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Devil's Food

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Devil's Food

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Corinna Chapman owned Earthly Delights Bakery and fed her customers with a delightful mix of breads, muffins and rolls – up at 4am weekday mornings and fortified by her first coffee for the day, Corinna and her apprentice Jason worked tirelessly to have their freshly baked breads ready for when the shop opened. When her two shop assistants, Goss and Kylie became dangerously ill, she and her friends in the apartment block knew something was seriously amiss. But the day that she was confronted in Corinna Chapman owned Earthly Delights Bakery and fed her customers with a delightful mix of breads, muffins and rolls – up at 4am weekday mornings and fortified by her first coffee for the day, Corinna and her apprentice Jason worked tirelessly to have their freshly baked breads ready for when the shop opened. When her two shop assistants, Goss and Kylie became dangerously ill, she and her friends in the apartment block knew something was seriously amiss. But the day that she was confronted in the doorway of Earthly Delights by the hysterical and distressed Starshine, who just happened to be her mother, and learned that her father, Sunlight had gone missing – she just knew her days were going to become worse. Helped by the love of her life, Daniel, they began the search for the elusive Sunlight. The strange happenings didn’t end there though – a new cult appeared on her doorstep, requesting she make famine bread. Her shock at the methods of these unusual and weird people knew no bounds – how could anyone be refused food – was starvation their doctrine? As the residents of Corinna’s apartment block banded together to solve the mysteries that were surrounding them, they were stymied at every turn by unscrupulous people. What was happening? Would Corinna find her missing father – did he even want to be found? And would they solve the mystery of Kylie and Goss’ illness without themselves becoming victims? What a delightful mystery by Aussie author Kerry Greenwood! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and laughed out loud in quite a few places. Highly entertaining, I have no hesitation in recommending Devil’s Food to all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karen ⊰✿

    Corinna is a fantastic heroine. She is a mature woman who is self confident, funny, runs her own bakery and loves her cat. She is also incredibly empathetic and open minded, allowing her to be surrounded by some pretty off beat characters and enter some interesting parts of the Melbourne scene (vampire club, anyone?). Having been a while since book 2, I had honestly forgotten how fun this series is, and I chided myself for not getting back into it sooner. Which, of course, means I need to start Corinna is a fantastic heroine. She is a mature woman who is self confident, funny, runs her own bakery and loves her cat. She is also incredibly empathetic and open minded, allowing her to be surrounded by some pretty off beat characters and enter some interesting parts of the Melbourne scene (vampire club, anyone?). Having been a while since book 2, I had honestly forgotten how fun this series is, and I chided myself for not getting back into it sooner. Which, of course, means I need to start book 4 soon. Also, a fantastic audio narration by Louise Siversen.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    You have to simply love a book that causes you to laugh out loud in the first two pages, and then just continues to delight until the much too quickly reached ending. The fact that I had forgotten I wasn't at home, but out sitting on a bench at my daughter's karate class just adds to definition of a good read for me. I've enjoyed all three Corinna Chapman novels and look forward to more. The writer has created a character I truly wish I could walk up to, shake her hand, take a loaf of bread and You have to simply love a book that causes you to laugh out loud in the first two pages, and then just continues to delight until the much too quickly reached ending. The fact that I had forgotten I wasn't at home, but out sitting on a bench at my daughter's karate class just adds to definition of a good read for me. I've enjoyed all three Corinna Chapman novels and look forward to more. The writer has created a character I truly wish I could walk up to, shake her hand, take a loaf of bread and just sit and chat with up on her roof.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    This time Corinna has to deal with her hateful parents, who are a lot less sympathetic than the random junkies, weirdos, and idiots she usually has to save from their own stupidity and the spite of others. The message of this one: don't hate your weight. Or atleast, don't take unidentifiable weight loss drugs you buy off costumed strangers at clubs.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dez Nemec

    I'm halfway through and someone just finally died, and we don't even know who it is. I just can't make myself care anymore. DNF

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    More of Corinna's and Jason's background is revealed in this book. Insula is conveniently full of unusual characters who could be considered marginalised, an overweight woman, a male couple, an ex junkie, a witch etc and a theme explored is how the residents of Insula have created their own family despite their differences. What I liked best about Devil's Food is how Corinna recovered her self esteem in the face of her negligent parents and fanatical fat haters. It is rare to find a "heroine" More of Corinna's and Jason's background is revealed in this book. Insula is conveniently full of unusual characters who could be considered marginalised, an overweight woman, a male couple, an ex junkie, a witch etc and a theme explored is how the residents of Insula have created their own family despite their differences. What I liked best about Devil's Food is how Corinna recovered her self esteem in the face of her negligent parents and fanatical fat haters. It is rare to find a "heroine" who does not bemoan her hair/nose/rear at some point, and even rarer still to have a main character of generous proportions who is not trying to lose weight, lonely or unloved. Corinna and friends tackle several mysteries - a weight loss concoction that poisoned Goss and Kylie, smuggled herbs, the secrets of the mysterious "Brothers" and Corinna's missing father roaming Melbournes streets. I still find that the formal language can sometimes be a bit off putting, it slows the pace for me and seems incongruous from a 30 something woman in contemporary Australia, but still Devils Food is a good read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I'm rather torn on this series. I love Kerry Greenwood's narrative voice and most of the characters, but the whole tone of this mystery was just a little too...saccharine for me (Jason gets Bronchitis and the entire building takes shifts to nurse him back to health? Really?). It fell too far in to the realm of cozy this time. Plus, it rather reminded me of reading one of those morality tales for children where the moral is thoroughly beaten into the head of the reader by the time they're done I'm rather torn on this series. I love Kerry Greenwood's narrative voice and most of the characters, but the whole tone of this mystery was just a little too...saccharine for me (Jason gets Bronchitis and the entire building takes shifts to nurse him back to health? Really?). It fell too far in to the realm of cozy this time. Plus, it rather reminded me of reading one of those morality tales for children where the moral is thoroughly beaten into the head of the reader by the time they're done reading. In this case the moral of the story was live happy and stop fussing over body image and size. I think I prefer a but more subtlety in my morals, thanks. Not to mention that I couldn't help boggling at the idea that there are that many goth/vampire obsessed clubs in Melbourne. 0_o

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Devil's food by Kerrie Greenwood is the third book in the Corinna Chapman mystery series. Baker Corinna Chapman and owner of Earthly Delights bakery, is contacted by her estranged mother to help find her father Starlight who has gone missing from their cult. She also investigates a herbal slimming tea when her employees Gossamer and Kylie become ill after drinking it. I loved catching up with all the characters again. This is a series that should be read in order as with so many people and Devil's food by Kerrie Greenwood is the third book in the Corinna Chapman mystery series. Baker Corinna Chapman and owner of Earthly Delights bakery, is contacted by her estranged mother to help find her father Starlight who has gone missing from their cult. She also investigates a herbal slimming tea when her employees Gossamer and Kylie become ill after drinking it. I loved catching up with all the characters again. This is a series that should be read in order as with so many people and happenings it is easy to get lost unless you are already familiar with them. A very entertaining book that I enjoyed very much.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Freda Pierce

    Another delicious Corinna Chapman episode. These are such comfortable, reliable stories. There is always a mystery but plenty of characterisation and back story. Of course it's all slightly ridiculous and over the top but that's part of the enjoyment. And the Israeli Daniel as Corinna's lover is just as delicious as the food. Pure escapism.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jolanta Stephens

    Again, I have succumbed to a chick-lit book. And again, I liked it. This was the third book in a series with this character, but I could read it easily without having the need to read the others to make sense. I wasn't sure if I'd like this one, as it's a 'murder mystery' and I'm not much into those types of books, and I'm sure I've mentioned before that I sometimes don't find chick-lit books intriguing enough in the language and concepts. But this book was different. I'll admit that it was easy to Again, I have succumbed to a chick-lit book. And again, I liked it. This was the third book in a series with this character, but I could read it easily without having the need to read the others to make sense. I wasn't sure if I'd like this one, as it's a 'murder mystery' and I'm not much into those types of books, and I'm sure I've mentioned before that I sometimes don't find chick-lit books intriguing enough in the language and concepts. But this book was different. I'll admit that it was easy to read and the language wasn't challenging, but there was a lot packed into this book. Reading it was easy and it flowed well - before I knew it I was half way through the book! Some people may think that it doesn't really move fast and may seem a little meandering in its storytelling, and I'd agree - but for some reason it actually works. You get lost in the everyday life of the character, not at all glamorous or really that exciting, but somewhat comforting. You fall instep with the character and her routines and feel a familiarity with her actions. In saying that, this book is sold as a 'murder-mystery' and from what I can remember, there wasn't actually a murder (and if there was, I can't remember it and that means it was not a focus in the story). There were a few mysteries that do meander their way to being solved, but again, there isn't really any 'ohmigosh this is so freaking exciting' moments. But again, it works. I don't know how. I think if you take this book for what it is and have the expectations it deserves, then you will really enjoy it. The characters suck you into their story and take you on a (albeit ambling) journey. Plus, in the first couple of chapters, the story made mention of cats (numerous times), beards, and freshly baked goods - a few of my favourite things. Oh, and the heroine is 'larger' which is a refreshing change to the well toned blonde bombshells in many other books. I enjoyed this book enough, that I intend to read the other 5 books in the series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beholderess

    I am really in love with the series. The main strengths (unapologetically fat heroine who enjoys her food and is adored by her boyfriend, quirky and likeable cast of characters, the setting one would love to live in, adorable and imperious cats, delicious muffins) and the main weaknesses (lacklustre mystery and no no possibility for the reader to figure it out themselves because the author withholds information) remain the same. What is interesting in this instalment is that here the author I am really in love with the series. The main strengths (unapologetically fat heroine who enjoys her food and is adored by her boyfriend, quirky and likeable cast of characters, the setting one would love to live in, adorable and imperious cats, delicious muffins) and the main weaknesses (lacklustre mystery and no no possibility for the reader to figure it out themselves because the author withholds information) remain the same. What is interesting in this instalment is that here the author tries to tackle what it is to be a fat person in the current fat-hating society more thoroughly. It was a bit unrealistic (though positive) in the previous books that the heroine behaved as if she was unaware of the stigma surrounding her body type, and here the author attempts to confront it. With very mixed success. The topics of weight in the mysteries themselves felt very gimmicky and uninspiring, so I wouldn't consider that a successful approach. But some of the heroine's reactions, especially the body-positive speeches she was giving herself, praising her body for strength and capability and for being hers, are spot-on and very needed. Another thread running through this book in the series is the sense of community. The inhabitants of Insula are becoming a very close-knit bunch - a kind of weird, hard-working, supportive and amusing family, and it is heart-warming to see.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I thoroughly enjoyed Devils Food. It is not fabulous fiction but very quaffable and I have duly quaffed all of the series now with great relish - to continue the foody metaphors. I found her to be a refreshing heroine and her fellow characters likewise. None of them are particularly believable and nor is the setting or plot but I wasn't after believable, I was after a good escapist read and it served nicely. By the way, I have it on good authority from someone who has actually been there, that I thoroughly enjoyed Devils Food. It is not fabulous fiction but very quaffable and I have duly quaffed all of the series now with great relish - to continue the foody metaphors. I found her to be a refreshing heroine and her fellow characters likewise. None of them are particularly believable and nor is the setting or plot but I wasn't after believable, I was after a good escapist read and it served nicely. By the way, I have it on good authority from someone who has actually been there, that Insula is a real building in Melbourne and is largely as described by Kerry Greenwood. As another reviewer said, would love to see some pictures. As a woman who is also 'traditionally built' I enjoy reading about a main character who is large, yet highly attractive, sexy and much adored and confident in her shape and herself. Bring on more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Maskus

    #3 in Corinna Chapman series set in Australia about the adventures of the Insula building and its inhabitants. I love this building and would love to see pictures. In this tale, both Corinna and Jason must confront parents. Corinna's hippie-like/commune parents make an appearance. As usual, Greenwood addresses the woes of the poor and down-trodden, and hits on the risks of starvation/dieting. Jason becomes sick and moves into Insula, but no mention how long he will stay. Again, the inhabitants #3 in Corinna Chapman series set in Australia about the adventures of the Insula building and its inhabitants. I love this building and would love to see pictures. In this tale, both Corinna and Jason must confront parents. Corinna's hippie-like/commune parents make an appearance. As usual, Greenwood addresses the woes of the poor and down-trodden, and hits on the risks of starvation/dieting. Jason becomes sick and moves into Insula, but no mention how long he will stay. Again, the inhabitants of Insula care for and aid fellow building people. This is truly one of the best examples of community responsibility.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    I hate to say this, but I feel like my enjoyment of this series decreases with each book - not because they are failing to live up to what came before, but because I just get more and more fed up with the judgemental, fussy-old-lady tone of Corinna's narrative. She feels so disingenuous and so superior - exactly the kind of person I can't stand in real life. I have kept reading up till now because of my dislike of leaving series unfinished, and because I really do find the stories and setting I hate to say this, but I feel like my enjoyment of this series decreases with each book - not because they are failing to live up to what came before, but because I just get more and more fed up with the judgemental, fussy-old-lady tone of Corinna's narrative. She feels so disingenuous and so superior - exactly the kind of person I can't stand in real life. I have kept reading up till now because of my dislike of leaving series unfinished, and because I really do find the stories and setting pleasantly quirky (as well as, perhaps, some kind of absurd sense of patriotic duty). However, I think it might be time to call it on this one. Life is just too short, Corinna, sorry...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I enjoyed this one more than Heavenly Pleasures. Still not as much as Earthly Delights but it was a decent read regardless. The story was much more interesting and I love how she has a modern gothic element happening throughout the series so far. It's very reflective of a modern Melbourne and I'm loving working through this series. They can be a bit repetitive of basic character details but this is done in order for the books to be able to be read as standalones in addition to as part of the I enjoyed this one more than Heavenly Pleasures. Still not as much as Earthly Delights but it was a decent read regardless. The story was much more interesting and I love how she has a modern gothic element happening throughout the series so far. It's very reflective of a modern Melbourne and I'm loving working through this series. They can be a bit repetitive of basic character details but this is done in order for the books to be able to be read as standalones in addition to as part of the series. Starting Trick or Treat tonight! :)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Third book in the Corinna Chapman series. Comfort reading, nothing too mentally challenging yet interesting enough to keep you reading. Story quite unlikely and yet still enjoyable. I rather suspect that many of us wish we too lived in Insula, the apartment block which houses the odd collection of residents as well as various shops, including Corinna's bakery. I want to eat Jason's muffins, so luckily an occasional recipe is tossed in to the books at the end. Will continue to read this engaging Third book in the Corinna Chapman series. Comfort reading, nothing too mentally challenging yet interesting enough to keep you reading. Story quite unlikely and yet still enjoyable. I rather suspect that many of us wish we too lived in Insula, the apartment block which houses the odd collection of residents as well as various shops, including Corinna's bakery. I want to eat Jason's muffins, so luckily an occasional recipe is tossed in to the books at the end. Will continue to read this engaging series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine M. Thompson

    The reader meets Corrina's parents Starshine and Sunlight in this book. Ms Greenwood's characters make so many references to the author Terry Pratchett that I am going to check him out. I kept wondering if lord D'Urbanville was a play on Thomas Hardy's "tess of the d'Urbervilles" but then I did a search online and I see that there is actually a group that calls itself D'Urbanville (they have a Facebook page). Thank you Ms Greenwood for another learning full and fun tale!

  18. 4 out of 5

    BJ

    I like this series. While considered a mystery, there really is not a lot of time spent on suspense. It's really more a story of how a family is created among a group of people whose biological families are rather dysfunctional or have failed them in some way. Always an enjoyable read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    MB (What she read)

    1st read 12/3/09: I AM enjoying this series! (And an author who gives call-outs to both Georgette Heyer AND Terry Pratchett is not to be taken lightly.) Now...how quickly can I get my hands on the next one????

  20. 4 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    3.5 stars on this one. I still love all the characters, and like the family feeling among Corinna's neighbors. I just thought some of the plot elements wrapped up a little neatly. I still am really enjoying this "binge listen", though!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy Paget

    I love the Phryne Fisher series, but this is a DUD! So badly written. Whatever was Ms. Greenwood thinking of?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deanne

    Really enjoy these books though they make me feel hungry especially for chocolate cake which as it is my birthday I may treat myself.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Grove

    Re-read after a decade or so. Even better this time. As one who had lived in Melbourne for nearly 30 years I love the way Kerry Greenwood brings the place to life; Flinders Lane, Centreway Arcade, the Art Gallery and Gardens, and the various stops on the soup run. It's a story about people, community, values and caring for each other despite the evils of the day. It is also about personal strength and overcoming bad things in life so both affirming and inspiring. It is humorous and delightful. Re-read after a decade or so. Even better this time. As one who had lived in Melbourne for nearly 30 years I love the way Kerry Greenwood brings the place to life; Flinders Lane, Centreway Arcade, the Art Gallery and Gardens, and the various stops on the soup run. It's a story about people, community, values and caring for each other despite the evils of the day. It is also about personal strength and overcoming bad things in life so both affirming and inspiring. It is humorous and delightful. The mystery part provides a basic framework and plenty of speculation.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Priscilla Herrington

    Kerry Greenwood is truly gifted in creating over-the-top characters that are on some level, believable. In Devil's Food there is a strange cult of anti-fat adherents who hire Corinna to make a tasteless sort of bread for them - no easy task for a baker who truly loves her work. And we also meet Corinna's hippie parents from whom she has been estranged most of her life. Another satisfying story!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Louisa Robertson

    AUDIOBOOK This is the third book in the Corinna Chapman series. I’m a big Phryne Fisher fan and really enjoyed the first two books in this series. I liked that this book did not primarily focus on another person living in the building, but rather Corinna’s negligent parents; however I couldn’t fully get into this plot line. Maybe it’s because I had to listen to it quite disjointedly over the period of a month rather than a few days and I lost my mojo. Anyway, fingers crossed for Book 4.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sharni

    I procrastinated reading this, carried it around for a week and hardly read a word and then finally got stuck into it - and devoured it! Corinne’s parents make an appearance and the lovely community that reside inside the apartments in Insula, rally around to solve several mysteries and to care for young Jason when he falls ill. It’s an ode to kindness.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    I find this novel so counter-productive to the previous books in the series-- what happened to the brave, sassy heroine, suddenly she's filled with all this self doubt and makes a lot of self deprecating remarks about her weight and size. I really did not appreciate the turnaround, and I didn't like this book because of that. Doubt whether I'll continue this series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    I like the interesting collection of varied oddball characters that live in the apartment block that houses Corinna Chapman’s bakery. The stories aren’t grabbing me as much as Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher series, however, though I’m not sure why.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Corinna's love life, business, and friendships are going well. On the other hand her looney parents, a new religious cult, and a dangerous herbal concoction are driving her to the edge of her wits! This book is truly a wild ride! Loved it! Narrator Louise Siverson is absolutely fantastic!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jewels

    I just adore the world that Ms. Greenwood has created for Corinna! I love the minutia of her everyday life that is described just as well as the ongoing mystery. The cast of characters is wonderful as well, and I love the cats!

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