Literature: Corinna Chapman
Another mystery series by Kerry Greenwood
Corinna Chapman is a baker in modern-day Melbourne
. She owns and works in her bakery, Earthly Delights (and she has the Hieronymus Bosch painting on the wall) and lives an ordinary, happy life. She's had a fairly tough life, but now she's happy to get up every morning at 4 AM (OK, not so much about that), bake bread for a living and remain good friends with almost everyone in her very Roman apartment building.Until one day in summer, she discovers a junkie who OD'd outside the bakery. From there, she is introduced to Daniel Cohen, a private detective, and forms a relationship with him while helping him solve the mystery of whom has been supplying addicts with drugs that are purer than they expect. The relationship works out and they form a lasting relationship. Tying into this case is Jason, an ex-junkie who starts out cleaning the bakery and ends up as the assistant baker and the first of a series of people who move into the building, book by book.
From there, the books basically run like this: Either Corinna is pulled into a mystery by accident, or she aids Daniel with one of his cases. In the meantime, another mystery becomes apparent in the apartment building, called Insula, both of which have to be solved. Someone in the apartment building will be involved in the first case, and by the end of the book all of the mysteries will be solved, and everyone will be much better and happier for it.
There are five novels:
- Earthly Delights (2004)
- Heavenly Pleasures (2005)
- Devil's Food (2006)
- Trick or Treat (2007)
- Forbidden Fruit (2009)
- Cooking the Books (2011)
Tropes present in this series include:
- Abusive Parents: Jason, Corinna, Brigid, Dolores, Goss, Kylie and Rowan (Corinna is the extreme example as her parents are hippies who didn't believe in medicine or eating meat and almost killed her as a child- her grandmother had to teach her how to switch on a light, how to wear shoes, and how to eat with a knife and fork).
- Alpha Bitch: Sarah in Forbidden Fruit.
- Molly Atkins in Cooking the Books
- Georgiana Hope in Trick or Treat.
- Goss had a few moments in Earthly Delights.
- Animal Wrongs Group: This occurs in Forbidden Fruit- Against Dominion Over Animals has a lot of views that make Corinna and a lot of people extremely angry (well, Janeen and Sarah and occasionally Rowan do, everyone else is OK).
- Anti-Hero: Corinna can be a real bitch sometimes.
- Attempted Rape: Meroe in her backstory (it failed as on his way to her caravan, the attempted rapist fell over a sleeping bear that killed him.)
- Berserk Button: Corinna goes Mama Bear on anyone who might or does cause harm to Jason, her apprentice, who is an emotionally unstable recovering heroin addict who was formerly homeless.
- Badass Bookworm: Professor Monk.
- Badass Grandpa: Uncle Solly in Trick or Treat
- Badass Israeli: Uncle Solly, a retired Mossad agent, and Daniel.
- Badass in Distress: In Forbidden Fruit, Daniel is imprisoned in a deserted building without any way of escape or contacting help. Thankfully, he's rescued by the freegans and Corinna.
- Black Magic: About the blackest that Meroe the witch ever gets is the occasional curse, but there are several instances of black magic being used.
- The Casanova: Ethan from Cooking the Books.
- CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): Averted. Corinna puts cling wrap over a junkie's mouth before giving her CPR, and she only survives with the help of some rather fast ambulance officers and their narcan.
- Covers Always Lie: At least one publication of Devil's Food has an example in the blurb. It says that there is 'a body found in a park, dead from malnutrition'. This never occurred in the book: a young man close to dying of malnutrition and starvation is found, but it's never stated that he died.
- Church of Happyology/ Cult: The religious group in Devil's Food that teaches that being fat is a sin.
- Deadpan Snarker: Corinna
- Embarrassing First Name: Goss and Dolores bond over their bad first names in Forbidden Fruit- both prefer their nicknames (Dolores prefers to be called 'Dolly' and Goss's real name is Gossamer).
- Foreshadowing: In Cooking the Books, the writers Gordon and Kendall discuss a possible sub-plot and end it with 'But secretly, she's really his mother." This turns out to be true for Harrison and Molly.
- Friend to All Living Things: Meroe
- Hidden Depths: Jason is a genius when it comes to anything involving muffins.
- I'm a Humanitarian: In Forbidden Fruit, this is the ultimate plan of the Animal Wrongs Group, designed to shame people into becoming vegetarians.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Let's see, we have:
- Corinna and her cats Horatio, Heckle and Jekyll
- Meroe and her cat Belladonna
- Andy and Cherie Holliday and their cat Calico
- Professor Monk and his cat Nox
- Trudi and her cat Lucifer
- Kylie and Goss and their cat Tori
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Harrison and Emily are Molly's children.
- Mushroom Samba: Kylie and Goss overdose on weight-loss tea and end up going nuts, and could have killed themselves (Meroe later speculates that the tea could have been fine if they hadn't OD'd, but because the instructions were extremely vague and they had no idea of the amount specified, they drank heaps.)
- The people who eat the muffins from Best Fresh in Trick or Treat- they contain ergot, so they were basically on LSD trips.
- Non-Action Guy: Corinna. She'll step up and deal with any situation that needs it, but ultimately she prefers leaving it up to someone else.
- Not What It Looks Like: Jason walks in on Corinna hugging Bernie, the pastry chef helping her cook for the TV crew, and assumes she's replaced him. He's wrong, but he refuses to admit it.
- Papa Wolf: Sam Lake in Forbidden Fruit, who protects his huge family from anyone who might do them harm (including the abusive parents of the children they foster).
- Plot Hole: Trick or Treat: Why was Georgiana after Uncle Solly? Was she working for a spy agency? Why did she put up with Daniel for so long when she hates Jews? Who told her that Daniel knew who Saba was? Where did she get the poisoned bread mix? Why did she give so much of it to Eddie when she just wanted a few soul cakes? Was she running a bread company? Why did Eddie use the mix to make bread when Georgiana didn't ask him to?
- Retcon: In Earthly Delights, Daniel reveals that he is a widower who never really got to know his wife before she died. In Cooking the Books, he is retconned to have been about to marry her when she died.
- Running Gag: The whole weight-loss obsession with Kylie and Goss, until it takes a nasty turn in Devil's Food. It pretty much dies down from there, though it's stated that they still diet- just not as obsessively.
- Shout-Out: In Forbidden Fruit, Janeen tells Corinna that the freegans all have pseudonyms based on their favourite characters and rattles off a list. One of the names is Phryne Fisher- the heroine of Kerry Greenwood's most famous detective series.
- Corinna is also mentioned as reading 'some very interesting detective novels set in the '20's.'
- Stop Being Stereotypical: Meroe basically has this attitude toward Barnabas, a witch she doesn't like, because of all the grey-leaning-toward-black magic he's doing.
- Tangled Family Tree: Mrs Dawson is the step-mother of Harrison and Emily, but is introduced to them as their grandmother.
- Take That: Cooking the Books has an antagonist named Tony who's obsessed with fitness and is 'all ears and zeal and smile'. Sound like a certain Liberal, maybe?
- Transsexual: Emily in Cooking the Books- she was Zephaniah, Molly Atkins' lost child.
- Twofer Token Minority: Meroe (female, half-gypsy).
- Mistress Dread- female, MTF transsexual.
- Valley Girl: Kylie and Goss.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?