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Month in review

Reviews
Across the Continent by The Lincoln Highway by Effie Price Gladding
The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief by Maurice Leblanc
Baby Driver: A Story About Myself by Jan Kerouac
Blackwork by Monica Ferris
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris
Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
The Colossus of Roads: Myth and Symbol Along the American Highway by Karal Ann Marling
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff
Far from Fair by Elana K. Arnold
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught
The Friendship Riddle by Megan Frazer Blakemore
The Inn Between by Marina Cohen
The Isle by Jordana Frankel Jem and The Holograms 1 by Kelly Thompson
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly
The Missing Ink by Karen E. Olson
Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
No Ghouls Allowed by Victoria Laurie
Painting with a Lens by Rod Deutschmann and Robin Deutschmann
Photography of Natural Things by Freeman Patterson
Splat and the Cool School Trip by Rob Scotton
Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White
Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley
Umbrella by Taro Yashima The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
The Ward by Jordana Frankel
The Woman-Haters by Joseph C. Lincoln

Miscellaneous
My life as a teenage book addict, or, Sarah becomes a reader
Playing Pokémon Go as a parent
The terrible previews before Ghostbusters

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Cocaine Blues: 07/18/16

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood is the first of the Phryne Fisher mystery series, inspiration for the excellent Australian TV series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

The book opens with Phryne solving a snatch and grab at a party she's attending before setting sail for Australia. The Great War has decimated her family suddenly elevating her scoundrel of a father to gentry. With Phyrne's newfound fortune she decides to head home and away from her father as quickly as possible.

Enjoying the excitement and satisfaction of solving a case, Phryne considers becoming a lady detective. I suspect though it was initially an idle thought until she finds herself thrust into a number of mysteries shortly after disembarking.

There are actually three mysteries: a friend who is probably being poisoned, a rapist doing dangerous abortions, and a turf war over cocaine imports. Now in the TV version, the emphasis is on the poisoning, beginning with the husband dropping dead in the bath. Here, the poisoning plot is tertiary to everything else which I found distracting since it was the part of the plot I remembered best.

The other big difference between the two is Dorothy, aka Dot, the young Catholic woman Phryne ends up employing as a personal assistant. Dot in the book, while still devout and chaste, is not the scared mouse she's portrayed as in the first episode. There's an idiotic scene in the TV show where Dot can't pick up the phone to answer because she's afraid of the electricity. It struck me then as out of character and now I can see that it was created for the TV show to tie together Dot's introduction to Phryne with the poisoning plot.

Anyway, it's a short, quick, and enjoyable read. I think it helps to see the series first to get a sense of the different characters as the book throws a lot at your in a very short number of pages.

Five stars

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