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Cover image for Earthly delights : a Corinna Chapman mystery
Earthly delights : a Corinna Chapman mystery

1st U.S. ed.
Publication Information:
Scottsdale, AZ : Poisoned Pen Press, 2007.
Physical Description:
239 pages ; 23 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
When Corinna Chapman left her husband and job to open Earthly Delights, a bakery in Melbourne, a series of threatening letters addressed to Corinna and the other ladies in the building soon escalates to spray-painted death threats.


Call Number
Greenwood, K.
MYSTERY Greenwood, K.

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Put on the coffee pot, whip up a batch of muffins (yes, two recipes are included), and enjoy this thoroughly original tale. Strongly recommended for fans of offbeat mysteries." -Library Journal STARRED review
One day, Corinna Chapman, high profile accountant and banker, walked out on the money market and her dismissive and unpleasant husband James, threw aside her briefcase, and doffed her kitten heels forever. Now she is a baker with her own business, Earthly Delights, in Melbourne, Australia, living in an eccentric building on the Roman model called Insula with a lot of similarly eccentric people.
She and her cat Horatio are quite content with this new life until a junkie falls half dead on her grate, a gorgeous sabra stalks along her alley telling her that she is beautiful, and threatening letters accusing her of being a scarlet woman begin to arrive. Then suddenly Goths, lost girls, fraud, late nights, nerds, and beautiful slavescomplicate life for Corinna. And she still needs to get her bread out for the morning rush. . . .

Author Notes

Kerry Greenwood was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has degrees 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 three series, 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. 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 twenty 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. In 2003 Kerry won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Association.

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

While Australian Greenwood's historical series starring iconoclastic feminist sleuth Phryne Fisher (Cocaine Blues, etc.) has spawned a devoted following for its blend of detection and Wodehousian humor, her contemporary series, which makes its U.S. debut with this book, is unlikely to have the same impact. Corinna Chapman, a former accountant who operates a Melbourne bakery, cuts an even unlikelier figure than Phryne Fisher, as Greenwood's new heroine finds herself involved in probing a series of deaths of junkies. The broadly drawn supporting characters, including a stereotypical handsome stranger with whom Chapman is smitten, are beyond eccentric. Fisher fans shouldn't set their expectations too high. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

A buxom baker and a handsome man of mystery solve a series of crimes. Corinna Chapman has left her driven husband and high-pressure job to open Earthly Delights, a bakery in Melbourne. A unique Roman-style apartment house provides lodgings for her, her cat Horatio and a diverse bunch of neighbors that includes Meroe the Witch, retired professor Dionysius Monk, the Pemberthys and their spoiled dog, a Dutch lady gardener, some computer nerds and sylph-like aspiring actresses Goss and Kylie, who help in the bakery. A series of threatening letters addressed to Corinna and the other ladies in the building soon escalate to spray-painted death threats, the first on the wall of a nearby shop owned by androgynous dominatrix Mistress Dread. Corinna's life changes dramatically when she meets Daniel Cohen, an attractive man who works nights on the Soup Run delivering food to the city's homeless, and hires the homeless junkie Jason, who has an amazingly light hand with muffins, to help clean the bakery. She wonders if her ex, who's hatched a scheme to buy her apartment house and tear it down, could be the poison pen. At length, she and Daniel get to the bottom of the threats, discover who's killing off junkies with hot-shots and have a sexy adventure at the local Goth club with a vampire named Lestat. Poles apart from Greenwood's popular heroine Phryne Fisher (The Green Mill Murder, 2007, etc.), but equally delightful. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Australian author Greenwood, best known for the 1920s-era Phryne Fisher mysteries, lunges into the present with this series starring former accountant Corinna Chapman, who has opted for the more sedate life of a baker. But with an assortment of offbeat neighbors, a drug addict dead on her doorstep, a secret admirer, and a threatening-letter writer, her new life is hardly sedate. As with the Fisher series, the fun here is simply watching a charming amateur sleuth solve a couple of mysteries and manage her hectic life. Greenwood's light touch is perfect, and fans of the Fisher novels will eat this one up. --David Pitt Copyright 2007 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Owned and operated by the larger-than-life Corinna Chapman, Earthly Delights is a Melbourne, Australia, bakery housed on the ground floor of an eccentric apartment building designed in the Roman style. One morning in the alley outside the bakery, Corinna discovers a half-dead junkie, the latest victim in a string of heroin overdoses. Then someone threatens the building's occupants, and Corinna and her neighbors-Meroe, the witch; Mistress Dread, proprietor of an S&M shop; and the Lone Gunmen, three computer nerds-join forces. This series debut from the Australian author of the Phryne Fisher mysteries comes equipped with sassy, sexy characters; snappy dialog; and a plot that devotes more time to baking bread than to throwing red herrings. Put on the coffee pot, whip up a batch of muffins (yes, two recipes are included), and enjoy this thoroughly original tale. Strongly recommended for fans of offbeat mysteries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.