Cocaine Blues is the first in the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood. When these were originally brought to America, they weren't published chronologically so I'm lucky to have found them now that they are all available here. I hate reading serials out of order, even if they are stand alone stories.
This mystery takes place in 1920s Melbourne, Australia. Greenwood does a great job of immersing the reader in the time and place. I relished Greenwood's description of the clothes everyone was wearing (long strings of pearls, enamel brooches, fabulous dresses). Phryne is an independent woman ahead of her time who squeezes in plenty of partying with her sleuthing. I loved her as a main character.
The story itself was very good as well, but I found the mystery very easy to solve before the end. Of course that could have just been a lucky guess. I'd still suggest the book if you are a mystery fan and interested in this time period. The cast of characters is wonderfully quirky, and I can't wait to revisit them in later novels in the series.
I had to look up a picture of Phryne's car on Google while reading about her acquiring it. How fabulous is this car?! Hers would have been an earlier model, but the only pictures I could find of her exact one were of toy cars. The style stayed pretty much the same anyway.
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