The Spotted Dog

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

I love Miss Phryne Fisher and I have fallen in love with Corrina. Size 20 ex-accountant now baker woman who knows her worths down to the last crumb and sip of sav blanc. Corrina is funny, self-sufficient, talented, warm and hot-blooded amazing individual. She is surrounded by a colourful bunch of people and animals and finds troubles every step of the way. Dog gets stolen, apartments get broken into, skillet gets to be used together with all sorts of odd instruments and tools. Muffins are being baked, music is being written and a play rehearsed. Did I say colourful bunch? Add some more colours. Corrina together with her Mr Dreamscele solve a crime or two, but danger, chase, gunfire and explosions do not take away from the warmth, humour and yumminess of all things Corrina Chapman and Co.
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I've been waiting for years to read a new Corinna Chapman and was more than happy when I got this ARC,
I was happy to meet again Corinna and the cast of characters. 
The plot is complex and even if it's not the standard whodunnit it was a great and enjoyable one.
The style of writing and the character development are very fine as usual even if it a bit slower than other Ms Greenwood books.
I had high expectations and can say that they were met.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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As always, Greenwood packs a bunch of contemporary issues into a sweetly-packaged mystery about a returned veteran's missing dog - including Caucasian gang turf wars, PTSD, victims of the recent financial crisis worldwide, recovering addicts, gun violence, the modern inordinate fascination with technology, etc.  Always enjoyable to read, always fascinating to learn more about Melbourne, and always an adventure to try to recipes listed at the end of the book.
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I haven’t read any of Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman mysteries before, but this can be read as a standalone fairly easily. I did have momentary problems with learning all the various quirky characters living in her apartment building, Insula; there were a lot of names thrown at me. But it didn’t take long to figure out the who’s who of Insula.

There are many strong points.

1.   Corinna’s voice

She’s the queen of the deadpan understatement. Her tone is wry, with a hint of snark coupled with genuine affection for others. Well, most other characters! This works well, as many of the other characters are over-the-top, with high levels of passion for their interests and equally high levels of quirkiness. They are quirky with a capital Q.

But even with the deadpan humor, Corinna throws in archaic terms and references to ancient history. Only a certain type of person can use these words with such flare, and Corinna’s that type. I enjoyed meeting her.

2.  The other characters

If you like quirky characters, this book is for you. There’s Jason, ex-addict and Corinna’s faithful midshipman/apprentice. Dion Monk, a retired classics professor, and Mrs. Dawson, a retired society hostess, who might be romantically involved. A group of young actors rehearsing The Tempest in their apartment. Meroe, Insula’s own  benign “witch.” Goss and Kylie, the almost interchangeable cafe helpers addicted to their phones. Uncle Solly, Daniel’s “uncle” who might be a local rep for Mossad if only it existed.

And then there’s Philomena. Injured in a mysterious accident, she’s confined to a wheelchair and cannot speak though she’s plainly trying to tell others her story. Her struggle is one of the mysteries in this novel.

And if you’re a cat lover, there’s plenty of those chasing mice and purring and demanding the full attention of their slave–er, human.

3.  The food.

Greenwood goes overboard with the food descriptions. I did tire of this after a while.

But Corinna’s life revolves around baking, so it makes sense that she’s always thinking or fixing or eating food. Some of the descriptions are enough to cause weight gain just by reading them. A word to the wise: don’t read The Spotted Dog on an empty stomach. You may find yourself looking in your cabinets, hoping for Corinna’s muffins and breads to magically appear, and be sorely disappointed.

I started this book a few days ago and have baked a batch of muffins and a loaf of bread, and I’m making homemade pizza dough later today. No, I’m not sharing. But if you need some recipes, Greenwood supplies a few in the back.

There are weaker points, though.

There are multiple discrete mysteries in the story, and some are more interesting than others. Alasdair and his faithful service dog, Geordie, is interesting, though Alasdair needs more development than a Scottish accent. The dive into a Vatican conspiracy/coverup theory about a lost gospel? Not so interesting.

Add to this a mysterious ransomware attack on a local cafe’s computer system, two burglaries, and Philomena’s mysterious assault, and it’s hard to keep everything straight. Moreover, for most of the book, the various crimes don’t appear connected. Even after Corinna links them together, the connections seem tenuous.

I’m also not keen on the occasional jumps to Philomena’s point of view. After spending several chapters in Corinna’s head, the leap to a minor character’s voice is disconcerting. While her subplot should be compelling, the violence in her tale feels out of place with the other comedic, often over-the-top story pieces.

There are many sweeping generalizations made about various ethnic groups. Jews. Greeks. Italians. Russians. Maori. I’m uncomfortable with these. They’re cliched and sometimes offensive, even when they’re intended to be humorous.

Overall, though, this is a decent story. It’s a fun, enjoyable read, perfect if you want to while away a summer afternoon.

Thanks again to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for a copy of The Spotted Dog in exchange for an honest review. The review will be posted on my blog ( on August 23, 2019.
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A somewhat entertaining book.  The plot and characters are not appealing to me.  Thanks to the publisher for my advance ebook.  This is my unbiased review.
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It has been 8 years since we last visited Corinna Chapman and her bakery Earthly Delights.

Corinna is still in the thick of all things mysterious. This time a Scottish ex soldier finds his way to the bakery with the hope that Corinna can help him find his missing dog. There are also burglaries at Corinna’s appartments, a stranger who has lost her ability to talk, and religious zealots to contend with. 

How do all these things tie together? Leave it to Corinna and her handsome private investigator partner to solve. 

I have been anxiously waiting for this book  and was not disappointed.
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I  really enjoy Ms. Greenwood’s books, both the Phryne Fisher series and the Corinna Chapman series.  I’ve been waiting and waiting for this one, and it did not disappoint.

As always in this series, the characters are the biggest draw for me.  I enjoy the recurring cast of characters and the various ways in which they contribute to the solution of the mystery at hand.  A couple new characters joined this cast this time, and I’m hoping that they continue in further books.

The plot started out as a seemingly odd but simple on – a veteran suffering from PTSD was attacked and his dog stolen.  He came to Daniel for help, and Corinna got involved as well.  Meanwhile, there are a number of odd burglaries at various apartments and a woman visiting who has a post-traumatic inability to speak after a devastating attack that killed her sister. Remarkably, all these things wind up being connected.

This book just flowed right along, carrying me with it.  It’s fun to read and satisfying when I’m finished.  Although I have read all of the books in the series, and I enjoy knowing the back stories on the characters, one could read this as a standalone.
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It some ways—the verbiage used and everyone being in the same area sharing problems, joys and bake goods was fun. I found the characters not too well drawn and the mystery they were solving not that interesting
Thank you netgalley and the publisher for this arc
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I have been a long time fan of Kerry Greenwood's books - and particularly the Corinna Chapman series.

It was wonderful to join our friends at Insula again and you'd have no idea there had been a few years between this title and the last. Every time I read a Corinna mystery, I am struck by how sophisticated Greenwood's writing is; the plot is natural in its progression and everything comes together beautifully. The characters are intricate and interesting and Greenwood gives such interesting perspectives to things that would normally seem unattractive or strange.

A fantastic story filled with interesting content. The only thing I didn't love was the title, it didn't quite fit with the "Earthy Delights", "Forbidden Fruit" etc type titles. But it was a tiny thing.

Loved and hope to read more wonderful Corinna books in the future.

*This title will be reviewed across blog and social content following it's public release.
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The cover makes this book look like it could be a juvenile title; it is not.  Rather this is the latest entry in Kerry Greenwood's Corinna Chapman series. Readers may already know the author's Miss Phrynne Fisher series of novels and the later Australian TV series.  Those who like Miss Fisher may enjoy finding out what Ms. Greenwood has also written.

This book is peopled with eccentric characters.  On occasion, I had a bit of difficulty recalling who was who.  Readers will definitely remember Corinna and her Israeli boyfriend though.  They are a couple who enjoy food and each other.  He is an Israeli agent of some kind while Corinna is a baker whose goods sound quite delicious.

The plot centers on a Scottish/Australian soldier whose dog has gone missing, most likely kidnapped.  This is not just any dog though; Geordie worked hard in Afghanistan and is the most important connection that our traumatized former soldier has.

Readers will see what happens as Daniel, our Israeli protagonist, and Corinna solve the case. Along the way, readers will enjoy Corinna's acceptance of others, wit and friends.  

Thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoy Kerry Greenwood's Corinna Chapman series – it's one of my favourite crime / mystery series. However, this book, the seventh in the series, fell flat for me. I'm not entirely sure what it was about this one, but I just don't think that it had the same spark that the previous stories did.

In this one Corinna and her partner Daniel are tasked with finding a dog that has been kidnapped. Now, this isn't just any old dog, it's a retired serviceman's dog that had been enlisted with him. The victim, Alasdair, and his missing dog, Geordie, have become unwittingly wrapped up in a crime that is far bigger than they, Corinna, and Daniel could even fathom. Of course there is also the constant break-ins at the Insuela apartments, the spyware installed at the Greek restaurant down the street, and the suspicious drama kids that have taken over one of the apartments all keeping Corinna from resting well after being up at 5am every morning to bake bread.

In the previous books I feel like Corinna was a real 'go-getter', whereas in this one I felt like she kind of left a lot of the sleuthing to Daniel, Alasdair and Letty, and instead just supervised the others as they did their parts (like the nerds in the basement). I'm also not sure how I felt about the way Greenwood portrayed some of the outer suburbs in Melbourne. The action scenes felt more like I was reading a Matthew Reilly book rather than a clever detective, and the whole premise felt a bit rushed.

It's not a bad read, but much like when Charlaine Harris came back to Aurora Teagarden after a lengthy hiatus of the series, I felt like Greenwood had forgotten some of the spark that resonated with me at the start of the series.
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I always love a new Kerry Greenwood and I was thrilled that she has returned to her bakery based Corinna Chapman series with "The Spotted Dog".
As usual, there are several different plotlines happening all at once and Corinna has to unravel them whilst continuing to bake delicious goods, enjoy her gorgeous boyfriend and still make time for a g&t in the roof garden.  I think everyone would love to live at Insula (despite the crime rate) and we would all certainly adore to try one of Jason's muffins....
Compared to the earlier Corinna books, I think this one was slightly more plot focused with less time devoted to the description of mouthwatering food.

My only confusion was in Chapter 10 (loc 1551) when they are discussing timings for cooking the baklava; they have come out slightly burnt yet Corinna suggests a slightly longer cooking time rather than a shorter one.
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I enjoyed this book so very much.  It was like a long visit with old friends.  Corinna, Daniel, and all the Insula residents are welcome in my home any time!   

I found this to be a fine entry in a favorite series.  I always enjoy Kerry Greenwood's clever prose and witty observations.  The search for The Spotted Dog was intriguing and much more involved than it first appeared.  If you've enjoyed the previous entries, by all means read this book!!  It would function fine as a standalone book also.

Thank you to Poison Pen Press and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I love this series & thoroughly enjoyed the new instalment. Whenever a series makes me wish I knew the people in the story it wins me over. We have a real mixture of characters & positive female role models.
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verbal-humor, situational-humor, law-enforcement, women-sleuths, amateur-sleuth, Australia, SCA, private-investigators, recipes 

***** Come to the Earthly Delights bakery in Australia in a building named Insula where the baker, Corinna, lives upstairs with her ex Mossad/private investigator lover in one of the apartments and works with her apprentice who is an ex-heroin addict who likes to be a midshipman from Master and Commander or Hornblower. The other residents of the building are equally colorful, including the Mouse Police, and naming the roof garden the Parsley Forest. Throw in a lot of Shakespeare quotes, other local residents including Sister Mary, an frustrated police lieutenant, a real mystery regarding who on earth would kidnap a retired Scottish Army dog from a PTSD sufferer lately from Afghanistan, and you have the very best sort of read! It's a laugh riot all the way through! 
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Poisoned Pen Press via NetGalley. Thank you!
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I received a free digital copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

The Spotted Dog is book 7 in the Corinna Chapman series, a series that I loved and in which book 6 was published all the way back in 2011, so I had all but lost hope of ever seeing another book in it.  I was really excited to see this on NetGalley and requested it right away.  Some of the same beloved features of the original books are still there,  Corinna is still her same plus sized, up at four in the morning, positive imaged self.  Still with her dashing romantic interest  and co-investigator, Daniel, and still, working with her young ex-addict assistant and living in her soap opera drama worthy building, which also houses her bakery business.

The comparisons to the original books however end there for me.   There is the introduction of an interesting new character, who is the basis of the mystery, “the spotted dog”, but he is not really fleshed out or given a chance to shine.  The rest of the book is some kind of take off on a Dan Brown-esque Da Vinci code book with other story lines involving confusions between stereotyped ethnic gangster groups.  A disappointing read in an otherwise excellent series.
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I received this ARC via Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press in return for an honest review.  This is not the first in this series and can, relatively easily, be read as a stand-alone (good since I'd not read previous books about Corinna and the folks who live in her building, Insula).  Corinna is a baker, whose bakery is on the lowest floor of the building.  The very top is a beautiful rooftop garden, available to and enjoyed by all the residents.  Since I also get up around 4am for work, I love the descriptions of the challenge of arising that early and being coherent.  Corinna is a cat person, with Horatio to keep her straight on her priorities (feeding him, petting him, sleeping, etc).  This mystery starts with the kidnapping of a dog belonging to a British Army veteran, suffering from PTSD, who ended up in Australia.  He appears at Corinna's shop early one morning and she galvanizes her troops into action to discover the dog's fate.  Other people appear, both as regular cast members and as newcomers, adding layers to discovering the who and why.  A local Greek restauranteur's system is infected with a software virus; a new couple move into a shop just down the street; three women are creating a tapestry, one of whom had a catastrophic experience that rendered her mute and in a wheelchair; Insula apartments are broken into... Whew!  There's a great deal going on in this book.  The author shows her skill in keeping all the characters straight and clearly articulated on the page.  This sounds like a fascinating place to live, with an amazing cast of neighbors!
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I shelve my Kerry Greenwood books next to my Alexander McCall Smiths. I regard them in the same light - easy reads with heaps of delightful characters and although these characters do get into scrapes you always know things will turn out for the best in the end. Comfort reading.

Although I have a tiny preference for the Phryne Fisher series I still give Corinna five stars. I love the descriptions of early mornings in the bakery. I love the cats-all of them but probably Horatio the most. I feel as though the characters are all personal friends. Maybe a newcomer to the books starting with this one would not feel quite the same. Best to start at the beginning of the series and really enjoy meeting and getting to know the amazing residents of Insula.
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It has been too long time since I have read a new Kerry Greenwood book, and now Corinna is back with all the crowd, and another story - edgy, exciting and just fills and spot that has been empty in my literature reading for quite awhile.  Welcome back.!
With a Scottish veteran of the war in Afghanistan is found wandering the Melbourne laneways outside Corinna's bakery and home, suffering from PTSD, and looking for his kidnapped dog, the search is on with all hand on deck. The story just moves ever so quickly, layer over layer, with all the colourful characters tagging along for the ride, until its explosive end.
Just fabulous
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Having read and loved most of the author's glamorous Phryne Fisher mysteries set in the glittering twenties, I was curious to see what she would do with a plus-sized baker living in present-day Australia. 

It was fun! I haven't read any of the other books in the series yet, but this was a nice introduction into Corinna's zany world. There are some existing relationships of course, but I think you can easily enjoy this book without any prior knowledge. 

Like Phryne, Corinna is confident and at ease in her skin, dealing with whatever life throws at her with confidence and good-humor, even when what life throws at her are masked burglars who are convinced she is harboring a religious relic. 

Which brings me to the only real problem I had with the book: there is A LOT going on. A lot that even the characters recognize as being straight from a Dan Brown novel (which for me personally is not a good thing, even if it's meant to be funny). There are a number of break-ins, a virus on the computer of a local restaurant owner, masked religious fanatics running around looking for a religious artefact, a missing dog, a murder, the tragic backstory of a character suffering aphasia after a trauma (which gets miraculously resolved in a blink...), and local gangs at war. Everyhing is sort of tied together and neatly solved by our intrepid baker and her friends, but let's just say it was a lot to keep track of. 

But other than that, it was a fun story, with quirky characters (both human and feline), a lot of talk about food and baked goods that made my mouth water, and lots of excitement!
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