Cinnamon and Gunpowder

Cinnamon and Gunpowder

Book - 2013
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In 1819, kidnapped chef Owen Wedgwood transforms meager shipboard supplies into sumptuous meals at the behest of his kidnapper, pirate queen Mad Hannah Mabbot, while she pushes her exhausted crew to track down a deadly privateer.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780374123666
Branch Call Number: BROWN E
Characteristics: x, 318 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Take a wildly inventive and terrified chef and add a snarky red-headed pirate captain with a past. Mix in a swarthy and perplexingly amusing crew, a truly captivating plotline, and delicately powder with the spice of delicious descriptions. Voila, you have this book.

It is delightful and engaging, a good mix of humor and history, detail and action. I hope you give this recipe a try.

ArapahoeMarcia Aug 30, 2017

This story takes place on a pirate ship on the high seas in the early 1800s. The powerful chemistry between Captain Hannah and her kidnapped chef Owen was captivating. I so enjoyed reading about Owen's highly creative culinary experiments.

Aug 07, 2017

Finally I finished this book and I find it adorable! It gave me a lot of inspiration for culinary experiments and some good philosophy questions to think about.
Also, for me as a person to whom English is not a primary language, the novel was quite challenging, but nevertheless captivating.

May 11, 2017

so fun!

May 07, 2016

A very intriguing novel that took me on an adventure on the high seas with a tough, cut throat female pirate and a fantastic cook. Highly recommend this fun read. Great characters and unpredictable plot. Wonderful to have a strong female character too. You wouldn't want to mess with this pirate queen. Would make a great movie with the right actors.

Oct 09, 2015

Such an enjoyable read. I liked the descriptions of the food and the high seas pirate action.

Feb 25, 2015

This book was so much fun. Our bookclub read the bookclub set and loved it!

Dec 03, 2014

Food, pirates, a peg leg and love. Tremendous fun.

DanniOcean Oct 20, 2014

reviewed in the Stratford Gazette

Jul 03, 2014

Excellently written historical novel, this adventure wows from start with a female pirate, epicurean wonders, political intrigue and backstabbing, romance and the cinematically required chase. Truthfully, for all the popular features, it really does have well developed characters and plot.

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Jul 12, 2013

DellaV thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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DanniOcean Oct 20, 2014

Into a world in which mash-ups between pop culture and literature are trending high (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), enter author Eli Brown. Mr. Brown takes the world of foodies and throws it (kidnaps it, rather) into the world of 19th century piracy. Chocolat meets Treasure Island. Julia Childs meets Jack Sparrow. Except that in this case the culinary genius is a fellow by the name of Owen Wedgewood and the pirate is a lass by the name of Mad Hannah Mabbot.

Wedgewood is a pious, melancholy widower enjoying his employment in the household of a wealthy though enigmatic shipping magnate, when both his peaceful life and his employer are snuffed out of existence by the pirate Mabbot. She will spare his life, as long as he can prepare her an exquisite Sunday repast each week. Thrust into a ship’s hold, Wedgewood plans his escape even as he desperately searches the ship’s meager provisions for the makings of a feast. He inevitably gets to know the eccentric crew and little by little his narrow, closed mind opens to the reality of the wider 19th century world, a world where not everything is as it seems - pirates might be the good guys, love can blossom literally anywhere, and even the phrase “all the tea in China” can have a deeper – indeed sinister – meaning.

Awash with vivid culinary and historical detail with a writing style quite reminiscent of Robert Louis Stevenson - which might turn some readers off - Cinnamon and Gunpowder is nevertheless an extremely satisfying read – like a rich stew after a cold winter’s day. It is also guaranteed to make you think more deeply about the food you might take for granted, when you see how hard won some meals can be.


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