If there's one thing that Corinna Chapman, baker extraordinaire and proprietor of the Earthly Delights Bakery, can't abide, it's people not eating well, particularly when there are delights like her very own, just-baked, freshly buttered sourdough bread to enjoy. So when a strange cult which denies the flesh and eats only famine bread turns up, along with a malnourished body, Corinna is very disturbed indeed.
On top of that, her hippie mother, Starshine, has turned up out of the blue, hysterical that Sunlight, Corinna's father, has absconded to Melbourne with all their money and a desire for a new young lover. Someone is poisoning people with weight loss herbal teas, and then odd things are happening at the nearby Cafe Vlad Tepes, which attracts a very strange clientele indeed. It's a delicious recipe for murder, mayhem, and mystery.
A missing parent, a lethal herbal tea and a sinister cult are a few of the mysterious ingredients in Greenwood's lively third cozy to feature cheerfully fat baker Corinna Chapman (after 2008's Heavenly Pleasures). Chapman's estranged hippie mother, who organizes her time by the phases of the moon, arrives on the doorstep of Melbourne's Earthly Delights Bakery to announce her spouse's disappearance during an apparent midlife crisis. Further complications for Chapman include a toxic tea imbibed by two of her employees and a strange group of monks. To assist in finding the tea's supplier, locating her wandering father and determining the monks' activities, Chapman has a devoted, if eccentric, cohort a sexy PI lover, a weaver, a follower of Wicca, a grand dame, a dominatrix, a retired classics professor and a nun or two. While a glossary of Australian terms would've helped the American reader, this doesn't detract from the warmhearted message that it takes a village to solve a mystery.