September 25, 2015

Two unusual detectives and the blogger who loved them

I'm a great lover of mystery novels. (If you randomly search throughout this blog you'll see that I'm a great lover of many different genres but I digress.) I was recently turned onto an Australian television program entitled Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (if you're a fan of mystery programs then you should check it out on Netflix) and when I discovered that it was based on a series of novels I immediately started looking for them at the library. 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?!

Continuing my foray into mysteries, I returned to one of my favorite mystery writers (and detectives). Rex Stout, creator of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin *swoon*, This has been a favorite of mine ever since I discovered the A&E series with Timothy Hutton *swoon*. (Maybe I should start a blog where I review television series and movies. hahaha) Death Times Three includes 3 novellas featuring the famous armchair detective Nero Wolfe and his assistant Archie Goodwin. All of the Nero Wolfe mysteries take place in Manhattan through the 1930-70s. The first in this compilation, Bitter End, starts out with contaminated liver pate and continues with the search for a murderer. Following after that is Frame-Up For Murder where Archie is entreated by a beautiful young woman to help her brother save his fashion business only for the waters to be muddied by an ill-timed death. It closes with Assault on a Brownstone which is singular as Wolfe's sanctuary is beset with Treasury officials and Archie meets someone who gets the jump on him. It's a quick, fun read and if you love mysteries it will whet your appetite for longer works from Stout. You won't regret it, I promise.

**If you're interested in a books like the ones I've reviewed here, you can click here. This will re-direct you to AbeBooks. This is one of my favorite websites for purchasing used books. Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following this link. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

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