Monday, January 28

Devil’s Food – Kerry Greenwood

Baker Corinna Chapman’s a little disturbed when an order of monks (the Discarnate Brotherhood) devoted to the mortification of the flesh demand she make the worst bread even (no leavening, no salt, and it smells like sawdust). Food is, after all, one of life’s great pleasures. But her distress becomes a distant memory when Corinna’s confronted by her hippy mother, Starshine. Thoroughly wrapped up in each other, Corinna’s parents neglected her until she was rescued from the Nimbin commune by her grandparents, and seeing her brings back the bone deep cold and disapproval that marked her life until the age of five.
For once, Star’s come seeking help – Sunshine’s gone missing, and Star, only half a person on her own, can’t function without him. Well, Sun hasn’t so much gone missing as headed to the fleshpots of Melbourne to find more nubile company, but he has to be tracked down anyway. And that’s not the only mystery – at the new goth handout, Café Vlad Tepes, someone’s selling a bizarre concoction of contradictory herbs as a weight loss tea that comes within a hair’s breadth of killing Corinna’s diet-obsessed assistants, Goss and Kylie.
Greenwood goes from strength to strength – the characters, the wonderful resonance of Melbourne, the interweaving plot and the clarity of the writing make her books a better treat than one of Jason’s chocolate orgasm muffins. I know we’ve both raved about her before, at length no less, and I really have nothing new to add. Except to say that reading the Corinna books makes me feel assured, confident and attractive about being a fat woman, and delighted to be a Melburnian:
“It was one of the odd Melbourne days when early morning is bright and sunny, so that you need sunglasses for the glare. Late morning would bring clouds and by afternoon it would either be (1) raining or (2) freezing or (3) both. That’s why the sunnies and the mac are essential on any day in our great city, where there are four seasons in one day. If there were six seasons, there’d be six. It’s what makes Melburnians so quick on the uptake and resilient, able to adapt to change.”
- Alex

The Corinna Chapman series:
Earthly Delights; Heavenly Pleasures; Devil's Food; Trick or Treat; Forbidden Fruit; Cooking the Books

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