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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2012
I enjoy these books (which I listen to on audio while walking or gardening) mostly for the bits about baking and for the setting. Some of the characters are a lot of fun too. I do prefer the Phryne Fisher series though, and while listening to this one I paused to work out why. I think it comes down to the first-person narrative. Phryne is beautiful, autocratic, amoral but kindly, but the comments on her many virtues and not-so-terrible sins are couched in the voice of other characters or in the authorial narrative. Corinna's story is told in her own words, and there's no doubt about it - Corinna sounds a bit SMUG. I like less than classically beautiful characters, but there's a touch of the reverse/snobbery about Corinna's attitude. She seems to have boundless loyalty and trust in her friends, but doesn't extend it to the perfectly ordinary frailties of those outside her charmed circle. The Prodigal Son comes to mind. (I've always had some sympathy for the brother...) Yes, these outsiders are often villains but Corinna takes against them long before there's any evidence against them.

Having said all this, I like Mistress Dread, Meroe, Kylie and Goss, Jason, the Prof, Trudi and many other characters. I like the cats, and the roof garden and the bakery. I like the mysteries. I like so very much about this series, so will certainly go on listening to the audios. I'll just try not to wish Corinna's perfect lover Daniel would snap at her occasionally, or that an abrasive outsider would turn out to be an ordinary likable person now and then. And oh, how I LONG for the dog Traddles NOT to have his name invariably prefaced with "rotten little". SO, he doesn't much like Corinna... Maybe if she cut him the slack she cuts others at Insula he'd wag that tail rather than showing his teeth.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon October 17, 2009
In Melbourne, large size baker Corinna Chapman becomes concerned when competition moves in down the block from her Earthy Delights bakery. She knows her food is superior to the chain, but their prices are much less than hers. At the same time she is panicky over her shop, an old friend visits her Israeli boyfriend, Daniel Cohen who is busy searching for stolen by the Nazis loot owned by Greek Jews. Georgiana is gorgeous and appears to want Daniel and though she admits to herself jealousy might taint her opinion Corinna believes the bakery too.

As she struggles to hold on to her business, perfectly sane people are jumping off buildings to their deaths. The police shut down foods shops to investigate the root cause. Meanwhile her friend Meroe the witch owner of Sibyl's Cave is unhappy with the gathering to celebrate Samhain. Soon the food issue, the stolen loot, and the witches' coven camp converge as a deadly predator has been working the neighborhood.

The latest Chapman mystery is a superb amateur sleuth that deftly merges several mysteries with the Lonsdale Street neighborhood goings-on that impact the lead heroine and her friends. The story line is fast-paced from the first confection to the final confrontation as Kerry Greenwood bakes a delightful Australian tale with a terrific twist that will send readers to the previous HEAVENLY PLEASURES of the EARTHY DELIGHTS Bakery.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2012
Corinna Chapman's bakery, Earthly Delights, has a rival called Best Fresh. It sells inferior bread but the prices are low and she starts to lose business. Her lover, Daniel, is puzzled by the number of people who are going mad for no apparent reason and wonders if there is a new recreational drug available. Mereo - Corinna's neighbour - is worried that the influx of witches to Melbourne has something sinister behind it.

There are plenty of mysteries to keep Corinna's mind off her business problems and gradually she starts to wonder whether they are all connected. When Daniel reveals that an old friend of his, Georgianna, is coming to stay until she finds somewhere permanent Corinna starts to wonder whether it's not just her business but her personal life is under threat.

Full of interesting characters this fast paced mystery makes excellent reading. The dialogue is realistic and convincing and the witchy sections are very well done and will send shivers down your spine. I liked the links between past and present as well and the unpleasant characters are well drawn. The atmosphere of camaraderie between the residents of Insula - the apartment block where Corinna lives and works - is well done and I really enjoy reading about their communal meals to commiserate or celebrate.

If you want something a bit different from the average run of graphic violence and bad language then try the Corinna Chapman series. Corinna herself is a feisty, no nonsense lady with a good sense of humour. The recipes at the end of each book are an added bonus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Corinna seems to have everything she could want in life: her own bakery with steady clients and a handsome, devoted boyfriend, Daniel. However, frightening forces are converging which threaten to take it all away. The frightening forces take the form of a cheap bakery moving in down the street, which although it's baked goods are inferior to Corinna's, cuts into her business and an ex-girlfriend of Daniel's who is staying with him until she can find her own apartment. To make matters worse, someone seems to be passing around baked goods with some kind of drug or poison in them which make people go mad. Even Corinna's bakery becomes suspect and is investigated by the health inspectors. Meanwhile, a group of witches has come to celebrate the pagan festival of Samhain, and one of them has come up with treasures which turn out to be treasures stolen by a Nazi during WWII. Somehow, all of these events are connected, but it's up to Corinna to learn what the connection is.

I found the book a bit disjointed. It jumps around a lot between all the different problems that Corinna has to deal with. There is an explanation that connects all the different parts of the story, but it doesn't become clear until the very end. I admit that the solution is pretty original, and the story contains some interesting historical facts. However, I found parts of the story a bit hard to follow, partly because Daniel has some knowledge that he doesn't share until almost the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2011
Fun and funky characters, witches, food porn, a stolen Nazi treasure horde surfacing unexpectedly - who wouldn't want to be Corinna Chapman? Surrounded by the luscious, adoring Daniel and a coterie of fascinating, interesting and loving friends and neighbors (and cats, lots of cats!), Corinna's back in her fourth outing - this time facing a competing bakery down the lane, a gorgeous, leggy Sloane Ranger possibly moving in on her man, and some wicked new drugs sending people right over the edge (literally). . .The plot summary above touches on the relevant points, and Greenwood rambles a bit here and there, but I read and look forward to new installments in this quirky series for the returning and ever-expanding cast of regulars, their delightful and frequent interactions with lots of good food and each other, and of course, Corinna herself. Delicious! I can't wait for the next installment, I believe set at Christmas time . . .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 31, 2009
If it isn't one thing, it's another. No matter where Corinna Chapman, the affable Melbourne accountant-turned-baker looks, she faces problems. Looking down the street, she sees competition in the form of another bakery, a franchise store that can undercut her prices and put her out of business. Then, her love life suffers when an "old friend" comes to town and bunks with her Israeli lover - more unneeded competition.

But the real mystery is the source of contamination which is making people go mad and resulting in at least one death. Meanwhile, there is a sort of witch's ritual conclave going on in town, and items looted by the Nazis during World War II in Greece are making appearances. Quite enough to keep Corinna and her lover, David, occupied. In fact, more than occupied.

Kerry Greenwood is always good for an entertaining read, and this novel is a treat. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
NOT as enjoyable. Phryne and her cast of characters are delightful and a lot of fun. This group is also fun but wierd (weird?). The story line is interesting but the whole witch spiel was silly. Since I listened to the audiobook it's quite possible the big problem was the narrator, Louise Silversen. Talk about annoying! She whispers half the time and the pace just seemed off. This is one of the few audiobooks I've listened to where I thought reading the book would have been a better idea. Ms. Silversen does, however, do a good job of providing unique voices for each of the characters tho Daniel needs a more masculine, sexy delivery!

Having said all that, I will listen to/read more in the series to see if it improves. Still think Phryne is better!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2011
Rate: five stars

If you have not read Kerry Greenwood's mysteries, do so today, treat yourself well. Wonderful fun -- she will have you reading happily/greedily through all her mysteries -- both Corinna and Phryne Fisher (Greenwood's utterly delightful 1928 heroine) will entrance you. The next Phryne Fisher book will release Nov. 1. Keep writing Ms. Greenwood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2013
Love the language use; she is a terrific writer. Love the characters, love the ambiance. I just plain love the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 24, 2013
Mossad, sunken treasure, Samhain, ergot and cats dot the pages of Trick or Treat like dried fruit in Jason's Soal Cakes.

As always, the mystery is secondary to the delight of reading about life in Insula and Corinna's coterie of eccentric associates. While based on a true story, Greenwood gives it her signature twist by having Corinna and Daniel solve the case. There's a lot at stake, too. People are being poisoned and someone is out to close down Earthly Delights. Not only that, but it seems as though there's a rival for Daniel's affections. Juggling several different story lines, the readers's attention is misdirected, and the surprises Geenwood has saved for the end give Trick or Treat a most satisfactory finish. I liked it a lot!
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