I always like reading a book that speaks about places I know. If you feel the same (and you live in Melbourne!), then Kerry Greenwood is the perfect author for you.
Greenwood is the author of two series, the Phryne Fisher and Corinna Chapman mysteries. Both are light crime fiction, set in Melbourne, Phryne in the 1920s and Corinna the present day. Each of the heroins are witty amateur sleuths, but it is there the comparison ends.
Phryne is elegant and poised, the kind of person who is envied and admired. The stories are littered with balls, soirees and dinner parties and on reading her escapades, you will wish you had Phryne’s smarts, confidence and sense of adventure, not to mention her wardrobe.
Corinna is charming in a different way. She is a master baker, with a shop in Flinders Lane, and while she is perhaps less elegant than Phryne (Phryne would not be caught dead in Corinna’s wide brimmed straw hat, complete with string under the chin), she is clever and instantly likeable.
As well as being peppered with recognisable landmarks, both series feature fashion and food heavily, perhaps further explaining my fondness for them, seeing as these are my two greatest weaknesses!
Forbidden Fruit (PB $23), the fifth book in the Corinna Chapman series, has just been released and does not disappoint. Corinna and her partner Daniel are suffering through the Melbourne summer, Corinna having to deal with Christmas crowds and shopping, when they stumble across the story of Manny and Brigid. Brigid is 16, very pregnant, and the daughter of the leaders of a sinister religious cult. Having run away from home, she and her boyfriend Manny are living on the streets and need to be found. With the help of their neighbour and local witch Meroe, the Freegans, some vegans, Brigid’s sister Dorothy, a nun and a donkey named Serena, Corinna and Daniel endeavour to find the young couple before the cult can ruin their chance at happiness. Amusing and adventurous, you will not no doubt love Corinna (and have a craving for muffins).
I would recommend Kerry Greenwood to anyone who is after a truly enjoyable read. And don’t forget, we love local! (bookshops and authors included).