Cocaine Blues – Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries #1 (1989) by Kerry Greenwood
Cocaine Blues is the first in the iconic Phryne Fisher Murder Mystery series by Kerry Greenwood, and I was so excited to finally read it! This is the book that first introduces the sassy bob-haired heroine Phryne, the straight-laced but delectable Captain Jack Robinson, and the Communist-leaning blue-collar cabbies Cecil and Bert. The story begins with Phryne outing a thief at her parent’s dinner table: a young man invited to the high society dinner thanks to his amateur cricket skills. After the scandal that this causes Phryne’s investigatory skills are noted by a Colonel and his wife, who hire her to sail to Melbourne and investigate their daughter Lydia’s marriage. Through a series of events and covert investigations, from high-class society dances to a stint in a working-girl’s costume, Phryne discovers that Lydia is not at all who she seems, and in the process she also unravels a gang of cocaine-peddling fiends with the help of a revenge-seeking Russian dance troupe.
I began this book already knowing that I loved the characters, the historical setting, and the sassy, daring adventures of Miss Fisher, so I was a little biased towards the work from the beginning. My only qualm with the work is that the editing must have been rushed; several times the protagonist was referred to as Phyrne, as well as several other obvious spelling and type-setting mistakes. The story itself however: fabulous!