RogerBW's Blog

Earthly Delights, Kerry Greenwood 02 December 2019

2004 detection, first in Greenwood's Corinna Chapman series. Corinna runs a bakery in Melbourne; someone's sending threatening letters, the local junkies are dying, a new neighbour is drinking himself to death after his daughter ran off, and a lovely but mysterious man finds her interesting.

While this isn't the Phryne Fisher series, it certainly shares some the same sensibilities: there may be nastiness in the world, but everything can be casually sorted out by common sense and good people. Corinna does a bit of detection herself, but mostly she goes along with the good ideas of others, making her oddly passive in what's theoretically her own book.

The mysteries are trivial to solve, though there's some tension in working out just how someone can be shown to be guilty. I found the principal villain somewhat unconvincing, though, jvgu bar cnegvphyne uhtr reebe jevggra bss nf "bu, ur'f n ovg znq, gung'f uvf cngubybtl" jura ur jnf ragveryl pncnoyr bs npgvat engvbanyyl ng nyy bgure gvzrf.

Mostly this is a wallow in good people, particularly the various residents of the block where Corinna lives and works. I got an echo of Mercedes Lackey with the witch from the local magic shop, and another with the kid living on the streets who just needs to be given something to do in order to turn his life round (at one point he was going on so much about how stupid he was that I was waiting for someone to examine him for dyslexia, that being a standard Message in 1980s-1990s fiction about troubled young people), but as long as you can read it for the interesting characters (even if some of them are a bit flat, and the young people sound more 1980s than 2000s) rather than for the detective plot there's fun to be had here. It's definitely a self-indulgent wallow rather than masterful storytelling, but it doesn't try to be anything more than it is.

There are also muffin recipes.

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Series: Corinna Chapman | Next in series: Heavenly Pleasures

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