Patty (Kennett Square PA)
Heavenly Pleasures by Kerry Greenwood
Heavenly Pleasures was a delightful surprise. The story takes place in Melbourne, Australia so one must get acclimated to words and phrases that can be odd and peculiar to a reader living in the United States. However, this is a tiny glitch in the reading and very surmountable. The story revolves around Corinna...an accountant turned bread maker...and her boyfriend Daniel, her cat Horatio, her apprentice Jason and a motley assortment of quirky, odd and lovable characters who live in her neighborhood.
The book is a typical who done it...that is quite interesting...someone is injecting chili pepper sauce into gourmet chocolates...oh...there is a bombing and a sort of kidnapping and lots of mysterious characters. All of this is far from the best part of the book which is the delightful infusion of kitty characters...this was all such a wonderful reading romp for me...if you love cats you will adore this book. Just one more thing about this book...you will crave freshly baked bread for about a week after reading it...this book is a delightful must read!!!
Nikki (Irvine CA)
A Whole Lot To Do About Nothing
I thoroughly did not enjoy this book at all. It had a lot of potential in terms of plot ideas, but I felt it didn't develop any of them to my level of interest. If anyone would enjoy this book it may be cat lovers as they are featured throughout. I cannot say I would recommend this book to anyone. The best items in this book were the recipes at the end. Just might use them.
Carol (Isle MN)
Mystery in chocolate
What could be better than warm bread, divine chocolate and quirky friends? Kerry Greenwood's Heavenly Pleasures contains them all; plus more. I always enjoy a book that leaves me with the feeling that I have gotten to know the characters and want to spend more time with them. Corinna Chapman and her fellow residents in their apartment complex, Insula, fit that bill for me.
The mystery plots seemed almost secondary to the lives of the characters, but did keep a thread through out the book. And, at least to me, was not completely predictable. I'm drawn to read the first of this series, but did not feel 'lost' by not having read the first book.
I would definitely categorize this as a fun 'escape' mystery. It was fun to visit Melbourne and be introduced to an interesting group of characters. And the recipes at the end are a fun bonus.
Christine (Royal Oak MI)
Heavenly Pleasures not so Heavenly.
The novel was a short and light read. I would recommend it to readers who like cats and food but I would not recommend it to serious mystery lovers. There was little character development of the people in the novel. However, the cats in the novel were developed much more. The author spends more time on the workings of the bakery (Earthly Delights) and the chocolate shop (Heavenly Pleasures) then she did on building suspense in the solving of the mysteries, of which there were two. The mystery that involved the title of the book was really the lesser of the two.
Andrea (Lafayette IN)
A good book for a reader looking for diversion. Greenwood creates an interesting world surrounding her heroine, Corinna, the baker, but I felt the development of the mystery was weak. There were many inside references to Australian culture that I found hard to understand and made me feel I was missing much.
Carol (San Jose CA)
A buxom baker and her handsome Israeli investigator boyfriend, Daniel, solve a series of crimes – that’s Heavenly Pleasures, the second installment of Kerry Greenwood’s series featuring, Corinna Chapman, a former accountant who has opted for the more sedate life of a baker. Having left her driven husband and high-pressure job, she opens Earthly Delights, a bakery in Melbourne. A unique Roman-style apartment house, Insular, provides lodgings for her, her cat Horatio and a diverse bunch of neighbors.
What do the house’s mysterious new tenants, a lady of taste and style and an ultra-private man, have in common with a case of sabotaged chocolates? Who is sneaking chili sauce into the chocolates at the nearby chocolate shop in an attempt to ruin the reputation of its two owners – sisters, Juliet and Vivienne Lefebvre? Corinna's old financial world contacts, Daniel's criminal world contacts, and the apartment’s helpful fellow tenants all come up with clues that help bring the case to a satisfying resolution. The fun here is simply watching a charming, rather amply bodied amateur sleuth solve a couple of mysteries and manage her hectic life.
The cast of characters is an eclectic, quirky, and entertaining bunch; however, this reader definitely felt at a disadvantage for not having read the previous book. It would have made getting into the "meat" of the book less difficult and certainly would have helped this reader to keep the charmingly quirky characters and the heroine’s beloved cats straight.
Patricia (Richmond VA)
Being a devotee of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher, it was with great anticipation that I started reading Heavenly Pleasures. While an enjoyable read, the characters weren't as well defined (perhaps because there were so many of them) nor the plot as crisp as I expect from Ms. Greenwood. She is very good at setting the atmosphere and the feeling one might have being in Sydney in the fall on rainy evening but her plot in this particular book got lost among the characters, and the time and place. Perhaps this is simply a book for the beachbag and a summer's day entertainment but not one that will likely remain on one's "favorites" list.