Corinna Chapman, owner of Earthly Delights, detests Christmas. The shoppers are frantic and the heat oppressive. Neither of which, this perfect size 20 with a genius for baking breads finds congenial. She's dreaming of quiet, air-conditioned comfort but instead finds herself dealing with a rose-loving donkey named Serena, a maniacal mother with staring eyes, a distracted assistant searching for the perfect muffin recipe, her friend - the fearless witch Meroe, and the luscious Daniel, with whom she'd like to spend a lot more time.
But Daniel is on the hunt to find two young runaways, Brigid and Manny. This simple Romeo and Juliet romance is not as straightforward as it seems and they will go a long way to ensure they're not found. When Corinna and Daniel find that Brigid is on the streets, heavily pregnant and in danger, the stakes rise. With the help of a troupe of free-spirited freegans, some very clever internet hackers and a bunch of vegans, Corinna and Daniel go head-to-head with a sinister religious cult on a mission and a band of Romany gypsies out for revenge in a wild and wonderful chase against the clock.
©2009 Copyright © Kerry Greenwood 2009. (P)2013 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Whoever it was that said there are only four basic plots for novels -- or seven, I've seen both -- obviously never read this book. In terms of way-out plotting, it doesn't get any more unique than this.
And a seriously grisly tale it is, too. Don't listen to parts of this one while eating dinner.
No overt spoiler here, but fans of Jonathan Swift won't be disappointed -- or much puzzled, either -- by some plot elements. Swift did it better, but then he wasn't writing a novel.
One further warning: Quite some time ago, I'd read -- as in an actual paper book -- one of Kerry Greenwood's novels, and eventually I remembered that I'd had the same sort of trouble getting into that book as I did with this one. Apparently these are almost "cult" books, with some of their own special language and "things" and/or characters who reappear time after time.
But I'd forgotten that, so with this one, when I found myself profoundly confused about who -- or what -- "The Goddess" was, or what sort of being "Hector" might be, I had to backtrack, and listen again. She doesn't explain in each book who -- or what -- some of these characters are. But fear not -- it really doesn't matter. I wouldn't have needed to backtrack -- it became as clear as it needed to be, eventually.
It's not all bad -- the book has its charms. I loved "Serena" -- no spoiler to tell you she's an adorable donkey. Any scene in which Serena appeared was pure delight. I also got a kick out of her "mouse police" squad, which are feral cats she keeps to keep her bakery basement mouse free -- the antics of the mouse police are a nice, funny, touch.
So, okay. A fairly good book. I'm sure this series has its passionate fans. I'm not quite there, but... it was reasonably entertaining, and what more can you ask?
So far I have a "read" a book by this woman that I have not thoroughly enjoyed. For me reading is a mini vacation. So, when I read I want to be able to relax and have some fun. To that end I love her little twists and turns and happy endings!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, in large part due to the protagonist Corinna Chapman, a baker of large heart and large size. I agree with other reviewers who state that the story is fairly thin - it is, but I did not mind in the least. This was my first in the series but will not be my last. The characters are all special and Kerry Greenwood delights me in giving the quirky and off beat a full voice here, not just as colorful stick figures on the sidelines but carrying the story themselves. I want to be sitting in Corrine's shop and watching her treat the damaged and broken with respect and encouragement. She is a modern woman to be admired.
Greenwood's other series, Phryne Fisher, also features a strong and admirable woman, but of a different time and character. Both of these women are great contributions to the mystery genre.
The narrator here does a commendable job overall, but some of her minor characters are a bit oddly read. I am not hugely fond of the way she reads Daniel, but that is personal taste. Occasionally she forgets to revert to "narrator voice" and carries over her character voice into descriptive sections. I would listen to another book by her though, so it is not too bad.
the enjoyment of this book for me came largely because of the character of the protagonist, Corinna Chapman. Such easy appreciation and acceptance of herself and people around her is just lovely. The voice actor, Ms Seversen gave the book an extra dimension. I would listen to her work again for sure.
The story feels a bit far fetched, and not extremely mysterious, but that's not a problem. The pace is good and I felt enough outrage and sympathy in the right places to enjoy it. Kerry Greenwood creates interesting and likeable characters. Always a pleasure to meet them.
Retired tech writer/editor. Mensa. Pgh Steelers/ Penguins fan. Lib Dem/feminist. Grew up reading lit--M.A. English--now read mys/thrillers.
I love Corinna and was worried I wouldn't like this book because I'd read some negative reviews. I shouldn't have worried. I've liked all the Kerry Greenwood books I've read. I started with Phrynne Fisher & thought I'd always like her best but I'm really getting hooked on Corinna. I liked the first Corinna Chapman book & found this even better. Corinna makes bread, so symbolic. She provides succor and support to those in her orbit, and they, in turn, support her. She is such a generous, earthy character. I just love her. I loved Jason's development. He's become such a talent. I loved his relationship with Bunny. So caring. Trying to do his best for the animal even prompted him to strive to overcome his reading difficulties, going so far as to BUY a book and try to read it to provide the best care for Bunny. Such a good person. I loved Meroe's coven of helpers. I loved the Freegans.
Corinna, Corinna, Corinna. Salt of the earth. That could be another title in the series!See above - pretty much same question!
Great voice for the various characters. Liked everything but her singing.
Yes, but not possible.
I bought a Kerry Greenwood Phrynne Fisher because of a sale & loved it. Got another on sale - liked it. Got a Corinna Chapman on sale - liked it a lot. Now read one more of each series & they're rapidly becoming favorites! I'm SO glad I started both of these series!
Could not finish it it was so bad. The author fixated on muffins and cats with some semblance of a very thin story line. The narrator's attempts at a male voice were just too painful to listen to.
Another very enjoyable story about Corinna and her wonderful bakery, the great friends she has, and the odd little mysteries that fall into her life. Nice Christmas theme twining through, without being sappy; and of course there’s no snow, since Christmas happens in Melbourne in the middle of summer. The narrator, Louise Siversen, isn’t quite as multi-voiced as Stephanie Daniel, who reads Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher books, but she’s very good. 4 stars means I like it a lot.
I love that the book is set in Australia, so seasons are opposite. And the characters are just quirky enough to be fun, not totally off the wall.
This book is just lots of fun. Some social commentary, but the live and let live attitude carries through. Entertaining. The narrator has the right tone for the book.
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