Review: COOKING THE BOOKS, Kerry Greenwood

  • Format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 583 KB
  • Print Length: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin (September 28, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NF5H9G
  • Source: I bought it

Synopsis (Amazon)

When Corinna Chapman, talented baker and reluctant investigator, accepts  an offer to do the baking for the film set of a new soap called ‘Kiss  the Bride’, twists and turns ensue, with complications involving nursery  rhymes and a tiger called Tabitha!

Corinna Chapman is trying  very hard to do nothing at all on her holidays. Her gorgeous Daniel is  only intermittently at her side (he’s roaming the streets tracking down a
multi-thousand dollar corporate theft). Jason, her baking offsider, has  gone off to learn how to surf. And Kylie and Goss are fulfilling their  lives’ ambition auditioning for a soapie. It should be a time of quiet  reflection for Corinna but quiet reflection doesn’t seem to suit her –  she’s bored.

Scenting a whiff of danger, Corinna accepts an offer  from a caterer friend to do the baking for the film set of a new soap  called ‘Kiss the Bride’. The soapie in which Kylie and Goss have parts.
Twists and turns and complications that could only happen to Corinna  ensue involving, bizarrely, nursery rhymes and a tiger called Tabitha.

While  on the other side of town, a young woman is being unmercifully bullied  by her corporate employers – employers who spend a lot of time cooking  the books.

My take

Another enjoyable cozy in Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series. Corinna ventures into the world of the soapie tv programme, and Greenwood manages to make COOKING THE BOOKS feel a bit like a soapie too. Someone involved in the production of the pseudo reality tv series Kiss the Bride is trying to make life very uncomfortable for the main star. It hasn’t come to blows or murder yet, but it very well could.

Corinna’s involvement in the food side of the tv production provides the main plot but there are several interesting side plots. In one of them, Corinna and Daniel are involved in a search for some missing bearer bonds. Their search becomes a treasure hunt following clues that look like old English nursery rhymes but actually contain obscure references to Melbourne landmarks. The technique reminded me of the cryptic clues Ian Rankin use in THE FALLS which I read recently. More than one of the treasure hunt clues solved by Corinna sent me Googling for pictures of the landmark in question.

And speaking of Googling… Greenwood firmly places COOKING THE BOOKS in recent times as Corinna Googles for the stories behind the old nursery rhymes.

A gentle read in many ways, one that furthers our knowledge of Corinna herself, that has several mysteries to be solved, that emphasises the multi-cultural nature and historical background of Melbourne (I think they should give Kerry Greenwood the keys to the city!), and leaves the reader feeling replete and a little more knowledgeable.

Perhaps just one criticism: the story progresses through a daily account of Corinna’s days that feels almost like a journal – the sun woke me early, then I did this, then I did that…
I got just a bit tired of chapter after chapter in that format, but I’m not sure what the alternative was.

My rating: 4.4

Other Kerry Greenwood reviews

MURDER ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT

TRICK OR TREAT

FORBIDDEN FRUIT

DEAD MAN’S CHEST