I don’t read a lot of pulp novels. There are so many great books being written all the time, it’s all I can do to keep up with new releases while fulfilling my desire for the “must-read” classics. The Corinna Chapman series by Australian author Kerry Greenwood is neither new nor classic, nor especially… good, but I am addicted to it as surely as I am addicted to chocolate or potato chips.
Greenwood is better known for the Phryne Fisher Murder Mysteries series. Converted to an Australian television series a few years ago, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries has just completed its third season for a total of 34 episodes, many of which are true to Greenwood’s original novels. While Phryne madness hasn’t yet hit North America (the first two seasons are available on Acorn and Netflix), I’m predicting that we will soon go crazy for “Mees Fishah”, especially if the much-discussed US version ever happens.
In any case, I figured that if Greenwood was behind the creation of my favourite show and style icon, surely her mystery series about a baker would be right up my alley.
The word “bohemian” and Queen West have gone hand in hand for decades. From the original Bohemian Embassy in the 1960s (an artsy coffeehouse that was a launchpad for artists such as Margaret Atwood, Gordon Lightfoot and Lorne Michaels) to the various groups of artists, musicians, goths, punks and others who have frequented Queen West over the years (we’ll pointedly ignore the condo project at Queen & Gladstone with the same name, which is a sad riff on previous subcultures and is pretty much the antithesis of anything even remotely bohemian within the current definition of the word), it’s safe to say that Queen Street is where you’d find any bohemians in Toronto.
The recently-opened Bohemian Gastropub (571 Queen Street West), however, is not meant to reference the downtown sub-cultures, but is both a play on owner Paul Boehmer’s name and the actual region of Bohemia, part of the current Czech Republic, bordering on Germany. So a Bohemian Gastropub has hearty Eastern European food with influences of Germany, Poland and Austria.