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
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 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.
I would definitely recommend. I read this book before I listened to it and I enjoyed the story very much. Having worked in a bakery I could relate to Corinna a bit and the cast of characters is varied and engaging. I liked Corinna and Daniel. Corinna seems to be a very strong character and is comfortable in her own skin. She knows how to make herself happy and I enjoyed that. The mysteries were well thought out and I caught some things on this listen through that I didn't pick up when I read the book. The culprits were interesting and the reasons they committed their crimes were understandable.
I loved her accent. She performed the story wonderfully and really enhanced the story. There were a few slang terms that I didn't know what they meant and hearing them really helped figure them out. I would look for her as a narrator again.
There were parts that definitely made me giggle. The character of Mistress Dread was generally just so over the top she always made me smile.
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.
It was mind candy: entertaining, easy to identify with the characters, well-spun story.
At first, I found it difficult to hear because the narrator's voice is quite low. Took at little while to get comfy.
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