COCAINE BLUES by Kerry Greenwood and THE KISS OF DEATH XO by Jeffery Deaver
There are two covers shown for Cocaine Blues because the book is now part of a hugely successful ABC television series which has screened in Australia and hopefully will be screened in NZ later this year.
So first up THE KISS OF DEATH XO by master US crime writer Jeffery Deaver published by Hodder with a NZ rrp of $36.99.
This is big (400+ pages) and fast-moving novel that kept me riveted from beginning to end.
Kayleigh Towne is a beautiful and successful singer-songwriter, and Edwin Sharp is her biggest fan. When she replies to one of his fan letters with 'XO', Edwin is convinced she loves him, and that her latest hit song 'Your Shadow' was written for him. Nothing Kayleigh or her lawyers can say persuades him otherwise.
Then the singer gets an anonymous phone call; it's the first verse of 'Your Shadow' playing. Soon after, one of the crew is horribly murdered. Kayleigh's friend Kathryn Dance, a special agent with the California Bureau of Investigation, knows that stalking crimes are not one-off occurrences, and, sure enough, more verses of the song are played as warnings of death to follow. With a little help from forensic criminalist Lincolyn Rhyme, Dance must use her kinesic and investigative skills in an attempt to find the killer before more people die.
This is Deaver at his very best, I rate him as the top US contemporary writer in this genre. Fabulous.
This book is a must not only for crime fiction readers but for popular music buffs as well. There is an enormous amount of information imparted within the story about the celebrity status enjoyed by leading musos, the problems that arise from this status, stalkers, instant recognition, paparazzi etc. Also much about rehearsals, roadies, setting up in huge venues, illegal downloading of music; in fact it is a great inside look at a leading musician's life (albeit a fictional one) and I found it totally fascinating.
Deaver has written the actual song, 'Your Shadow'. Readers will be able to download it from www.jefferydeaver.com.
Now on to Cocaine Blues (Allen & Unwin)
The first of Phryne's adventures from Australia's most elegant and irrepressible sleuth.
The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honourable Phryne Fisher - she of the green-grey 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.
Light, frothy.enormously entertaining, fun is how I would sum it up, and the good thing is there are several more in the series. And having visited Melbourne just a few weeks back I was imtrigued and impressed with the author's description of that great city in a 1920's setting.
Can't wait to see the TV series.
I like this quote from The Australian which sums it up well -With Phryne Fisher, the indefatigable Greenwood has invented the character-you-fall-in-love-with genre.' Absolutely, I fell in love with Phryne.
Kerry Greenwood is the author of twenty-seven novels and the editor of two collections. Previous novels in the Phryne Fisher series are Flying too High, Murder on the Ballarat Train, The Green Mill Murder, Blood and Circuses, Death on the Victoria Dock, Ruddy Gore, Urn Burial, Raisins and Almonds, Death Before Wicket, Away with the Fairies, Murder in Montparnasse, The Castlemaine Murders and Queen of the Flowers. She is also the author of several books for young adults and the Delphic Women series.
When she is not writing she is an advocate in Magistrates' Court for the Legal Aid Commission. This explains her impressive descriptions of court proceedings and scenes.
She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered Wizard.