RogerBW's Blog

Trick or Treat, Kerry Greenwood 22 November 2023

2007 mystery, fourth in Greenwood's Corinna Chapman series. A cut-price rival bakery, a dangerous new drug, a prickly neo-Pagan conference, Nazi-looted gold…

Lots of apparently separate stuff is going on here, in fact, to the extent that I found it a little implausible that it eventually comes together into a single thing with multiple tentacles. (And the malefactor(s) are only mildly punished, even though they've caused several deaths.)

I'll admit that I would have expected a competent baker, particularly one who varies recipes and is willing to try new ideas, to think more immediately of ergotism as an explanation for a particular sort of strange behaviour than Corinna does here – and to know where it comes from.

The material with the characters and the found-family is as solid as ever. I think there is perhaps a bit too much plot happening all at once, and the tone wavers uneasily between friendly supportive people and lingering fallout from the Nazi occupation of Greece (with several ancient survivors who get a chance to tell their stories).

(I still find it hard to take seriously the idea of celebrating seasonal ceremonies based on the seasons that are happening in the opposite hemisphere, e.g. having your spring festival when the land around you is turning to autumn… but some people are very firm about it, and that's their religion and not mine.)

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Previous in series: Devil's Food | Series: Corinna Chapman

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