she has had an over-arching theme from the beginning. I also enjoy how she manages to address contemporary themes in the guise of 1920s issues.

Onward to more Phryne Fisher mysteries!
Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher travelers back to Melbourne, Australia after years abroad. But she isn't there on a social visit. A couple has asked her to investigate why their daughter get terrible ill now and then. Is her husband trying to poison her?

It always a bit tricky reading a book after watching a tv-series based on it, and vice versa. But I, despite all the difference between the book and the tv-series still enjoyed the book immensely. But I must admit that I miss the sexual tension betw
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I would never have come across this book without the huge master lists created by the members of the Around the World in 52 Books challenge that I've been participating in since January. The book title under Australia caught my attention, and when I read the description, I thought it sounded like a fun read. A lady detective in Melbourne, in the 1920s?

I wasn't wrong. I haven't had so much fun reading a mystery novel in a long time. There were moments that made me laugh, and others where I was of
Quickly revealing the identity of the petty thief at one of the society events of the season set the Honourable Phryne Fisher on her next journey – interviewed by the Colonel and his wife, they requested she go to Australia and rescue their daughter, Lydia, from the clutches of her husband Andrew, who they were sure was poisoning her, slowly but surely; he would inherit a large sum of money on her death.

Phryne accompanied her friend, Scottish doctor Elizabeth MacMillan on the ship across to Melb
Book Concierge

Phryne Fisher was born in poverty, but is now a wealthy heiress. After she quickly and discretely solves a theft of diamonds at a party, she’s asked by another guest if she might be willing to try to find out what is ailing his daughter. Seems every time Lydia goes to her husband’s home in Australia she takes ill, but as soon as she returns to England she quickly recovers. Bored with the social life in and around her father’s country estate, and equally bored with the “charitable ladies” ch
Yes, I admit it, I'd never even heard of this series until the TV show came out. But I fell in love with Phryne on the big screen, and I need more of her. I'm not sure if its because I saw the show first, or because they just did such a fantastic job, but I think this is one instance of the show being JUST AS GOOD AS THE BOOK. And by that, I mean, I also loved the book. Some minor differences, but so far they're staying very true to the characters and the plots. And it turns out that the only pl ...more
ADVERBS. Save me from the adverbs!

As you can tell, I didn't get along with this. I'm not sure what the prose was aiming for, but it was unbearable for me. It's littered with, well, adverbs. Clumsy inquits. I think there's an attempt at period prose, but if you've read Golden Age crime fiction like that of Sayers, it just looks bad.

The good points are that the main female character has full agency, even regarding her sexual habits and everything else: it's unusual, I think, for people to consider
The first of Phryne's adventures from Australia's most elegant and irrepressible sleuth.

The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honourable Phryne Fisher - she of the green-grey eyes, diamante garters and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions - is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing
Goodreads ate my long review and I can't be bothered to retype it. Blegh.

Short version: there were things I liked, and things I didn't like that much. Might read more some day but have no particular desire to.
Miss Phryne Fisher is a fantastic character; I first encountered her in the TV show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I prefer my mystery novels to be dark and hard-boiled but in the effort to be a literary explorer, I decided to pick up the first in the Phryne Fisher novels. What I love about the TV show plays a small part in this cosy crime novel.

Set in 1920’s Melbourne, Cocaine Blues follows Miss Fisher as she tries to hunt down an illegal abortionist who is leaving so much damage that the wome
Ruby Rose Scarlett
I first heard of Kerry Greenwood a few years ago - her series of mystery books focusing on Phryne Fisher was presented amongst various cozy mysteries, this kind of mystery which prohibits swear words, sex or violence. I was then between two minds - on the one hand, it seemed really I wasn't the target audience for this as I don't avoid all those things in my reading or indeed in real life (except for the violence part, obviously). On the other hand, I'm a huge fan of The Thin Man movie series wh ...more
These books are currently hugely popular in Australia, but I'm afraid I will do the rare thing and say I rather the tv series. It's very different, and much less... Frantic, might be the right word. Greenwood 'borrows' from one of my recent reads, Dorothy L Sayers' Strong Poison, with her poison mystery, but in between that there're abortionists, rapists, communists, and drug dealers. All too much, I think. And Phyrne is all rather annoyingly good at *everything* in the book version. She's a bit ...more
First let me say I listened to this book on audio and the reader, Stephanie Daniel, was totally annoying. Her voice was pleasant, and her accents fairly decent, but her inflections made the whole reading unbearable. Every sentence had at least one exaggerated high or low. It was like listening to a cheesy tour guide. Several times I almost stopped listening to it, but since I had actually bought the audio book I figured I had to get my money's worth.

As for the actual story it was pretty cheesy t
This is the first in the Phryne Fisher series written by Kerry Greenwood and published by Poisoned Pen.
Phryne is a wealthy heiress with a talent for solving crimes. Bored with polite English society, Phryne heads to Australia to see about a woman that could be a poisoning victim. Phryne plans to stay in Australia and start her own private detective business. This first case has Phryne chasing down hack abortionist, a cocaine ring and of course finding out if her friend's daughter is being poison
Once an impoverished hellion, Phryne Fisher inherited a life of wealth and privilege when the Great War killed a number of her relatives. Now a titled young woman with money and free time to spare, Phryne turns her jaded eyes toward detective work. In this, her first book, she investigates a rapist abortonist and a cocaine smuggling ring.

Phryne is a good detective, but its through a combination of experimentation, courage, and persistance. She's not a detective in the line of Sherlock Holmes, p
First Sentence: The glass in the French window shattered.

Phryne Fisher has traveled to Australia in order to check on Lydia Andrews; whose parents suspect her husband is poisoning her. Along the way she takes in a desperate young woman, teams with a pair of cab drivers after a back-room abortionist and helps a Russian dancer who is after a cocaine

Phryne, pronounced Fry-knee to rhyme with briny, is a wonderful character. She's independent, smart, talented, stylish, and knows both poverty and wea
I really wanted to love this book--cute independent flapper heroine, unusual setting of 1920s Australia, fairly tight plot--but it didn't quite come together.

Though Phryne is an enjoyable character, and I totally loved her fabulous clothes and her attitude towards life, she is a little too Nancy Drew in her ability to excel in all things: she's an excellent dancer! She's an excellent driver! She's an excellent pilot! She's an excellent dresser! She's an excellent shot!

Plus every once in awhile
Enjoyed this thoroughly! A friend has been trying to get me to read this series for years and I finally relented. I've been drowning myself in M/M for awhile now and was looking for something new. She actually has the majority of books in paperback and brought them to me ... it's been quite the experience reading an actual REAL book.

This book had everything that interests me: (well, except for two hot male main characters)

1. An awesome heroine in Phryne Fisher with a past I MUST know more about
Lady Wesley
I love mysteries -- especially period mysteries such as Poirot and Holmes, so I was intrigued when PBS began showing the Miss Fisher series from Australia. Set in Melbourne in the 1920s, these stories feature amateur detective Phryne Fisher. She is the daughter of a peer, fabulously wealthy, and talented at just about everything. Also, she has the most fabulous wardrobe . . . .

This book is the first in the series by Kerry Greenwood, and it was quite fun. I was surprised to see how much of the b
In Cocaine Blues, the first volume in the long-running Phryne Fisher mysteries, Kerry Greenwood has set up all the necessities for a delightful series. The story was interesting and fast-paced, the author’s prose was simplistic in an elegant way, and the Honorable Miss Fisher herself was a delightful character I certainly want to read about again.

I picked this book up because I wanted to read more mysteries, and this series seems to have a rather favorable reputation from readers of the genre. I
Maybe I'm spoiled from reading about Alexander McCall Smith's lady detective, or Miss Marple, or even Nancy Drew, but Cocaine Blues was simply not my cup of tea. From the initial demonstration of Phryne's abilities to the final lunch, the mystery was a disappointment (albeit a cheap one at 99 cents).

My biggest pet peeve was the way Phryne would initially judge someone (often just based on their appearance or the way their voice sounded) and this judgement would indicate who was goodhearted and w
There is something oddly charming and compelling about this unbelievable tale of a 1920s flapper in Melbourne. The main character, Phryne Fisher, has wit, skills, glamor, intuition, piles of money, and a murky background-- a female James Bond. She battles thugs, murderers, jewel thieves, and drug addicts with sangfroid and insouciance; makes friends high and low with aplomb; pilots planes and sports cars; carries cash, a pistol, and a knife, and knows martial arts; and seems able to do things mo ...more
Cocaine Blues is set in the 1920. The stylish and wealthy Phyne Fisher travels to Melbourne Victoria on behalf of an English couple to uncover the mysterious illness surrounding their daughter Lydia, who they suspect is being poisoned. Once Miss Fisher settled down at Windsor Hotel, she set out to mingle with the socialite’s of Melbourne to discover a little more on Lydia and her circle of friend, but soon finds herself caught up in, and investigating cocaine dealers, backyard abortions, and cor ...more
Kate Loveday
This is a delicious romp of a book! I think I enjoyed it more because of having watched the TV series, as I could see her in her stylish clothes and outrageous situations as I read. However, even without that, it is great escapism. Phrynee Fisher is a young woman in the flapper age of the 1920's. She is asked by old accquaintances to leave England and return to her home town of Melbourne in Australia in order to check on their daughter Lydia, who they believe might be in danger from her husband. ...more
This book was strongly recommended to me, and justifiably so. It is just the sort of mystery I adore. There are interesting characters, a thick coating of history, and a minimum level of plotly complication.

Phyrne came up from no money to quite a lot of money, and it means she uses money to accomplish her goals because it doesn't seem quite real to her, so why not spend it? She appears to feel the same about her maidenly virtue. I love that she is polite and assured in society without buying int
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Better Book C...: Phryne Fisher Mysteries vs. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries 17 8 Apr 13, 2015 12:39PM  
Could this be considered a "cozy" mystery? 15 96 Dec 10, 2014 11:58PM  
Kerry Greenwood 5 27 Oct 08, 2014 11:24AM  
What is the order of these books? 5 58 Oct 22, 2012 10:58AM  
  • Death at Wentwater Court (Daisy Dalrymple, #1)
  • Heirs and Graces (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #7)
  • Room with a Clue (Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery, #1)
  • Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs, #6)
  • Interrupted Aria (Tito Amato, #1)
  • Dying In the Wool (Kate Shackleton, #1)
  • Bellfield Hall (A Dido Kent Mystery, #1)
  • Million Dollar Baby (A Marjorie McClelland Mystery, #1)
  • The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy (Burford Family, #1)
  • Cut to the Quick (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #1)
Kerry Greenwood was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has a degree in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on the 1st April 1982, a day which she finds both soothing and significant.

Kerry has written twenty novels, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D'Arcy,
More about Kerry Greenwood...

Other Books in the Series

Phryne Fisher (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2)
  • Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher, #3)
  • Death at Victoria Dock (Phryne Fisher, #4)
  • The Green Mill Murder (Phryne Fisher, #5)
  • Blood and Circuses (Phryne Fisher, #6)
  • Ruddy Gore (Phryne Fisher, #7)
  • Urn Burial (Phryne Fisher, #8)
  • Raisins and Almonds (Phryne Fisher, #9)
  • Death Before Wicket (Phryne Fisher, #10)
  • Away With the Fairies
Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2) Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher, #3) Death at Victoria Dock (Phryne Fisher, #4) The Green Mill Murder (Phryne Fisher, #5) Ruddy Gore (Phryne Fisher, #7)

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