Baking is an alchemical process for Corinna Chapman. At four am she starts work at Earthly Delights, her bakery in Calico Alley.
But one morning Corinna receives a threatening note saying "The wages of sin is death" and finds a syringe in her cat's paw. A blue-faced junkie has collapsed in the dark alley and a mysterious man with beautiful eyes appears with a plan for Corinna and her bread. Then it is Goths, dead drug addicts, witchcraft, a homeless boy, and a missing girl and it seems she will never get those muffins cooked in time.
With flair, chutzpah and a talent for kneading, Corinna Chapman will find out who exactly is threatening her life and bake some beautiful bread.
©1992 Kerry Greenwood (P)2013 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
I have read and listened to all the Phryne Fisher novels and just didn't think another series by the same author could be so good. WRONG. This one is modern, lusty, funny, and again has a heroine who asserts herself and grows. If you have an aversion to the occult or good sex then stay away. Neither overpowers the story but are interwoven well. The narrator, Ms Siversen, does a great job with all the voices too. Looking forward to listening to more.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
Format: Audible Download/Kindle Whispersync
Although I also had this book on my Kindle, I ended up listening to most of this book for the sheer pleasure of the narrator's voice. Louise Siversin brings a warmth and enthusiasm to her reading of the first of the Corinna Chapman series that is positively infectious. It's in first person so Siversin's voice quickly became Corinna's in my mind.
Earthly Delights is the name of the bakery owned and run by Corinna Chapman. Named of course after the modern title given to the painting by Hieronymus Bosch, a copy of which hangs in her shop. And Corinna does indeed enjoy all of the earthly delights. Let me just say that she is not one of those heroines who will announce at some point that she is one of the lucky women who can eat what she wants and not gain an ounce. I particularly enjoyed the information about baking that is woven into the story.
Early one morning she opens the door to her bakery and discovers a junkie ODing on her grate. Thus begins an interesting and largely cheerful murder mystery involving Corinna, her co-tenants at Insula-- a Roman style apartment building with shops on the first floor and living spaces above, and bits of the Melbourne underworld.
It has some strong language, drug taking and sexual activity so if you are the type of person this would put off then this is not the book for you. It's not a cozy in that sense no matter what HK tried to tell you.
Oh, and who is Jade Forrester, the author whose books Corinna reads? I checked and she is a real author.
First it is important to know that the characters is this book are not at all like Kerry Greenwood's books featuring Phryne Fisher which I also enjoy, and for very different reasons than I like Earthly Delights. I loved the narrator for Earthly Delights, Louise Siversen's voice is low and soothing. I also enjoyed the characters. These are beautiful people whose beauty has more to do with intelligence, tolerance, and a determination to be cheerful in the face of petty annoyances, and rotten problems, without being insipid. They live in an old fashioned apartment building, called Insula after similar buildings in ancient Rome (the ancient originals more like tenements than this elegant building.Corinna has given up a very profitable career as an accountant, as well as a "profitable" husband and big house to move into Insula, and take the bakery on the first floor. Waking at four in the morning to bake fresh bread to fill orders for stores and restaurants and bake muffins for people on their way to work, is for her heaven. She tells us that she will never wear a kitten heel again. Being a very large person we can be happy for her. While she has her share of insecurities she is not confused about her ability to run a small business, and trust her own judgment. Her friends are fortunate in her friendship, and heaven help those she sees as enemies. Corinna needs all the good sense she owns when her before dawn work day isn interrupted by a young woman expiring of an overdose on a heating grate outside her shop door. Corinna calls medics, keeps the victim alive, and is roundly cursed for "stealing the young lady's high". However, from this rather nasty beginning Corinna meets strong Daniel, acquires a ragged assistant, and deals with a slander campaign that effects all of the occupants of the building.
Although the story is character driven, the world Kerry Greenwood describes is consistent from beginning to end. The listener/reader is not jerked out of the story by a character or plot point inconsistent with earlier descriptions. I liked the description of St. Kilda. Living in the eastern United States, I doubt my dream of visiting the city where these characters live will ever be in my budget, but after reading Kerry Greenwood's books I certainly wish it were.
There are several. I love the garden upon the roof of the apartment building with its fish pool, benches and arbors, and its contrasts with the soup run, to make sure the homeless get one hot meal a day. Both of these scenes involve Daniel, whom the reader only knows as a dark mysterious stranger for a good bit of the book.
Obviously Corinna is the most memorable because this is her story. I expect though the favorite character will depend upon the reader. My daughter's favorite of course is Daniel a man so beautiful that Corinna can't believe he wants to be with her. My favorite is the retired professor who listens with silence and empathy to those who tell him their problems. Of course loving realistic magic, I also like the the owner of Sybil's Cave. When Corinna needs practical help, she is always willing to help. Not all of her help involves spells.
This story is a cozy mystery, it deserves the name more than most. The Corinna Chapman stories act upon me like a soothing cup of tea, OK, more like a glass of white wine. I am going to buy as many of these audiobooks as they produce and save them for days when traffic is bad, people are cranky, and I have to do boring mindless tasks.
At book one of the series I am hooked! I love the food, the cats, the sights of Melbourne and all the crazy characters.I am looking forward to listening to all the series.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a very different from her Phryne Fisher series. I really liked the down to earth feel of Corinna Chapman. I loved the fact that she is overweight and not only comfortable with it but still considered attractive and sexy. That is something not often seen in other books unfortunately. It is nice to see some more realistic and positive role models. I am familiar with Melbourne and enjoyed that aspect of it also. I would love her flat! The other supporting characters are interesting also. I felt the narration let the book down some what. Corinna is well done but most of the other characters less so especially the men, she made Jason and Daniel sound very slow witted and flat. I liked the pace and inflections otherwise. I did however buy the written book for the next one to see if I prefer it to the audio.
yes. It's different. Some humor some mystery some query characters.
The witch and the dominatrix
The mouse patrol
The heroine. She accepts herself as she is.
Give it a try if you're not a10.
Engaging story and narrator. One of the best for this genre
None that I can think of, very unique indeed
Believable, easy to understand, drew me in. Love her performance
Corinna, of course!
Love the mixture of characters, Corinna's attitude and the setting. Kept me entertained throughout. I'm going to listen to the entire series
Not sure. It was so boring that I could not get past the beginning, maybe it gets better later in the book, but I will never know.
Only from this author and narrator
Fun, indulgent, light
Favorite character was Corinna chapman bc she is real, sheis fat and independent
No better name!
Great book, I can't wait to get lost in the next one. Easy read, nice Setting, I can relate to waking up at four todo the baking!
"A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” --C.S. Lewis
I got this because I adore the Phryne Fisher series but I needed a break from them for a while--that can happen when you listen to 8 in a row!
I was disappointed. First of all, this is the first book in the series, and honestly? The plot is almost the same as the first Phryne Fisher book--a drug ring. OK, I could deal with that. But maybe if it had been fourth or fifth in the series, instead of being in the same order? Is the next one going to be about a kidnapping/child molester? (I haven't looked yet).
Don't get me wrong. I liked Corinna. I liked that she baked and that she liked her bread; and her apartment and apartment building sounded WONDERFUL. I just didn't feel as if her character was finished, and I especially didn't feel as if her love interest, Daniel, was very well finished, either. It was disappointing.
I also couldn't figure out why she kept calling herself fat--14 stone is really not that big. It's under 200 pounds, and while obviously that is not thin, it certainly isn't what I would consider...enormous. When I weighed 14 stone, I wore a size 12, for heaven's sake! That's not fat! I found this part of the story to be really frustrating and it made me very angry. All she need say is is that she is voluptuous or some such thing, not make such a big deal over her weight! This is part of the problem with this world these days...but I digress.
As for the narration: SPEAK UP. I listen to my books in my car, and one of the biggest issues I have is narrators that speak so softly that even when I have the volume the highest it will go and am holding the speakers in my lap, I can't hear over road noise and the a/c blowing inside my car, and I continually am driving distractedly while I attempt to rewind that last minute that I missed.
I think this book was ok. I won't recommend it to others. I might try reading the next one instead of listening to it. I didn't hate it, but I'll be glad to go back to my Phryne books and listen to Stephanie Daniel again.
"Good fun from Aussieland"
I loved this book it is great fun and had me laughing out loud at times. It is refreshing to have a book set in Australia instead of GB or USA so I looking forward to reading some more. Kerry Greenwood has read a lot of the same writers that I have so the references have been understood and enjoyed.
The narrator is just right, an Australian Barbara Rosenblat, I will now look out for books read by her. A good fun read.
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