Phryne Fisher, Lady Detective

Cocaine Blues - Kerry Greenwood

The first book in the series by Kerry Greenwood is Cocaine Blues and it introduces the reader to Phryne Fisher, a most unusual choice for a detective. She's brash, fearless, wealthy, and (if you didn't catch on) a woman. The series is set in late 1920s Melbourne, Australia and features an interesting assortment of main characters which include but are not limited to working class taxi drivers, a dutiful maid, a stolid detective inspector, and Phryne at the center of it all. In the first book of the series, Phryne manages to solve 3 crimes (only two of which feature the illegal substance mentioned in the title of the book). A young girl is given a back alley abortion that nearly kills her by a man that the police have yet to pin down, a woman seems to be a victim of poisoning by her husband, and the cocaine trade is rampant in Melbourne and the King of Snow is at the heart of it all. Picture an attractive young woman sailing onto a crime scene bedecked in the latest fashion of 1920s London carrying a small pistol in a tiny purse who effortlessly solves crimes while simultaneously beguiling all of the attractive men (and women) in the vicinity. So why aren't you reading this series already?!