Poisoned Pen, May 2009, $24.95
In Melbourne, Earthly Delights Bakery owner Corinna Chapman is happy about her life especially with her lover Israeli investigator Daniel until her estranged mother Starshine, a throwback to the 1960s hippies arrives hysterical. Her equally hippie spouse (and Corinna’s father) Sunlight has vanished. Apparently the faithful Sunlight must have a supernova with a midlife crisis that has him on a quest to find a younger woman.
However besides coping with a weeping mom, two bakery employees and some weird monks become ill after drinking poisoned tea. Corinna and Daniel with the help of a diverse eccentric crew search for her runaway dad while also tracing the source of the toxic tea, which leads to an anti-obese cult.
The third Chapman cozy (see EARTHLY DELIGHTS and HEAVENLY PLEASURES) is a wonderful Australian adventure starring an interesting heroine who is the total opposite of Kerry Greenwood’s superstar Phryne Fisher. The story line is lighthearted fun as Corinna goes from enjoying life to a near breakdown in a heartbeat when Starshine arrives. However, she has learned somewhat to cope with her star-sun shiny communal hippie parents so searching for dear old dad while struggling with poisoned tea and an anti fat cult targeting the pleasantly plump Corinna has added unneeded stress to her life. Still she, her boyfriend and their horde turn Melbourne into a personal playground in this fun lighthearted farce.