Heavenly Pleasures fits into my first category of books as food , as does all the Kerry Greenwood books I’ve read so far (the first eight in the Phryne Fisher series, and Earthly Delights, the book before Heavenly Pleasures in the Corinna Chapman series) and for this book it’s very fitting as food plays a big part.
Have you ever read a book that gives you cravings? It happens to me a lot, but usually it’s a craving to go to a particular place, or see a certain friend, or watch a movie/show that the book reminds me of or is based on the book. While reading Heavenly Pleasures I craved muffins…big time! …And Buffy the vampire slayer. The muffin craving was because in Heavenly Pleasures the main character, Corinna, is a baker and her former junkie assistant Jason (which she collects in the first book) is constantly experimenting with new mouth-watering muffin recipes. Only once did I feed this craving by getting a blueberry muffin from the cafe in the State Library of Western Australia which is across from Central Institute of Technology where I study. But if I lived or studied near a bakery like Earthly delights (Corinna’s bakery) and I had a constant supply of muffin money, then I probably wouldn’t be writing this post because I’d have suffered a MOD (muffin over dose). Still, I would’ve died happy 🙂
Besides it’s obvious delicious-muffin-explaining charms, Heavenly Pleasures was also a great light mystery read that isn’t too predictable. Kerry Greenwood is great at balancing a series of little mysteries that are sometimes connected and sometimes aren’t with just the right amount of clues presented to you and clues withheld so that even if you can guess “who-dunnit” in a few cases, there’s usually at least one thing that surprises you at the end.
In Heavenly Pleasures the main case to solve is who is tampering with the renowned chocolates at local shop, Heavenly Pleasures. *Someone* is extracting the creamy insides of chocolates with a syringe and replacing them with less tempting fillings, such as soy sauce and chilli sauce, before they get sold to customers. One of the owners of Heavenly Pleasures, Juliette Lefebvre, comes to Corinna for help after a few very disgruntled customers bring in defiled chocolates and she realises she also gave the baker a box. The chocolates she gave her did contain chilli sauce, which Corinna had discovered on biting into one moments before Juliette’s arrival, and so Corinna’s boyfriend, Daniel (who is a private detective) agrees to take on the case (with Corinna’s help of course). But besides the case of the chocolates, there is some other fishy things going on around the Insula building (a Roman themed apartment building which contains Earthly Delights, Corinna’s apartment and many other friends and residents). There is the mysterious new tenants: Mr. White, who keeps to himself and who no one seems to know anything about; and the glamorous Mrs. Dawson. Then there is a bomb scare; a missing kitten; a crazy cult-leader that Daniel recently got put into prison and now seems to be possessed; and countless other twists and turns.
I found this book just as enjoyable as Earthly Delights (very) and I think I will continue to be entertained by the others in the series. Perfect for someone who likes an unconventional hero (Corinna is a “plus-sized” woman who use to work in accounting and followed her dream to open up a little bakery; she enjoys food, cats, g & ts on the roof and goes to bed early) who solves mysteries, but also likes a mystery with plenty of humor, pop-culture references and food. And for those of you that are handy in the kitchen, at the back of the book is a few recipes of dishes that appear in the book (in this case there is Chocolate Orgasm Muffins, Chocolate Grog and French Onion Soup).
I give Heavenly Pleasures by Kerry Greenwood: