Avid Series Reader's Reviews > The Spotted Dog

The Spotted Dog by Kerry Greenwood
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The Spotted Dog by Kerry Greenwood is the 7th book in the Corinna Chapman mystery series set in contemporary Melbourne, Australia. Corinna Chapman owns her own bakery, Earthly Delights, which she runs with her trusty "Midshipman" Jason (recovered heroin addict) and her clerks Kylie and Gossamer ("airhead" comes to mind).

Earthly Delights is in the basement of Insula, a Roman-style apartment building peopled with eccentric residents: retired historian Dion, avid gardener Trudi, society maven Mrs. Dawson, grouchy Mrs. Pemberthy, Cherie, Therese, Mistress Dread, and all their pets. Nearby are equally off-beat neighbors: Meroe the witch, IT nerds (Taz, Rat & Gully) aka The Lone Gunmen, Sister Mary & Ma'ani of the Soup Run, Uncle Solly's New York Deli, Pandamus family's Cafe Delicious. Last but not least: Corinna's love interest, hunky Daniel, ex-Israeli army. Horatio the cat rules Corinna's apartment upstairs; The Mouse Police Heckle and Jekyll keep the bakery rodent-free.

The series is a delight to read for its humor:
"Alas, the thing about weather is that it's compulsory."
"I applaud greed. Gluttony is such a reliable sin. And you get to keep your clothes on."

As in previous books in the series, interactions between Insula residents, neighbors and pets entertain more than the mysteries. Many subplots start with seemingly unrelated crimes: an explosive-sniffing dog is kidnapped, a malware attack, Dion's and Corinna's apartments ransacked by a religious fanatic, girls in a suburb suffer deadly attack by a gang. By the end, Corinna links & solves the crimes, to the chagrin of detective Letty White. All celebrate in a big potluck on Insula's roof garden, Temple of Ceres.

The Spotted Dog introduces many new characters, with a great deal of political and religious history and legend,. It's hard to keep track of who's who in the subplots, even for a dedicated series fan who already knows the "regulars" from earlier books. Definitely not recommended for a reader new to Corinna Chapman. Read the series in order to understand and appreciate Insula residents' backstories.

Insula residents eat well. Corinna loves to cook, loves to feed her friends. Recipes are included: Spotted Dog (aka Spotted Dick or Railway Cake), Roman Baked Ham, Apricot Chicken Wings, Coconut Cake, Onion Pan Bread, Beef Salad with Mint, Soft Fruit Sorbet.

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Reading Progress

December 29, 2019 – Shelved
Started Reading
November 27, 2020 – Finished Reading

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