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Lemon Tart by Josi S. Kilpack
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Review by Laura Lynn @ RomancingThePage.com

After multiple people told me they enjoyed “Lemon Tart” by Josi S Kilpack, I broke down and spent part of my book budget to obtain the 346 page mystery. I have to say I am impressed. As I have never read anything by this author before, I was a little wary when I picked it up. I wasn’t sure whether to expect a book about food or a sour tease. In fact, it is a mystery revolving around a lemon pastry.

Sadie Hoffmiller, is an unexpected heroine. At 56 she is a widow and mother of two. She is also the neighborhood watch dog. She can see everything from her kitchen window, where she spends most of her time cooking.

The character of Sadie is well written, if a bit stereotypical of a female mystery heroine. While you gain empathy for her journey, you do wonder how she gets into the predicaments she is in. The last I checked, most people don’t get involved in police investigations…unless you are Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote.

As light mysteries go, I enjoyed the plot. I have to give Ms. Kilpack credit for keeping me guessing. As soon as I was sure who did it there would be a plot twist and I would be unsure again. She never let anything sit long enough for the reader to get bored.

The supporting cast of characters was a little odd. I felt at ease with some of them, tortured by others and repulsed by yet others. I am not sure if I made a connection with any of them, but then again, I’m not sure if I was supposed to. This book is all about Sadie. You see everything through her eyes and her experiences.

Overall, this was a fun book. It was a quick, one day read which did not require a lot of thought, just fancy. If you are looking for a spellbinding, gory mystery with mind numbing plot and details, this book is not for you. If you want a fun summer read with clean subject matter, a respectable heroine and cute ending, this is your book. ( )
  RomancingThePage | Jun 23, 2010 |
With my love of food-lit and mystery novels Lemon Tart seemed like an ideal read... and it is truly the best of both worlds. It was a quick, light read full of surprises and delicious recipes.

This is the first book I've read in a long time where the voice of the story is not that of the law enforcement or the criminologists who are doing the lead investigating, but that of a friend and neighbor looking in from the outside. At first, that took a little adjusting to, but once I switched mind frames, it was very refreshing. Sadie is the town busybody that knows everyone... and that everyone knows. So when a neighbor is murdered and a toddler goes missing, what can she do but investigate? Sadie knows her neighbor better than anyone else in her cul-de-sac, but how much do any of us really know our neighbors?

Sadie takes food and cooking seriously; thank you's, apologies, and bribes, all come with a yummy homemade treat (for which Ms. Kilpack graciously supplies the recipes at the ends of chapters). She also has a knack for nosing into trouble. Sure, many of Sadie's problems and fears would be alleviated if she told the police all that she knows, but with her thirst to save the murdered women's reputation, the discoveries she's making about her friends and family, and a neophyte detective who suspects her of murder, Sadie has a hard time not withholding evidence...

READ MORE: http://girlsjustreading.blogspot.com/2010/04/jenns-review-lemon-tart.html ( )
  jaharnick | Apr 22, 2010 |
From my blog...

Lemon Tart by Josi S. Kilpack is the first in her cozy Culinary Mystery series and is a light and fun read guaranteed to make any reader hungry; fortunately Kilpack does indeed provide the reader with a lot of delicious recipes. Set in the relatively quiet cul-de-sac of Peregrine Circle, Sadie Hoffmiller notices two police cruisers heading to Anne Lemmon's home. Sadie cannot help but go outside to investigate the scene further and injects herself into the crime scene by helping the police officers enter Anne's home. Although she was asked to remain outside of the crime scene, Sadie could not help but burst inside and head directly to the kitchen to save a lemon tart from burning in the oven. While Sadie is saving the dessert, the police find Anne's body and after some hesitation, the police allow Sadie to identify Anne's body. Who murdered her and where was her young son Trevor? Who would wish Anne dead? Kilpack writes an interesting novel filled with food as well as a charming cozy mystery. Sadie becomes one of the prime suspects, so naturally she heads up her own investigation to find out not only who murdered Anne, but to discover the whereabouts of Anne's missing 2-year old son. Lemon Tart is filled with an array of characters, suspects, food, and suspicions. The plot is standard for a cozy mystery, except for the extra bonus of all the baking and recipes, an added bonus for any reader who enjoys baking. The characters are interesting, not endearing, yet interesting enough to keep the story moving along at a nice clip. Lemon Tart makes for a quick, enjoyable and easy read, an excellent choice for a vacation book. ( )
  knittingmomof3 | Apr 13, 2010 |
This book was a delight!
I loved the cover, and that was a great start. Immediately upon reading, I was pulled directly into the plot on this cul-de-sac. I hated the idea of putting this cute book down.
Yes, it is a murder mystery, but it also has recipes hidden throughout. You know how I love recipes! Of course I tried one, and to say the least, I can surely serve my Italian Mother-in-law this dish. It was THAT good!
So was this book.
I HIGHLY recommend you, yes, all of you, get a copy and enjoy the read! It is a great trip down Culinary Lane, with a significant twist! ( )
  fredamans | Apr 5, 2010 |
Wow, this was just about at cozy as it gets - and I don't mean that in a good way. Sweet, middle-aged neighbor interferes with police investigation of a murder and solve the crime. Fans of Rosemary and Thyme - the ones who find that series completely believable - would eat this book up. Actually, that's probably the best audience for this book. I like a little light mystery sometimes, but this was too much. I skipped to the end only to find that yes, the obnoxious bad cop was indeed the murderer, and yes, the nice cop is the new love interest. I know this was written by an LDS author and I'm sure she's a nice person, but this was absolutely NOT the book for me. ( )
  cmbohn | Jan 12, 2010 |
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Cooking aficionado turned amateur detective Sadie Hoffmiller tries to solve the murder of her beautiful young neighbor--a single mother who was mysteriously lured from her home while a lemon tart was baking in her oven. At the heart of Sadie's search is the woman's missing two year-old child.… (more)

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