Flying Too High

Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2)Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another delightful installment of mystery, sex, and adventure. Bert, Cec, and Dot all take center stage in this one. Phryne buys a house (221B), hires Mr. and Mrs. Butler, and does daredevil tricks on the wing of an airplane. I’ll definitely continue to read these. Hard to say yet whether the books or the TV series is better…

Book description: Walking the wings of a Tiger Moth plane in full flight would be more than enough excitement for most people, but not for Phryne―amateur detective and woman of mystery, as delectable as the finest chocolate and as sharp as razor blades. In fact, the 1920s’ most talented and glamorous detective flies even higher here, handling a murder, a kidnapping, and the usual array of beautiful young men with style and consummate ease. And she does it all before it’s time to adjourn to the Queenscliff Hotel for breakfast. Whether she’s flying planes, clearing a friend of homicide charges, or saving a child, Phryne does everything with the same dash and elan with which she drives her red Hispano-Suiza.

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Pies and Prejudice

Pies and Prejudice (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery, #1)Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I must not be a fan of cozy mysteries. Especially stories that involve magic. They just seem fluffy / silly to me. Known as “the pie queen” in my family, I was hoping the pie angle would bump it up for me, but the recipes were nothing special, and I wasn’t even convinced the author had ever baked a pie. Putting frozen pie dough in the microwave to thaw it?? Oh no, no, no, no, no! And the way the character manhandles the dough all the time, the pie crusts would be a bit tough. She should have been a bread baker! Still I’d give it 3.5 stars. Just not sure I liked it enough to continue to see where the author might be going with the magical element. There are a few nods to Pride and Prejudice – 5 women (though not all sisters), hunky guy in the swimming hole ala Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, and a few other things, but plotwise there is no resemblance to Austen. I liked the aunts. Strong women characters are always a plus. I just don’t think they needed to have magical powers.

Book description: When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren’t just delicious. They’re having magical effects on the people who eat them–and the public is hungry for more. Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn’s fiancé is found dead–killed with Ella Mae’s rolling pin–it’ll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.

Cocaine Blues

Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1)Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries television series, so was eager to try the books. This did not disappoint. The writing is just as sparkling as the protagonist. Is Phryne too perfect and talented to be true? Of course, and that is half the fun! Plus the setting is just exotic enough to be fascinating, and there is plenty of period detail and description. There is adventure, and humor, and if I hadn’t listened to an audiobook, I would have been writing down memorable quotes. I may have to resort to rereading the ebook just to find them again. Like the TV show, this will be one I will visit again. The book goes a little deeper than the television show. Familiar secondary characters are Dot, her maid, Bert and Cec, the cab drivers, and her friend the Scottish doctor. There are some plot differences in the TV show, but they are relatively minor. I think they did a good job with the TV adaptation.

Book description: Phryne leaves the tedium of English high society for Melbourne, Australia, and never looks back. The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher―she of the green-gray eyes, diamant garters and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions―is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia. Almost immediately from the time she books into the Windsor Hotel, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned wives, cocaine smuggling rings, corrupt cops and communism―not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse―until her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street.