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Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown

Cinnamon and Gunpowder (edition 2014)

by Eli Brown

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3483146,666 (4)35
Title:Cinnamon and Gunpowder
Authors:Eli Brown
Info:Picador (2014), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:April 2015, borrowed

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Cinnamon and Gunpowder: A Novel by Eli Brown



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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Liked this book very much. Loved how Owen was transformed from being a chef in a well to do British household to becoming the pirate captain's private chef. ( )
  JulesGDSide | Jan 18, 2019 |
Owen Wedgewood is a fancy chef whose life is disrupted severely when his employer is killed by Mad Hannah Mabbot, a ruthless but principled pirate captain who then kidnaps Wedgewood onto her ship and demands that, once a week, he serve her a gourmet meal made with whatever poor ingredients he can find on board.

The story of Wedgewood's captivity and Mabbot's causes and vendettas is interesting enough, even if some of the details stretch the suspension of disbelief pretty far. And there were bits of the novel I found myself nicely caught up in. But I have to say, for the most part it just didn't grip me nearly as much as I was hoping it would. I'm not at all sure if that's the book's fault, or if I somehow just wasn't in quite the right mood for it. I do suspect, though, that if I were more of a foodie, I'd be a lot more charmed by all the passages about cooking and eating. ( )
  bragan | Dec 15, 2018 |
Gunpowder and cinnamon
This is a very readable swashbuckling tale of kidnapping, smuggling, combat, cuisine and romance on the high seas during the Opium wars between England and China. The main character is Owen Wedgwood, a widower and chef to Lord Ramsay. During a battle at Ramsay’s manor, Wedgwood is kidnapped while Ramsay is murdered by Hannah Mabbop, a notorious pirate and Captain of the Rose. In order to survive, Wedgwood has to prepare a meal every Sunday for the Captain. The background story of the trade wars over tea and opium and the fascinating characters occupying the ships at sea and at battle make for a very good book. Wedgwood’s ability to scrape together delicious meals with scarce ingredients is a culinary bonus. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Oct 28, 2018 |
Do you ever hear about a book, and everyone is just raving about it, and you read it and just feel meh? That's this book for me. It wasn't awful, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what everyone else sees in it. Which makes me feel like I missed some sort of greatness. Maybe if I'd read it instead of listened, but the narration was fine. But by the last two hours of the book, I found myself setting it to 1.5 speed just to get it over sooner. ( )
  virginiahomeschooler | Jun 8, 2018 |
I loved this book because it was SO MUCH FUN.

Crazy pirate Mad Hannah Mabbott captures and kidnaps chef Owen Wedgwood. “Wedge” is now a prisoner aboard The Flying Rose, and if he wants to remain aboard and not become fish food, he must prepare an exquisite meal for the red-haired pirate captain every Sunday.

The conflicts abound: Captain Mabbott’s quixotic hunt for her nemesis, The Brass Fox; Wedge’s panicked scrounging for decent provisions, which imagination leads him to use scraped barnacles, stolen pineapples, and a sourdough starter made from feeble yeast and coconut water; and countless encounters with other pirates where Wedge must dodge cutlasses while trying to keep his pans on the stove. There are escape attempts, underwater excursions, pirate raids, and haute cuisine.

Other swashbucklers aboard include: Mr. Apples, Mabbott’s first mate, a swarthy pirate with a predilection for knitting; twin Chinese bodyguards; and Joshua, a deaf cabin boy who proves to be a competent sous-chef.

What I loved about this book is not only is it adventurous fun, but it has an underlying current of heartbreak: the mother’s loss of her child, a man overcoming the death of his wife, a boy intent to return home, and the fight for triumph of good over evil. Above all, love trumps greed, and loyalty is more precious than gold.

Cinnamon and Gunpowder appeals to all five senses. Wedge’s cuisine patched together from rancid ingredients and seasoned with spices purloined from bowls of potpourri crushed with a cannon ball are nothing short of genius. The characters are multi-faceted, and no one can be taken at face value. Adventure on the high seas, indeed, replete with danger and a tender love story. What more could a reader ask for? ( )
  ErickaS | May 2, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
"..perfect mixture of classic piracy and food snobbery.."

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eli Brownprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brown, Elimain authorall editionsconfirmed
Arensman, Dirk JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374123667, Hardcover)

A gripping adventure, a seaborne romance, and a twist on the tale of Scheherazade—with the best food ever served aboard a pirate’s ship

The year is 1819, and the renowned chef Owen Wedgwood has been kidnapped by the ruthless pirate Mad Hannah Mabbot. He will be spared, she tells him, as long as he puts exquisite food in front of her every Sunday without fail.
     To appease the red-haired captain, Wedgwood gets cracking with the meager supplies on board. His first triumph at sea is actual bread, made from a sourdough starter that he leavens in a tin under his shirt throughout a roaring battle, as men are cutlassed all around him. Soon he’s making tea-smoked eel and brewing pineapple-banana cider.
     But Mabbot—who exerts a curious draw on the chef—is under siege. Hunted by a deadly privateer and plagued by a saboteur hidden on her ship, she pushes her crew past exhaustion in her search for the notorious Brass Fox. As Wedgwood begins to sense a method to Mabbot’s madness, he must rely on the bizarre crewmembers he once feared: Mr. Apples, the fearsome giant who loves to knit; Feng and Bai, martial arts masters sworn to defend their captain; and Joshua, the deaf cabin boy who becomes the son Wedgwood never had.
     Cinnamon and Gunpowder is a swashbuckling epicure’s adventure simmered over a surprisingly touching love story—with a dash of the strangest, most delightful cookbook never written. Eli Brown has crafted a uniquely entertaining novel full of adventure: the Scheherazade story turned on its head, at sea, with food.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:32 -0400)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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