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: First edition
ISBN: 9780374123666
Branch Call Number: FICTION Bro
Description: x, 318 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Well-known chef Owen Wedgwood has been kidnapped by Mad Hannah Mabbot, a cruel, yet beautiful pirate. If he can create a meal every Sunday out of the supplies on her ship the Mad rose, his life will be spared. After his fear begins to subside and his meals are praised by the crew, Owen notices th... Read More »

CRRL_WebEditors Aug 01, 2013

"Excellent book! Great story of a lady pirate. Well written with lots of action but without too much gore and amazingly without foul language. Highly recommended." (Customer review via the summer reading club).

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Feb 02, 2020

Pirates and gourmet cooking? This is Games of Thrones meets Pirates of the Caribbean - with Gordon Ramsey as chef. In 1819 famed chef Owen Wedgwood is kidnapped by a red-haired tempestuous pirate queen. He must cook her an exquisite meal every Sunday or lose his life. The catch? Meager food supplies and an ill-equipped kitchen on her ship The Flying Rose. Juxtaposing the drama of creating gourmet meals from practically nothing is the excitement of pirate raids on trading vessels, defending themselves against a saboteur, a deadly privateer, and the many escape attempts by chef Wedgwood. Lots of blood and gory injuries from cannonballs and swords. Our book group was inspired to dress like pirates and hold a potluck inspired by the ingredients in this original novel.

AnnabelleLee27 Jul 10, 2019

A whimsical and imaginative take on a pirate captain and her captive cook - full of adventure and appetite, with just a dash of romance. A fun and original take on the pirate story trope.

TechLibrarian Feb 11, 2019

If you need an escape or adventure, here's an excellent option. Cinnamon and Gunpowder is the tale of a chef held captive on a pirate ship, complete with scandal, humor, inventive recipes, and even some pithy observations on life. I honestly didn't expect this to be such a delightful read. Expect a little romance and violence (it's about pirates, after all!) so it may not be for everyone, but I think it would appeal to a really wide audience. The writing is better than I expected it to be, the plot is fast-paced, and there are plenty of surprises. If you like cooking, then the recipes are the icing on the cake!

JCLS_CentralPoint Aug 08, 2018

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!

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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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