It’s been years since I read Cocaine Blues (I think it was in The Before Times), and I feared I’d have to go back to it for a refresher, but I needn’t have worried. Greenwood helpfully explains any references to past adventures whether they were in the first book or not. It seems to be the kind of deal where Phryne’s backstory is dropped in little snippets whenever one of her astounding skills needs to be explained, so I find it less likely I forgot that she had piloting experience in book one, and more likely that I won’t find out about that time she climbed Mount Everest until Greenwood needs to explain how Phryne can suddenly ascend sheer rock faces with the greatest of ease.
One thing I do wish I remembered about Cocaine Blues is whether or not it also switched from lighthearted and snarky to downright disturbing and back at the drop of a hat. Several times Flying Too High was rolling along pleasantly on Cheeky Street before hitting the gas and taking a hard turn onto WTF Drive on the way to Darksville, only to take another screeching-tire turn onto What A Lark Avenue. Spoilery examples include:
So yeah. I can’t tell if there are actual tonal problems there that should have been addressed or if I’m reading them as tonal problems because of the flippant treatment of things on my ick list. Either way, the book made me laugh more than it tried to make my eyebrows climb up past my hairline, and I’ll keep going with the series for now.