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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reading : Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood

I recently finished reading Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood and came away largely unsatisfied. This is the 4th book in the cozy series featuring gourmet baker Corinna Chapman, the earlier books being Earthly Delights, Heavenly Pleasures and Devils Food.

I admit I'm not a fan of the soft-boiled sub-genre but didn't mind the first 3 books because they were all reasonably well-paced with a nicely developed mystery. Trick or Treat found me struggling to finish and there were 2 main reasons for this. The first is that the story simply drags with very little direction being shown. Traces of plot can be sensed in between the exhaustive descriptions of the “delectable” food being consumed.

The second problem is a real bug-bear of mine and a specific reason why I rarely read this sub-genre – the anthropomorphism of cats that simply gets completely out of hand in this book. Virtually every character in the book owns a cat and every cat has an endearing personality trait (or at least that’s what we’re led to believe) which was as difficult for me to swallow as a fur ball. Too many times the flow of the story was interrupted while we were regaled with the foibles of this cat or that which in the end simply acted as filler for the rest of the story.

More mystery, fewer cat indulgences would return this series to a more palatable level for my liking.

Mixed in with the filler is quite an involved subplot that involves a missing Nazi treasure that was sunk somewhere in the Greek islands. Corinna also has to deal with the stress of health issues threatening to close down her bakery plus competition in the form of a new chain bakery that has opened up around the corner undercutting her prices and stealing her clientele.

With the help of her super-perfect boyfriend, Daniel and the unbelievably supportive tenants in her building she fights her way through it all so that she may bake another day.

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