Review: Cocaine Blues

By Kerry Greenwood9124En-B9L.SR160240_BG243243243

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.


Blurb: When she finds herself rather bored with hum-drum England, the Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher decides to jump ship, a bit literally, to return to her homeland: Australia. Once there, she finds herself a few friends and a new maid. And then she finds a couple of communists, a few new and one old enemy, and nearly gets herself slightly murdered for being just a little curious about the king of cocaine in Melbourne. It’s the first book in a series and one I desperately wish to continue reading.

Trigger Warnings:

Bloodshed, Child Abuse,  Death, Drug Use (Illicit), Drug Use (Non-Consensual), Drug Use (Prescription), Gun Violence, Infidelity, Murder, Non-Consensual Sex, Non-Consensual Touching, Off Screen Sex, On Screen Sex, Physical Abuse, Sexism, Sexual Abuse (mentioned), Sexual Assault (mention of), Unsafe  Sex, Violence, Violent Imagery, War (Discussion of)

Body Count: 0

The Specs:

  • Series
    • Series Name: A Phryne Fisher Mystery
    • Book number: 1 of 20 and counting
  • Genre
    • Technical Genre: Mysteries, Amateur Sleuths, Australia
    • Theo Genre: Adventure Lady!; Lady Detective
  • Page count: 175 pages
  • POV: Limited 3rd Person
  • Publication information:
    • Paperback page count: 175 pages
    • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; First Paperback Edition edition (March 1, 2007)
    • Language:  English
    • ISBN-10: 159058385X
    • ISBN-13: 978-1590583852

Other Fun Stuff:

  • To Read or Not To Read (Again):
    • Bedside      Bookshelf      Donated      Furniture     Support
  • Rating out of five: 4.5 out of 5

Representation and Sexism Tests:

  • Bechdel–Wallace Test: PASS
    • Do two female characters talk about something than a male character? YES    NO
  • DuVernay Test: FAIL
    • Are there fully actualized characters of color? YES   NO
  • Ellen Willis Test: YES
    • Would two related characters still work to carry the story if their genders were reversed? YES     NO
  • Mako Mori Test: PASS
    • Is there a female character? YES    NO
    • Does she get her own arc? YES     NO
    • Does it do anything other than support a man’s story? YES    NO
  • Sexy Lamp Test: PASS
    • Would the plot fall apart if the female character was replaced by a sexy looking lamp? Absolutely.     Maybe?     No. 
  • Vito Russo Test: PASS
    • Is there a character on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum? YES     NO
    • Are they a character beyond their orientation? YES     NO
    • Do they affect the plot? YES    NO

Overall review:

Thoughts: This is a series I will happily read the next 19 of…at some point. I really do want to read the next one immediately, as Phryne is well written and dear Dot just smacks of growth as a person. Dr. Mac is a sassy treat and the darling communists, Bert and Cec make for a fine foil for the polished and meek Dot. Detective Inspector Robinson is droll and enjoyable. 

I quite enjoy the tone of Ms. Greenwood’s writings; Phryne’s smoking is a bit off-putting, but the character seems to hide many a dark memory behind her siren red smile. I look forward to the next book (or twenty) in the series. 

Smutty moments/smut review: Most of it was light smut and naughty thoughts. Nothing x-rated, but the characters are described with such vivid detail, it’s easy to imagine.

Favorite passage: Sasha and Phryne’s dancing.

Was it engaging?: 

Yes     No     At times Room for improvement     Had to fight through it.

Favorite Character:

Phryne, of course!

Read as part of the 2019 Color Coded Reading Challenge!

One thought on “Review: Cocaine Blues

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