By Josi S. Kilpack
Published Sept. 2011, Shadow Mountain
Paperback, 361 pages
Sadie Hoffmiller is looking forward to spending her favorite baking season of the year making delicious New England recipes in Boston, Massachusetts, with her favorite leading man, Pete Cunningham, as they babysit his three young grandsons. But when the boys insist that Mrs. Wapple, the woman who lives across the street, is a witch, Sadie and Pete are anxious to distract the boys from such Halloween-induced ideas. However, it gets harder and harder to explain the strange things that keep happening, particularly after Sadie learns the eccentric Mrs. Wapple has been attacked in her home. As the unexplained occurrences escalate, Sadie finds herself embroiled in yet another mystery with life-or-death consequences. Can Sadie discover whoever or whatever is behind the mystery before anyone else gets hurt? Or will this be Sadie's last case?This book is the most recent in a mystery series, but the first book I have read by Josi S. Kilpack. I do not read much in the mystery genre, but the cooking aspect of the book interested me enough to try this one. All of the page numbers to the recipes are listed nicely on the back of the first page, so I was able to check those out without having to search for them, and they do look like quite delicious recipes, perfect for this time of year.
The main character is an older woman, Sadie Hoffmiller, who has recently opened a P.I. business in her hometown in Colorado, but has taken a vacation to Boston with her love interest, Pete, to house-sit and watch over his three grandsons. Right away she strikes me as both ultra-conservative - Sadie and Pete sleep in separate bedrooms - and a perfectionist. Not only is her cooking described in detail, but also her cleaning and personal grooming habits. She also comes off as a "busy-body" as she very quickly gets involved in the life of the woman who lives across the street and bears the reputation of a witch, the eccentric Mrs. Wapple. It is as if she is so addicted to her job back home that she must continue its nosy approach wherever she travels.
The city of Boston is obviously chosen for its proximity to Salem, Massachusetts and the many references and allusions to ghosts and witches throughout the plot. When pranks begin to strike in the house that Sadie and Pete are staying at, the obvious choice is ghosts, but their sensibilities and penchant for detective work prevent them from embracing this as the solution.
When something dire happens to Mrs. Wapple halfway through the book, Sadie is right in the thick of it, her curiosity taking prominence over even her duties as babysitter with Pete. Not even a vacation will deter her from solving yet another case.
On the whole, the book is entertaining, though Sadie can be annoying at times. Like any mystery, I want to know who is the responsible party, but my favorite part of this book is definitely the recipes.
The Cover: The cover is fitting with the title and first recipe of the book, and the knife adds to the mystery aspect of the plot.
First Line: "'So, what's the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath?' Sadie asked as she put the last plate in the dishwasher."
What an intriguing way to open a book, but with a question. Now I want to know the answer to the question, too.
Read For: Foodie Challenge, Off the Shelf Challenge
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*
THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED!In conjunction with the release of Pumpkin Roll, the author, Josi S. Kilpack, and the publisher, Shadow Mountain, are sponsoring a contest for a new iPad2. To enter, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog post before November 1, 2011. Winners will be announced and notified November 3rd, 2011.
For additional ways to enter, go to www.josiskilpack.com.