Title: Trick or Treat
Author: Kerry Greenwood
Publisher: Allen & Unwin 
In the fourth book of this series baker Corina Chapman is having a tough time with a competitor opening up shop a few doors away from her business and her boyfriend inviting a long-legged, beautiful woman to stay with him. If that’s not enough it seems there might be some extra-nasty drugs being sold nearby that are sending people mad.
Do you have a friend who you’ve known for ages and whose family gatherings you are automatically invited to? And does this friend’s family delight you with its eccentric members and good-heartedness although you can see how it might be less delightful to be related to them than to drop in (and out) when it pleases you? I do have a friend like this but I have to say that the gang in the Corina Chapman series are nearly as much fun to visit as her family. Corina is funny, socially conscious and a highly credible reluctant amateur detective, her boyfriend is a former Israeli soldier who does a nice line in romantic gestures and in this outing her friend the white witch and an ex drug-addict turned apprentice baker feature heavily. They’re all, along with the rest of the residents of the Insula apartment building, great characters.
I often think, at the start of these books, that I’m just going to revel in the characters and not worry too much about the invariably slightly-odd story but I always get engaged by the deft way in which the subjects are handled. This one features a couple of story lines that are both intriguing and well researched and, in combination with the clever and amusing writing style round out a terrific reading experience. If you’re into ‘cosies’ you’ll love this book and if you’re looking for something a little light but still intelligent and witty then I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Sure it’s a little fantastical but a happy ending every now and again is just what my doctor ordered.
My rating 4/5