DEVIL’S FOOD by Kerry Greenwood
I have a little difficulty in classifying Greenwood’s books. I can’t really decide if they are mysteries or cookbooks! Yes, I find them enjoyable for a light read that doesn’t tax “the little grey cells” as Poirot would say. At the same time, are not simple by any means. The plots are well written, if, at times, predictable, but that may be my fault for reading them one after the other. I am, after all, trying to fit all my reading into the three month university summer break.
“If there’s one thing that Corinna Chapman, baker extraordinaire and proprietor of the Earthly Delights Bakery, can’t abide, it’s people not eating well – particularly when there are delights like her very own, just-baked, freshly buttered sourdough bread to enjoy. So when a strange cult which denies the flesh and eats only famine bread turns up, along with a body which is found in a park, dead of malnutrition, Corinna is very disturbed indeed.”
Corinna is also disturbed by the appearance of her vitriolic, hippy mother Starshine on her doorstep, demanding Corinna find Sunlight, Corinna’s equally mad, bad, confused hippy father.
What follows is a search for mad Dad through the street and byways of Melbourne. And therein lies my fascination with these books: the setting of Melbourne and familiar place names.
Along with the search for Dad is a search for the people responsible for the “weight loss tea” which is pure poison in large doses.
I can’t help get the feeling that Greenwood is having fun with us and writing very much tongue-in-cheek, with her Corinna Chapman series, On the one hand we have overweight Corinna happily eating her way through the products of the bakery and anything else that takes her fancy. On the other hand, we have the anorexic girls and poisonous substances.
It all begs the questions: will Jason ever run out of ideas for a new muffin flavour or create a muffin that doesn’t taste like and Earthly Delight?
Will the delectable Daniel ever fail to solve the mystery, be lousy in bed or put on weight?
Will Corinna decide that being a size 20 is a little bit of too much of a good thing?
The answers are, of course, NO!
Title: Devil’s Food
Author: Kerry Greenwood
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2006