Kerry Greenwood – The Spotted Dog

Allen & Unwin Australia 2018

As one who spends much of my time channeling Phryne, I am pretty much a rusted-on fan of the work of Kerry Greenwood. This includes the possibly less known Corinna Chapman series.

Unsurprisingly, Corinna Chapman is another gutsy woman – a baker and amateur sleuth with an ‘interesting’ circle of friends and a coterie of neighbours dwelling in a Roman inspired block of apartments in Melbourne.

Whilst there is some focus on food in these books, especially the joys of freshly baked bread, there is also fast and furious action involving some very nasty people. The books are strongly contemporary in various ways, especially in their references to technology and the particular political motivations for crimes against one’s fellow human beings.

However, one of the things I love about them is the erudition lurking in a multitude of references, none of which is essential to ‘getting it’ but which are delicious when one does. Kerry Greenwood is a writer with such sleight of hand in these matters that we think we are reading something incredibly easy to tackle and yet, there it is, a classical reference here, a word play there. Ah it’s wonderful.