The Spotted Dog is the seventh instalment of Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series. The professional baker/amateur sleuth, her private detective boyfriend, and growing collection of quirky friends and neighbours unravel a knot of mysteries. A kidnapped dog. A series of burglaries. Ransomware. A mysterious mute woman. Is it all connected?
Between the morning baking, napping with her cat Horatio, and lustful encounters with the tall, dark and handsome Daniel, Corinna checks in on the other inhabitants of her Roman style apartment building and her fellow small business owners in the laneways of central Melbourne, gathering complications and clues.
By the time Corinna and crew gather in the roof garden for a celebratory feast, all the pieces have been slotted together, a little too neatly. The table is laid, with transepts because it “was not going to be big enough for such a large gathering”. And there lies the problem. Too many characters. Too little time with each. Too many threads. Too little detail in the pattern. Too many ingredients. Too little flavour.
Hopefully on her next excursion, Greenwood will be more selective with her recipe, focus on fewer complementary flavours, and leave some ingredients in the pantry for the next time.