Corinna Chapman, accountant turned baker, is very happy with her second life - sure,she has to get up at 4AM five days a week, but the work day's done while all the office slaces are still tethered to their desks, she's her own boss, she gets to make delicious things all day (except the loathesome health bread that a sub-section of her usually discerning clientele insist upon) and she never has to wear kitten heels again.
One morning, arising as usual in the dead of night, Corinna shrugs into her usual baking outfit of a tracksuit, resurrects herself with coffee, and heads downstairs to her fabulous bakery in the heart of the city. When she opens the door to Calico Alley she finds the body of a young girl, pulseless and blue. Resuscitating the girl (with the aid of an ambulance crew and their Narcan) marks the beginning of a cascade of experiences that lead Corinna to see a very different side of Melbourne, and which brings love in to her life.
This is the first of four (thus far) Corinna novels - a heroine very different from the sleek Phryne of Greenwood's 1920's novels, she is a little less unattainable and a little more human. Not that I don't love Phryne, I do, but Corinna is more the mass of contradictions that every woman I know holds. She is also Reubenesque, usually self-accepting but not always, able to easily hold her own with her jerk of an ex, intelligent, self-sufficient and open.
The secondary characters are so wholly captured that they are in no way less than Corinna except for their page time (a concept I may have just coined - the literature version of screen time), the food is the descriptive equivalent of food porn, the plot is smart and complicated without being convoluted or frustrating, and the whole is pure reading pleasure. - Alex
The Corinna Chapman series:
Earthly Delights; Heavenly Pleasures; Devil's Food; Trick or Treat; Forbidden Fruit; Cooking the Books