Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Josi Kilpack's Lemon Tart

Josi Kilpack'sLemon Tart is a fun book with a twisting plot and engaging characters. That line sounds totally cliche, but every word is true. This is the backliner from the book:

A recipe for murder!

* 5 families living on Peregrine Circle
* 1 flowered curtain tieback
* 1 missing child
* 1 body in the field

Mix with a long list of suspects and top with two very different detectives. Increase heat until only the truth remains.

Award-winning author Josi 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.

Here's what worked for me with this book:

*I loved Sadie. She is a funny, funny character. Josi has a way of putting the reader in Sadie's head without intruding there, herself. So funny. Sadie meddles, is frustrating for some of the other characters but ends up being endearing rather than irritating. I think this is a hard mix to accomplish, and my hat is off to the author.

*I enjoyed the cast of secondary characters. There was enough going on to make me wonder whodunit.

*The plot. I enjoy a good mystery, and I liked peeling back the layers of this one.

*The recipes! They were such a fun addition to the story. Rather than just read about what Sadie made, I was able to look at the recipes and get a sense for exactly how it would have tasted or come together. I have yet to try them myself; I'm hoping for a chance to do some experimenting over the holiday season.

All told, I loved this book and am looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel. Reading Lemon Tart was an enjoyable experience, and I enjoyed the story so much I hated to put the book down. That's always a sign of a good read.

P.S. Same disclaimer as with Jennie's book: I do know Josi Kilpack and am pleased to call her my friend, however, I wouldn't have reviewed the book if I didn't like it. It's true. :-)


Penny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penny said...

Thanks so much for this review!! It may be a bit late, but I'm putting this book on my Christmas list--it sounds like it's right up my funny-heroine/mystery-mixed-with-food alley. But then again, I usually don't bother with lists--I just buy what I want when I want it frustrating my family at this time of year. So, happy reading to me!

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

I hope you like it, Penny! I'm sure you will. It's a fun one.

Merry Christmas!

Josi said...

Thanks Nancy, I appreciate the great shout out! :-)