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.
Tell us about yourself! Aspiring writer, quasi-voracious writer, in the process of knitting a sweater and taking a clas at my alma mater in ancestory.
I so looked forward to reading this book and waited throughout for the mystery, what a bore!
No I love mysteries, but his was so amateur. The characters are boring and cartoonish. I'd run from anyone who appeared on my balcony like "an angel" , Creepy.
The narrator was the best thing about the book, but she didn't nail all of the characters.
I would definitely have cut the cat love bits and the bath scent descriptions. On second thought, I would have suggested a complete rewrite.
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.
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
Just wasn't intriguing as I wanted. Should have been a Murder She Wrote episode.
Trying another mystery novel, but not by this same author.
Her male voice was just weird sounding, they men always sounded dumb and doofus-y.
I would have cut the weird vampire club and heroine stuff and kept everything just in the apartment complex.
It was o.k. the first time she mentioned how she made bread and what ingredients she used, but to have to repeat it more than once was boring. In fact, the book became so boring; and with so many other books that I haven’t read yet which are probably MUCH better than this one; I couldn’t finish the book.
I also found her discussion about Corinna Chapman's cats, in addition to the neighborhood cats, annoying after a while. It was as if the cats were the lead characters and the bread making and recipes were too.
The mystery was so slow that I did not even bother to finish the story which is unusual for me. I don't think I will ever select books by Kerry Greenwood unless they are free and I have nothing else to read.
It is a modern story dealing with everyday life, the characters very interesting, not boring in any way, love all the description of baking, aren't all good cooks heavy, they seem to be in Hawaii, good advertisement for their food. My first introduction to Goths, I have led a sheltered life!
When Corrina was "poured" into her Goth outfit and realised she is a very attractive woman.
Corinna. Louise Silversen is an outstanding narrator.
Come try an exceptional muffin.
A very good book, would heartily recommend it.
"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.
"Very different from Phryne!"
I do not know as I have not purchased the print version - yet
None to my knowledge. It was so unusual in the way it was put together but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
This is the one bugbear. the narrator did a fair job on the female voices but failed lamentably on the male voices. (in my view only)
Perhaps an additional narrator to help with the male voices?
"Entertaining mystery story, engaging characters"
Pretty high on the easy listening side
Well-researched background, which on the whole was well-blended in to the story
Enjoyed her dry and wry delivery, and her engaging variety of tones and voices
Only really curious to see how it panned out. It had a HFN feel from the start, and I wasn't disappointed
Really enjoyed this. The mysteries weren't the most challenging, and the writer gave us a few clues along the way. Good cast of characters and a well-drawn main character. A bit of an insight into the underbelly of probably most large cities in the developed world. If you're looking for a light, easy listen which will hold your attention, this might be one for you.
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