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Corinna Chapman #6

Cooking the Books

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Corinna Chapman, talented baker and reluctant investigator, is trying very hard to do nothing at all on her holidays. Her gorgeous Daniel is only intermittently at her side (he's roaming the streets tracking down a multi-thousand dollar corporate theft). Jason, her baking offsider, has gone off to learn how to surf. And Kylie and Goss are fulfilling their lives' ambition auditioning for a soapie. It should be a time of quiet reflection for Corinna but quiet reflection doesn't seem to suit her - she's bored.

Scenting a whiff of danger, Corinna accepts an offer from a caterer friend to do the baking for the film set of a new soap called 'Kiss the Bride'. The soapie in which Kylie and Goss have parts. Twists and turns and complications that could only happen to Corinna ensue involving, bizarrely, nursery rhymes and a tiger called Tabitha.

While on the other side of town, a young woman is being unmercifully bullied by her corporate employers - employers who spend a lot of time cooking the books.The 6th in the Corinna Chapman series.

312 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 2011

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About the author

Kerry Greenwood

86 books2,280 followers
Kerry Greenwood was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has a degree in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on the 1st April 1982, a day which she finds both soothing and significant.

Kerry has written twenty novels, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D'Arcy, is an award-winning children's writer and has edited and contributed to several anthologies. In 1996 she published a book of essays on female murderers called Things She Loves: Why women Kill.

The Phryne Fisher series (pronounced Fry-knee, to rhyme with briny) began in 1989 with Cocaine Blues which was a great success. Kerry has written thirteen books in this series with no sign yet of Miss Fisher hanging up her pearl-handled pistol. Kerry says that as long as people want to read them, she can keep writing them.

Kerry Greenwood has worked as a folk singer, factory hand, director, producer, translator, costume-maker, cook and is currently a solicitor. When she is not writing, she works as a locum solicitor for the Victorian Legal Aid. She is also the unpaid curator of seven thousand books, three cats (Attila, Belladonna and Ashe) and a computer called Apple (which squeaks). She embroiders very well but cannot knit. She has flown planes and leapt out of them (with a parachute) in an attempt to cure her fear of heights (she is now terrified of jumping out of planes but can climb ladders without fear). She can detect second-hand bookshops from blocks away and is often found within them.

For fun Kerry reads science fiction/fantasy and detective stories. She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered wizard. When she is not doing any of the above she stares blankly out of the window.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 231 reviews
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,028 reviews2,628 followers
November 19, 2015
Baker extraordinaire Corinna Chapman was enjoying her holidays to some extent – the bakery was closed; Daniel was off investigating and Jason, her young apprentice was away learning to surf while Earthly Delights was silent. But Corinna found herself bored – Daniel was busy with his PI business and in the middle of a case, so they couldn’t go away. When Tommy, a friend she had known from school approached her to be her pastry chef while Tommy’s company catered for the crew during the making of a soapie called “Kiss the Bride” in Melbourne, Corinna, who disliked the drama and noise of actors, decided after much thought to accept – baking was soothing; her boredom would be gone.

As the daily dramas surrounded her, Corinna also became involved in Daniel’s case. He needed help and with the only clues being nursery rhymes, Corinna was sure to be able to solve them. But also connected was young Lena; it seemed she was being bullied mercilessly in the company she worked for. Daniel and Corinna had their hands full, but were determined to work through each problem until a suitable conclusion was found. With stress and tension mounting on the set of “Kiss the Bride”, nursery rhyme riddles and a distraught young woman – Corinna’s holiday was anything but…

What an absolute delight Corinna Chapman is! I have really enjoyed the three books which I have read in this series so far by Aussie author Kerry Greenwood and Cooking the Books is no exception. Lots of laugh out loud moments dotted throughout the whole book which is a light and entertaining read. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Mir.
4,842 reviews5,003 followers
December 23, 2012
Corinna and Daniel must follow a breadcrumb trail of nursery rhyme clues left by a crazy homeless former accountant who knows the location of some missing bearer bonds left by a bullied intern in a phone booth. The fact that none of the clues and been thrown or blown away after being tucked, sometimes days before, in public places was more unbelievable to me than the conceit that some one would actually leave them in the first place. One requires suspension of disbelief, the other suspension of the laws of nature (especially given the repeated storms throughout the book).

Kerry Greenwood is a touch under 60. The age of her protagonist is unstated but she seems to be vaguely "middle aged" given her described career trajectory. The tone of the series, however, is increasingly old-lady-ish. Oh, those kids with their incomprehensible text messaging abbreviations! And their clubbing and their inability to quote 18th-century poetry! I don't think most old people go around dropping classical allusions into their conversation, either. That's always been the province of a small educated elite.

And if you're going to be snobby please, PLEASE stop using the word "YUM" every other page. The descriptions already make the food sound delicious, you don't need to keep stating "Yum." Especially as an independent sentence.
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,327 reviews128 followers
March 27, 2021
Cooking the Books is the 6th in Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series. The audio version is narrated by Louise Siverson. It’s January, and Corinna Chapman, baker and reluctant investigator, is on holidays. Her apprentice, Jason, has gone to the beach to learn to surf. Daniel is busy on a paper chase. Kylie and Goss have secured parts in a soap opera series, “Kiss the Bride”, being filmed at a Docklands studio.

But Corinna is bored, and when her old school classmate and caterer, Thomasina, convinces her to assist, she finds herself (not quite unwillingly) baking bread for the film cast and crew. Another turn of events and she is also at the studio (but less willingly) in the role of pastry chef. A busman’s holiday, as it were.

As the story unfolds, Corinna and Daniel find themselves looking for missing bearer bonds, long lost sons and someone playing tricks on the star of the series. The story touches on bullying, weddings, dieting for work, actors (an excellent description), crooked accountants, job security, brides (compared with politicians), sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

Somehow woven seamlessly into the plot are Nursery Rhymes and quotes and a tiger named Tabitha. Once again we are treated some interesting characters and a great plot, this time with an ending befitting a soap opera. Many of our favourite Insula residents make an appearance (“…Mrs Pemberthy, who is there to curdle the milk of human kindness”).

The feel of Melbourne in summer is well rendered and there are some marvellous feline descriptions that make me want to be owned by another cat. Reading the earlier books in the series is not a prerequisite, but most readers who have not done so will seek them out after reading this one, for a guaranteed delightful read.

The dilemma with all of Kerry Greenwood’s books is that you are enjoying them so much (from dedication to afterword you will smile, chuckle, laugh out loud) that you can’t stop reading, but you don’t want the pleasure to end. And the recipe for Gyngerbrede? Yes, I made it: yum!
Profile Image for Anastasia.
1,338 reviews64 followers
March 4, 2017
Cooking the Books by Kerry Greenwood is the 6th book in the Corinna Chapman mystery series. Baker, Corinna Chapman has closed her shop for the holidays when she is asked to help out with the catering on the set of a soap opera. She helps her boyfriend Daniel when he is asked to find the stars missing baby who she gave up for adoption as well as find out who is playing tricks in an attempt to sabotage the show. Daniel is also looking for lost bonds for an accounting intern. Another fun, enjoyable book with plenty of happenings. Corinna is smart and sensible and always manages to come through everything that is thrown at her including placating a tiger. I'm hoping for more books in the series.
Profile Image for Tracey.
1,075 reviews241 followers
February 20, 2015
Four and half stars

I fell upon this book (received from Netgalley, thank you) with glad cries.

Well, no, I opened the book on my Kindle looking forward to a light mystery, and within minutes was uttering glad cries. It started with the prefatory note, which includes the line "This whole book is a work of fiction. As is the city of Melbourne itself." Score.

Bigger score:

"He deserves to be remembered. He was Richard the Third's confectioner, a highly paid position. … He went with Richard to the battle of Bosworth Field, where the King was defeated and the cook was captured. Henry VII offered him his life if he would give him the recipe for these sugary little treats. He refused, and after a week Henry VII had him executed. But the cook gave the recipe to one of his jailers and the local bakers made them for centuries, all through the Tudor period. Just to remind the rulers that there had been a good king who was usurped and murdered."

- Commence glad cries. I didn't read The Daughter of Time a few months ago for nothing: Josephine Tey won me to the Ricardian cause, and this matter-of-fact comment was a pleasant surprise. She had me at "Bosworth jumbles". Also, the cookies sound more than pleasant.

Even bigger score:

"Then there was no reason why we shouldn't relax, watching Doctor Who and eating the rest of the Christmas chocolates..."


"We spent the evening watching Doctor Who – I was still undecided about the new Doctor…"

*happy sigh* (Don't get me wrong – I like Matt Smith more than I ever expected to. But my heart will always belong to Ten.)

This is, unexpectedly, geek heaven – Corinna would rather settle in and watch Doctor Who, is still reserving judgment on Dollhouse (series/season 2), and the publisher's note is by Joanna Tribble. Daniel passes some time watching Battlestar Galactica. Someone uses a Princess Bride quote – and it's not "Inconceivable!" Shakespeare and Tolkien and Star Wars – oh yes.

There is a strong resemblance between this book and the Diane Mott Davidson series about her caterer, Goldy Bear. (One difference: I don't cringe over Corinna Chapman's name.) Both main characters are in The Industry, and there was a DMD in which Goldy hosted a PBS cooking show (and another where she catered a fashion photo shoot, to which this is more closely related). Both are first-person POV, and both feature women who are not size six, five-foot-nine, or raving beauties, who exult in being beloved of hunks (Note: A Sabra is a Jew born in Israel), and who enjoy good food, both the making and the eating. Both include recipes (and both, sadly, fail to provide recipes for the lovely items described in the story for which I would most enjoy recipes – those Bosworth jumbles, for example). The settings are very different – Corinna lives in Australia, and is happily single, her only "child" the fifteen-year-old apprentice she acquired in one of the other books I look forward to getting my hands on, while Goldy is a divorced and remarried mother of one living in Colorado. Where Goldy is pretty much billed as an expert in every aspect of cookery, Corinna is an avowed baker. Bread is her passion, and given a choice she'll stick to it. Also, the mystery (mysteries, actually) faced by Corinna are much more realistic. Not to violate River Song's strictures against Spoilers, but one of my problems with the majority of "cozy" mysteries has always been that I don't think I'd ever find constantly tripping over bodies cozy – and if I had a friend like Goldy who did keep tripping over bodies I think I'd maintain the friendship, but from a safe distance. By email, say. Another point: Goldy met her Schultz, a cop, over one of the bodies she found; I don't know the origin story of Corinna and David yet, but his career as detective leads naturally into a reasonable level of assistance from her. I've enjoyed the Goldies, for the most part but based on this one I think the Corinnas may well be superior. The writing is more fun than any I've read in a long while; it reads like the conversation of a good friend. And I think Corinna would be a good friend, based on her geeky intelligence – I like this lady, a lot. And Daniel, of course. And the two of them together.

To sum up, this was a book filled with intelligent writing which I would say sparkled if that wasn't a blurb cliché, and with wonderful characters I want to be friends with and awful characters about whom I want to be able to gossip with the ones who are my friends. I don't think I've read much set in Australia, and I loved it; I've read quite a lot centered around the food industry, and I loved it. It is a cozy mystery that comes closer to fitting the description than any in recent memory, and I loved it. I even loved the cats, and I'm a dog person.

I loved it.
Profile Image for Liz.
247 reviews11 followers
December 6, 2011
Kerry Greenwood's writing is always fun (and often comforting - very much an "all's right with the world" feel to it, and it's so refreshing to have such strong female characters in the lead). But the denouement to this one felt like a big let-down, not to mention silly and contrived.

The main problem I had was that a homeless character is given very shallow treatment: a deranged ex-banker (thus qualifying himself for our approval by being "one of us" originally - not like those *other* homeless people), throughout the book he "magically" leads Corinna and Daniel on a treasure hunt through Melbourne, while getting nothing out of the plotline himself.

Greenwood tackles some interesting issues: cyberbullying, for example, as well as the usual fat acceptance message. There's another social justice issue that I thought was dealt with well, but mentioning it by name would spoil the plot. (Message me if you want to know, I guess?)

Greenwood's writing is always crisp, and Corinna's punchy narrative takes no prisoners. I just felt that the plotting was lazy and this showed in the denouement.

It won't stop me buying her next book, because I know she can do much better. But this one wasn't as good as the others in the series, IMO.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
2,000 reviews52 followers
February 29, 2020
Just fun! Being so familiar with the characters and the set up made this a fast read. The author lays out the ordinary details of day by day living. Some readers find this annoying, I find it soothing! Daniel is solving a mystery and Corinna has a couple of her own. The mysteries converge and D & C work as a team. Corinna is supposed to be on Christmas vacation. Instead, she takes up emergency baking on a movie set where a soap opera, KISS THE BRIDE, is being filmed. A new cast of personalities is introduced to us. There is drama on the set...more so it seems because it is a soap opera. The ending is a delight! Thank you for smart leisure reading.
Profile Image for Rita Kiernan.
12 reviews3 followers
July 18, 2014
Found this book on a library table and the cover art intrigued me. A luscious cupcake about to be bitten along with the word mystery was enough to make me take a second look. Glad I did. Yes, it is a great book to read leisurely in a lawn chair with the sun and a cool drink, but it was also good enough to keep me reading past midnight. The other reviews may tell your more about the characters and plot. I'll tell you enjoy this book. I did.
Profile Image for Melissainau.
246 reviews
September 11, 2012
I just love this series. The characters in particular - and chief among them is Melbourne itself.
Profile Image for Karen ⊰✿.
1,366 reviews
December 11, 2018
We change settings for this book as although Corinna is still baking, her shop is closed for Christmas and instead she agrees to help bake for a TV pilot. While on set a mystery comes along for Corinna to solve, while at the same time helping Daniel with his latest case.
I really like Corinna's character, and the development of Daniel and Jason is well done. There was only one part of this book that didn't really work for me (She is worried about Jason and then when she sees him she doesn't make much of an effort to explain why which seemed quite out of character), but in the end we have our HEA.
And how exciting that there is also now a book 7 on the shelves!
Profile Image for Claire Louisa.
1,477 reviews93 followers
December 26, 2018
3.5 **** Another fun book in this series, I seem to say the same thing for each review but they are fun with interesting characters and plenty of dilemmas that they all have to face and mysteries to solve. I look forward to listening to book 7 next year, but am disappointed that after 6 books, book 7 will have a different narrator.
Profile Image for Pam Tickner.
698 reviews7 followers
August 21, 2018
This was great fun and narrator of the audio book was excellent. I had previously not enjoyed Corinna Chapman as much as the Phyrne Fisher books and not read past #2, but perhaps due to the narration, I was actually looking forward to my long drive today to finish the story! I loved the references to iconic Melbourne streets, statues, cafes and local institutions.
Profile Image for Maggie.
715 reviews27 followers
March 30, 2013
Very disappointing way to end this series in which I have found the books to be somewhat inconsistent. The fifth book, Forbidden Fruit, was delightful, full of the characters we have come to know, and although the storyline was, as always, a little hard to believe, all was forgiven in the telling.

Cooking the Books however, failed to deliver. Not only were the residents of 'Insula' almost entirely missing from the storyline, the plot was beyond belief - far far too much reliance on coincidence and unlikely outcomes to be enjoyable reading. I can suspend belief for the love of a good tale, but this book was almost unfinishable. The characters of Corinna and Daniel grated on my nerves, I found their love affair to rely entirely on sex and very little conversation. The soap opera stars were stereotypical and uninteresting, and the final outcomes beyond all likelihood, belief and enjoyment. I did wonder if the author was trying to write a 'soap opera' style of plot to tie in with the setting, but even if this were the case the writing was unforgivable.

So glad I finished the series, so confused about the writing - hot and cold. So glad to have found a few fun books but ridiculously glad to be rid of the others in this series which failed to impress.
Profile Image for BJ.
1,088 reviews10 followers
October 6, 2015
This was another excellent read in this series. I have really enjoyed the whole series about an Australian baker, Corinna, and her eccentric group of friends, most of which live and work in and around her apartment complex. In this last installment, Corinna is on a month's holiday but she doesn't know how to relax. So, when an old friend approaches her about baking for the cast and crew of a new TV show, she takes the job and gets involved in a mystery on set. In the meantime, her partner, Daniel, is tracking down some missing bonds. There are always a lot of things going on in these mysteries, but that and the eclectic group of characters are what makes these books. The mystery itself is never that intense. I am sorry to say that this is the last in this series written. I will miss these characters.
Profile Image for Sharon Michael.
663 reviews47 followers
October 2, 2012
The series continues to be entertaining although I will admit this is not my favorite in the series. This is probably more a personal issue than otherwise. I am neither a TV watcher or movie fan and my interest level for those kinds of settings and characters is probably much lower than most readers. I liked the tiger and tiger handler better than any of the other characters.

I did enjoy the slight change of pace created by Corinna being on 'vacation' from her own bakery and filling in with a caterer friend as a favor. The little side plots were interesting as always, too.
Profile Image for Catsalive.
1,757 reviews11 followers
January 9, 2023
I really enjoy this Corinna Chapman episode. I think it's my 2nd favourite of the series after Earthly Delights (1st book), possibly because of the anchovy-loving Tabitha the tiger. Corinna & Daniel are working a number of different cases, all resolved in the end, & the food all sounds mouth-wateringly good. Great comfort food (pun unintentionally intended).
Profile Image for Leslie.
1,100 reviews4 followers
July 12, 2017
Corinna, while on holiday, gets wrangled into a baking gig for a TV soap opera. She quickly finds out that actors are not her cup of tea. Meanwhile Daniel is hired to find some missing bearer bonds and Corinna helps him with that by figuring out nursery rhyme puzzles left by a homeless man named Pockets. Bullies, baking, mistaken apprentice replacement, and a tiger named Tabitha all converge to make another interesting addition to the series. Now, Ms. Greenwood, please write another!
Profile Image for MB (What she read).
2,314 reviews14 followers
June 15, 2022
1st read 3/26/12: That was fun! I enjoyed all of the cooking/food bits.

2nd read 1/9/14.

Re-read again 9/26/16. I MUCH prefer Corinna and co. to Phryne and wish Greenwood would continue on with this series. I hope it doesn't stop here. As always, much time was spent googling various things unfamiliar to me. I love this aspect of reading on a kindle.
1,410 reviews4 followers
March 12, 2015
another thoroughly enjoyable read about Corinna Chapman, baker extraordinaire, and her fabulous crew of friends and neighbors. think I'll have to put this into a new shelf category - cozy mysteries. this was so fun.
Profile Image for Avid Series Reader.
1,262 reviews1 follower
July 3, 2020
Cooking the Books by Kerry Greenwood is the sixth book of the Corinna Chapman mystery series set in contemporary Melbourne. Corinna plans to take all of January off, a well-deserved break after the hectic holiday season. Her bakery (Heavenly Delights) is closed for the month. Her assistant baker Jason is away surfing, his first-ever vacation. Her shop clerks Kylie and Goss, aspiring actresses, have landed parts on a TV show. Corinna's looking forward to peace and quiet, rest and relaxation, plenty of snuggling with her beloved hunky boyfriend Daniel.

But then Tommy arrives, a former schoolmate turned socialite wedding planner. She's desperate to find a replacement baker for her latest project, catering a TV show. Just for a few days, she promises. Corinna grudgingly agrees. Baking bread for cast and crew will be a lot easier than her normal routine. It's the TV show where Kylie and Goss have parts, so Corinna can keep an eye on them as her friend Meroe (the witch) advises.

Kind-hearted Daniel is on a mission for a damsel-in-distress. Lena is an accounting firm intern who left valuable bearer bonds in a phone booth, from which they were stolen. She will lose her job if she can't recover the documents. The only clue Daniel has gained from street people is that a homeless alcoholic named Pockets cashed one of the bonds.

While Corinna deals with the histrionics of a TV production by day, Daniel roams the streets at night looking for Pockets. One night Corinna and Daniel go looking for Pockets and find him. He will say no more than he stashed them in a safe place as directed by aliens. But he begins leaving cryptic nursery rhyme clues around the city. Corinna knows many nursery rhymes by heart; others she has to research on the computer.

Back on the TV show, malicious pranks begin to occur. The leading actress Molly Atkins is dubbed Superbitch by all, and daily lives up to the reputation. She wants to hire Daniel to find her long-lost baby, and the TV show producer wants to hire Daniel to find the prankster, before the show is ruined.

The cast and crew of the TV show eat and eat and eat, huge feasts every meal. On several days the menu has a theme. For the Greek theme: Greek shortbread, baklava, mushroom in filo, spanakopita, silverbeet and leek salad, chicken in red wine with figs, roasted beetroot, poultry and fish with honey-lemon sauce, fried bacon, grilled mushrooms, scrambled and poached eggs, kedgeree. For the Hungarian theme: rye bread, Hungarian honey cake, borscht, cabbage rolls, goulash, chicken stew, strudel, apricot cake, sour cherry cake, raspberry cream roulade, hundred-layer cake. The cooking and eating in this book surpasses the feasting in the last one by far - no wonder Corinna is size 20! Weight is a key subtext: the accountant intern is also generously sized, and cruelly bullied for it.

In this enjoyable romp, Corinna and Daniel solve the riddles, save the girl, find the baby, find the bonds, and right most of the wrongs. Best of all, quick-witted Corinna saves the day in an up-close-and-personal encounter with a tiger. To fully enjoy the books in this series, read them in order to learn all the back stories of the eccentric characters who live at Insula.

Medieval recipes included: Gyngerbrede, Saint Brigid's Bread or Bara Brith or Barm Brack, Pea and Ham Soup. For more of Corinna's recipes, go to www.earthlydelights.net.au
Profile Image for Dorothy.
453 reviews3 followers
June 26, 2017
This is my second attempt at a Kerry Greenwood book. The first was a Miss Fisher mystery, which I soon abandoned when I realised how different it was from the TV series. After this novel, I doubt I will be trying a third time.

The voice of the main character, Corinna, could easily have been Miss Fisher's, and I liked it. And since I'm living in Melbourne now, I enjoyed the references to places I recognized. However, the story itself failed to captivate.

Corinna gets up in the morning, bakes bread, then goes to work at a TV studio where she observes and overhears things. Later, she helps her boyfriend Daniel solve clues to track down some documents, sits in her rooftop garden, has an evening of food and sex with said Daniel, then bedtime. This cycle repeats and repeats and repeats, chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter. . . the only thing that really changes is the clue that has to be solved.

There are three problems with the Lena mystery, which was more like a treasure hunt around Melbourne than a plot for a novel. One is that the reader has no real chance of solving the clues, unless they know Melbourne well. Secondly, it's preposterous to think that post-it notes left in public places in Melbourne would survive more than a few hours, so it wasn't believable. Thirdly, (after chasing the clues all over the city), the papers are found not due to the clues, but because someone suddenly admits where they are. What an anti-climax.

The other mystery, relating to the star of the TV soap, followed more conventional lines. However there was one REALLY IRRITATING aspect to it. On page 254, almost 50 pages from the end, Mrs Dawson reveals a secret to Corinna.

Now remember, this whole novel is told from Corinna's point of view. We are, essentially, inside Corinna's head, sharing her innermost thoughts and reactions. But suddenly, the author slams down the shutters and we are not allowed to hear her conversation with Mrs Dawson. All we get is, "Goodness. That was a piece of news and no mistake."

WTF???? Obviously, this is a deliberate decision to conceal a vital clue from the reader, and keep us in suspense till the final climactic scene. My writers' critique circle would crucify me if I did that. It annoyed me. But honestly, I didn't care enough about the characters to care about the resolution to the mystery either.

The cats were cute (including the tiger).
Profile Image for Meg.
56 reviews2 followers
December 6, 2018
A fun installment in the Corinna Chapman series, full of multiple mysteries like Who is playing mean tricks on a soap opera star? And what happened to the star's secret child from twenty years ago? All this and more are handled with aplomb by Corinna and her love Daniel, accompanied by the wide cast of characters that live in the Insula apartments and on the set of a new soap opera where Corinna temporarily works to help out a school friend/nemesis.
I am taking a star off of my review because the author could have handled a particular LGBT character a lot better. While a gay character was treated just fine, there is a part where I think that this situation could have been written much better, and found it jarring that it was handled so poorly.
2 reviews1 follower
April 20, 2020
Lovely literary pleasurable romp at a swift pace that makes putting it down excessively difficult

I was a fan of Greenwood's before I knew it through Essie Davis' delightful depiction of Phryne Fisher in the TV series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. I binge watched all the series and the film that followed, then read the first Miss Fisher. At that point I realized I needed a break to avoid critically comparing the book and media versions and so chanced upon Corinna Chapman. What a revelation! I've read six of the seven published so far and have loved each. The writing is so breezy and the ideas so beautifully melded that no plot twist seems hard to take and no erudite reference seems hard worked. Obviously it doesn't hurt my enjoyment to meet old friends Fairport Convention and Terry Pratchett or to recognize references to childhood rhymes or to see my size 22 self in Corinna. Now if only I could make bread. Reading her descriptions. Of food, especially her breads, literally makes my mouth water. Hope Ms. Greenwood writes a few more of these. A treat to read and to reread. Brava!!
496 reviews4 followers
June 18, 2021
Another re-read in this delightful series; one more to go.
As ever an enjoyable read but it contains one of my favourite scenes in mystery literature, the scene at the accountants' office in chapter 18.
But re the story itself, although Daniel and Corinna are dealing with three mysteries here it is really a romp with the characters. It does have some serious moments covering Jason's reactions (the vulnerability of a youthful recovering drug addict - both points are valid), a hideous exposé of workplace bullying, a scary insight into accounting malfeasance, and a heartbreaking view of the homeless. As I've said in another review no doubt these spring from the author's experience as a legal aid solicitor/barrister. The lighter moments (romantic, Tabitha, and some of the solutions) provide an important counterweight to the dark. As in cooking so in writing, all ingredients need to be in the right balance.
Profile Image for Sarah Hearn.
601 reviews3 followers
May 2, 2020
This is my second reading of this book and I really enjoyed it. I love the way Ms Greenwood writes and Corinna Chapman is a very endearing heroine. I do get very hungry reading these books too since the reader is regaled with descriptions of bread, muffins, and pastry non-stop. In this story, Corinna is inveigled into providing bread, etc., to the set of a soap opera being filmed in Melbourne. In the process, the evil-bitch star is the victim of pranks involving the addition of spicy condiments to things like her lip balm. Corinna’s dearly-beloved, Daniel, the Sabra PI, is hired to discover who’s responsible. At the same time, he is trying to track down some nearer bonds that were stolen from an intern at a suspect Accountancy form, where she was harassed and bullied. The resolution of these various mysteries makes for a delicious and clever plot.
Profile Image for Balthazar Lawson.
613 reviews6 followers
June 10, 2020
The bakery is closed and Corinna is on holidays trying to amuse herself while her boyfriend private detective, Daniel, tries to find some missing bearer bonds. But things change and an old school acquaintance blackmails her into working for her catering company on a temporary basis. With nothing else to do she goes back to baking bread and doing the pastry work for a catering job working on a movie set. In her spare time she helps Daniel with his case and also to get him more work with a job on the set. So instead of relaxing Corinna is working and helping Daniel solve his cases. Working for someone else only goes to reinforce her desire to only work for herself and she misses the bakery.

This all makes for a rather entertaining read. It features all the usual characters in the series and there are a few new ones that drift into the story.
Profile Image for Reggie Billingsworth.
246 reviews3 followers
August 30, 2021
If there's anyone out there who dislikes plots that are triple layered and flaunt a cast of hundreds stop now and go somewhere else.

Greenwood delights in amassing all manner of characters and I think this tale's list of dramatis personae reaches new heights. She seems to delight in amassing vast numbers and including obscure trivia in conversational asides that really have nothing what so ever to do with the main plots. Even so...her witty style and breezy manner in describing all the flippin' food created in this story is both entertaining and inspiring.

It all makes great entertainment for light summer reading or when your brain is just too tired to tackle more complex mystery puzzles.

However, I totally disagree with her on the following: while a vast amount of Monty Python's contributions have become comedy classics the world over, the Goodies are barely remembered.
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1,227 reviews9 followers
April 15, 2019
A definite step down from its predecessors, the sixth Corinna Chapman novel shows a series that seems to be running out of steam. It's still clever and sweet and fun, but the much larger cast than usual means that character development suffers, and as usual, the mysteries are solved using clues that are not all shared with the reader. This last seems intended, across the series, to showcase Corinna's intuition, but mostly, she just looks like a lucky guesser.

Also, for the first time, the fictional Calico Lane aside, the disclaimer in the frontispiece that the City of Melbourne is fictional is borne out, with some geographical errors that literally a minute with a Melways might have fixed (notably, Bourke St and Swanston St are not parallel to each other).
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