I was hanging out on a seedy street corner — well, okay, in my easy chair — when I got a chance to follow a woman private eye I’d seen solve other cases as she tackled the one which started it all. That went okay, so I decided to strike up acquaintance with two other female detectives who were hanging around.
Call it summer. Call it brain overload from real world matters. Whatever prompted it, I enjoyed this interlude with three sleuths who aren’t quite as gritty as the ones I usually favor. I hope you will too.
Naughty, titled, and rich, the Honorable Phryne Fisher is a 1920s P.I. created by Australian author Kerry Greenwood. She drives, flys an ‘aeroplane’ and in the course of a book is likely to share her bed with a good-looking man of her choosing — always with tasteful vagueness. In COCAINE BLUES she leaves the London social scene for Melbourne at the behest of a couple who believe their married daughter is being poisoned. It leads her to a trail of murdered girls and a cocaine smuggling enterprise.
Phryne takes getting roughed up with the best of them. A bath drawn by her maid and a few glasses of champagne usually help. In this first book of an extensive series, we see her acquire both maid and career.
R.P. Dahlke’s A DEAD RED CADILLAC is smartly done romantic suspense where the mystery predominates. The crop dusting heroine is interesting, and plotting and pacing are right on target. The author delivers a thoroughly enjoyable story without anything feeling forced. There are five books in the series.
THE GOOD KNIGHT by Sarah Woodbury weaves the politics of 12th century Wales into a plot featuring two sleuths who are part of an ongoing series. Gwen, daughter of the court bard, is employed as a spy/investigator for a prince of the royal family. Gareth is a knight loyal to the same family. The writing is visual and clean. The historical setting delivers great atmosphere without being pedantic.
M. Ruth Myers writes the Maggie Sullivan mysteries featuring a woman P.I. in the 1930s/40s.