Forbidden Fruit by Kerry Greenwood
( 4 out of 5 stars)
Forbidden Fruit is a refreshing bit of crime fiction. There is no dead body, no life and death struggle with the forces of evil, and no over the top MacGuffin. The story is basically a story of forbidden love.
The young couple, Brigid and Manny, have run away together. To make matters worse, Brigid is pregnant and will have the baby soon. Daniel, Corinna Chapman’s lover, has been brought in to find the missing children. Of course, this pulls Corrina into the investigation, while handling the Christmas rush in a bakery.
To complicate Corinna’s desire to help the runaways, she must also deal with militant vegans, a rose loving donkey, gypsies, freegans, and an odd christian cult. This is the strong point of the book, the quirky characters.
I really loved the Corinna Chapman character. She sees herself as a perfect size 20. She throws around a Picardian wave and plays as Horatio Hornblower. ‘You want to try it? Go ahead,’ I said, waving a Picardian hand. ‘Make it so.’
‘Well done, Midshipman.’ I saluted. We were playing Hornblower, which Jason had taken as his manual for living. There could be worse role models. Besides, I got to be captain.
Anyone who is a fan of Picard and Horatio Hornblower is alright by me. In another quote, “For a moment, he looked just like a rabbit, morphing into lagomorph in a way which would only have seemed usual to the Fortean Times.” I don’t know how many times that I have mentioned the Fortean Times at a table only to get a lot of blank stares.
Greenwood put a lot of depth into the Corinna character. I was touched more than once.
I sat down in the baker’s chair to drink it. And found myself contemplating, not ‘what would the world be like without humans?’ but ‘what would my life have been without companion animals?’Sadder. Colder. My parents were not affectionate andGrandma and Grandpa Chapman, who had adopted me, were not demonstrative. Also there had been school, which was a living hell. But there had also been Randolph, my mongrel sort of kelpie cross, who had done nothing for his whole harmless life from squeaking puppy to venerable old codger except sleep at the foot of my bed, miss me when I was gone, wait for me to get home, accompany me on those long miserable adolescent walks where I wished I was dead, and lick my face whenever I would let him because he liked the taste of tears. I could complain to Randolph about school where I could not talk to Grandma, because she was paying so much money for me to go there. I could confide in Randolph and he would never, never tell.
As a Floridian, I can also understand her feelings about a hot Christmas.
The story was easy to read and I was happy that there was no earth shattering MacGuffin hanging over my head. The characters were deep, rich, and wonderfully eccentric.
I give it 4 rose flavored muffins out of 5 …
I received this complimentary book from Poisoned Pen for review purposes.