This review is spoiler free.
“not the dead ye have to be concerned about! Beware of the Living!”
Series: Phryne Fisher
Published: 2013, by C&R Crime.
Genre: Mystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Crime
Contains: Violence, Anger, Death, Blood/Gore, Sexual Content
‘Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates’ or ‘Cocaine Blues’ follows the Honourable Phryne Fisher who is tiring of polite conversations with retired colonels and dances with weak-chinned men. When the opportunity presents itself, Phryne decides it might be amusing to try her hand at becoming a lady detective in Australia. Immediately upon settling into Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor, Phryne finds herself embroiled in mystery.
This book has been on my wish-list for quite some time, finding myself loving the television adaptations, so I sought out the original. In all honesty, I preferred the television show.
Phryne Fisher is an incredibly interesting protagonist. She’s fun-loving, clever, and determined. However, she’s also a little too perfect for my liking. There’s nothing this girl can’t do, she’s right every single time, and that’s what I think leads this book to be resolved so quickly. There’s no downside to her, she can fix anything, meaning the book is over before you realise and you’re left feeling a little “Is that it?”.
Dot was a great character, being Phryne’s opposite, as a meek and gentle-natured maid, however, her development into bravery was one I really enjoyed reading.
The other characters were slightly more forgettable, however, as I found myself skim-reading more than delving into the story. For a short novel, I expected them to be a little more memorable.
The story itself is quite short, being under two-hundred pages, however, the actual crime didn’t start until midway through, which made the read quite dull in parts. Personally, I thought the television adaptation of the series was brilliantly done, and I think that’s what leads me to prefer that.
Overall, this book was slightly disappointing. Although, Phryne and Dot are wonderfully fun characters, the novel fell in the actual story department. It didn’t quite work.