Cocaine Blues
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1. Did you like the book?


2. What do you think of the title of the book?


3. What time period is this book set in? The date is never explicitly stated, so how did you know? Did you like reading about this time period?


4. The book is set Australia. Does the exotic (to us) locale help or hurt the book? Do you think the average American knows enough about Australian culture and history to get all of the lingo and cultural references?


5. How old do you think Phryne is? Is her age significant to the story?


6. The author portrays flappers as feminist figures with agency and guts, while many other sources depict them as silly and giggly girls. What do you think about Greenwoods interpretation? Would you consider Phryne to be a flapper?


7. There are some very distinctive social class differences between the characters in the book. Do you think these classes are especially noticeable in the book due to the time period or the English/Australian culture? Does social class affect the mystery/story?


8. Phryne draws her gun and puts the barrel on the back of Burt’s neck as a method of haggling taxi fare. This scene is appears to be a perfectly normal thing from Bert’s perspective. Why do you think that is? What does this tell you about each character?


9. In the book, Phryne mentions her gun a number of times. What does the gun mean to her, as a symbol, and to you, as a reader?


10. Phryne’s other possessions are described in great detail. Do we learn about her character and opinions through these descriptions or are they mostly color?


11. What are Phryne’s strengths?


12. Phryne can do a number of things that set her apart from other characters. Do these traits strike you as realistic for a wealthy person with a lot of free time? Are they suitable in a heroine in this sort of book?


13. Does Phryne develop as a character during the novel? If she does, how?


14. What are Phryne’s weaknesses? From the author’s perspective, what function do they serve?


15. There are a number of supporting characters in this novel. Are they there to provide color to the novel or are they essential to solving the mystery? Are they essential for the things they do or the things they know?


16. How did the side story of Butcher George and Alice Greenham play into the larger Lydia mystery? In your opinion, did it help or hurt the story?


17. What use does Dr. Elizabeth MacMillian have in the book/to the mystery? Did you like her character?


18. Did you know who was poisoning Lydia before it was revealed?


19. Did you know who the Cocaine distributer was before it was revealed?



* Some questions from MentorPL



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