Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Review: Lemon Tart by Josi Kilpack
From the back cover: "Award winning author Josie S. Kilpack introduces a new series of culinary "cozies" that is sure to tantalize mystery lovers. In this debut volume, cooking aficionado-turned-amateur detective, Sadie Hoffmiller, tries to solve the murder of Anne Lemmon, her beautiful young neighbor-a single mother who was mysteriously killed while a lemon tart was baking in her oven. At the heart of Sadie's search is Anne's missing two-year old son, Trevor. Whoever took the child must be the murderer, but Sadie is certain that the police are looking at all the wrong suspects-including her!
Armed with a handful of her very best culinary masterpieces, Sadie is determined to bake her way to proving her innocence, rescuing Trevor, and finding out exactly who had a motive for murder. My Thoughts: While busily making jam, 56 year old Sadie Hoffmiller looks out her window to see police cars careening around the corner and entering her cul-de-sac. Being the overly inquisitive( read busybody) person that she is, Sadie steps outside to see what all the ruckus is about. Police have converged on her neighbor Anne's porch and look ready to break down the door. Sadie approaches and tells the police she has the key. The police try to prevent Sadie from entering the house but Detective Cunningham asks her to look and see if anything seems out of place much to the dismay of Detective Madsen. While the police search outside, Sadie notices that numerous things are definitely wrong; the house is too tidy, Anne and her son Trevor are nowhere in sight and a lemon tart is in the oven. Sadie tells the police that Anne would never leave the oven on and disappear like that. When the police find Anne's body in the back yard, Sadie's imagination goes into overdrive and she begins to do what she does best- Snoop! Her most pressing concern is the whereabouts of Trevor and the motive of the murderer. Despite repeated warnings from Detective Madsen, Sadie learns some disturbing info from her fiance, Ron. Not only does Sadie have to worry about a murderer on the loose but now she has to contend with a philandering fiance. Why was he at Anne's house the night before anyway? Detective Madsen keeps trying to put the blame on Sadie and insists she is hampering police investigations but detective Cunningham thinks Sadie is innocent and can help find the person responsible. Sadie makes a shocking discovery about Anne that makes her more determined than ever to find out the truth. When investigations lead too close to home for comfort, Sadie really ramps up her sleuthing game and finds herself in a hairy situation.Will she be able to get out of this latest escapade and prove once and for all who really did murder Anne and why? Kilpack sets up a very well paced mystery with some likeable and some not so likeable characters who kept me mentally on the run. The denoument was so exciting with more than one twist that I couldn't read fast enough to find out all the why's and wherefores. I had previously read the third book in this series, Devil's Food Cake, and enjoyed it a lot. This first one is also very good and can be read as a stand alone book. For fans of culinary cozies, this one will not only whet your appetite for the mystery but for the tasty recipes included. For more info on the author and her books you can visit her website or her blog. Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by the author through Pump Up Your Book Promotions.