The Corrina Chapman mysteries are written by the same author who created the insatiable Phryne Fisher. There’s a bit of confusion regarding the copyright notice on the first book, Heavenly Pleasures, but it still counts as a Come Lately review. I’ll explain this soon.
Unlike Phryne, Corrina lives in the very modern Melbourne, Australia. A former accountant turned baker, Corrina is unashamed of her body and proud of her success. Her constant companion is Horatio, her cat, and two additional cats known as The Mouse Patrol, who keeps her bakery free of vermin in exchange for treats.
Her bakery, Earthly Delights, is in the same building as her apartment, a Roman inspired structure that was spared from urban renewal known as Insula. Each of the apartments are named for Greek or Roman deities that correspond with the characters. For example, Corrina lives in Hebe, named for the “waitress” of the gods. Apropos since Corrina keeps a shop where she sells her bread to the working stiffs of Melbourne. She doesn’t have to, she just likes to see people enjoying her life’s work.
Initially, I checked this series out because I wanted to see Kerry Greenwood’s more iconic Phryne Fisher series wasn’t just a fluke. I’m not one who judges the success of an author by whether their books make it to screen and just because I haven’t heard of Corrina, doesn’t mean she isn’t as compelling as the Lady Detective. I flew through the first book, Earthly Delights and am now in the middle of Heavenly Pleasures. First and foremost I love that Corrina is a fat character. By fat I mean, she’s also an XXL (like yours truly) and the fast paced nature of her work ensures that she has a healthy appetite. The second thing I love is that Corrina is not someone who goes out of her way to find problems. They find their way to her in a way that never seems forced, and these things effect her in such a way that it makes her involvement seem not only believable, but you’d less of her if she didn’t get involved.
So far, the other thing I like is that Kerry Greenwood doesn’t stick to the murder=mystery pattern that I’ve criticized other authors for. A death might happen in the story and a murderer may be involved but it’s secondary to the main plot (so far). Corrina has more than enough on her own plate (sorry) that she doesn’t get in the way of the cops, who are quite competent at their own jobs, thank you very much.
As to my question about the copyright, there’s a bit of confusion there. It tells me that the date for this book’s copyright is 1992. This doesn’t make sense, since Earthly Delights alone has enough Buffy references to qualify as a TVTropes entry and the pop culture references are also as recent as the late 90’s, early 00’s.
My theory has to do with the fact that the American copyright is 2006. So I wonder if Greenwood wrote this book a lot so one rand either it was published in 1992, or she had the copyright secured before she actually started writing it. I also don’t know how much Australian copyright laws differ from American ones, nor do I know a heck of a lot about American copyright laws, so all of this confusion could be the result of my own crippling ignorance.
It’s one mystery I’ll eagerly solve when and if I get the chance to ask my new favorite author.