Once an impoverished hellion, Phryne Fisher inherited a life of wealth and privilege when the Great War killed a number of her relatives. Now a titled young woman with money and free time to spare, Phryne turns her jaded eyes toward detective work. In this, her first book, she investigates a rapist abortonist and a cocaine smuggling ring.
Phryne is a good detective, but its through a combination of experimentation, courage, and persistance. She's not a detective in the line of Sherlock Holmes, perpetually the cleverest and strongest person in the room. She's actually a bit like Miss Marple crossed with James Bond: half her investigations are based on observing people's characters in genteel tea rooms, and for the other half she's in disguise, gun in hand, outmaneuvering ruthless thugs. She's always dressed in the height of fashion, and drives planes and automobiles with speed and aplomb. She has a wonderfully flippant way of speaking, and her internal narration has a tendency toward the cutting bon mot. She's a good deal of fun to read.
That said, as mysteries go these weren't very satisfying, and the writing itself is a bit slapdash. Greenwood is lax in terms of point-of-view (which jumps all over the place, sometimes even within a single paragraph) and isn't particularly good at action. I might read more of these novels, but I'm not enthralled by them.