This is a 3-story edition, so I already read the first book of the series. I'm going to write the review for that, because otherwise I'll forget about it. Then I'll post all 3 stories in the real review post.
The first story is Cocaine Blues, and in accordance with the title, Cocaine does feature in the story. I was a bit apprehensive about how the famous drug will participate, but it wasn't in a positive light, thankfully.
Having seen the series adaptation of the books, I couldn't help comparing the two. The series has an air of the 20s about it, part of what makes it so great. The book does as well. I tried to remember if I'd seen the story itself in the series, but I couldn't remember. However, the first season was over a year ago, and my memory concerning crime serieses is notoriously bad. It does allow me to see one episode multiple times though.
The TV show has a lot of sexual elements, and the book didn't disappoint in that regard.
The story itself was a lot of fun. It wasn't unsolvable, there were no clues hidden from us. What I also liked was how there wasn't just one story in the book, but several running simultaneously. You have Phryne entering Australian society, Dot's appearance, the story of the girl, the Russians, and the cocaine. I didn't mind them though, and while it may sound a bit chaotic, the stories flowed together well.
Phryne is of course the central character, but the view is not third person limited. We do get to see other happenings, that are not centred around her. She is as interesting as she is on TV. One thing that gave more depth to her in the book was that she wasn't always rich. The last time she had seen Melbourn was as a poor child. It took her out of the regular flapper attitude, and grounded her in reality.
Dot is as endearing as on TV. Their meeting is under different circumstances, and I liked this version.
Bert and Cec are in, but the inspector didn't play as big a role as he did on TV. I'm hoping that he'll make more appearances in the following books.
Overall, a really good start. It's a fun crime novel series. What I especially liked about it was that it felt like what I usually read. The style had a comfortable, easy feel to it, that made me feel secure. I can't pinpoint what gave this feeling to it, perhaps the prose had a simple quality to it, but I really liked that. Now on to Fly Too High.