I had started this book last summer and then set it aside when something else arrived that I had to read Right This Instant. I can't remember what that other one was, but it's really too bad of me that I didn't get back to Cocaine Blues before now because I really, really enjoyed it.
The book is set in 1920's Australia, not your everyday setting, but an era that I especially find fascinating. And the heroine, Miss Phryne (pronounced as Fry-knee) Fisher is a bright, liberated, funny woman of independent means. She's off to Australia as a favour to a friend, checking on the friend's daughter who he fears is being poisoned, or something equally as heinous, by her husband. We get to meet all kinds of wonderful characters; Dot, Phryne's maid who is as proper as Phryne is not, Bert and Cec who supply friendly muscle, Sasha, the Russian dancer and Phryne's sometime lover, and many more who are each more colourful than the last.
The mystery is full of twists and turns and the author doesn't give anything away. When the main villain was ultimately unmasked, I was all, "Oh really? Well, of course it was!" Very satisfying. :)
When people speak of a book being a romp, they're speaking of books like this. Cocaine Blues is indeed a romp and I will indeed be reading more of this series.