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Devil's Food Cake by Josi S. Kilpack
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Devil's Food Cake

by Josi S. Kilpack

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This is the third installment in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series and the most delectable so far. Devil's Food Cake is a culinary mystery on another level. Josi S. Kilpack has taken the 'cozy' out of culinary cozy.

Sadie started off as a bit of a caricature back in Lemon Tart, but she has developed into a character with depth. I'm not sure she's someone I want to know, but only because people she knows have a nasty habit of being murdered. Is she a bit of a busy body? Perhaps, but she certainly is useful one. An active member of her community, Sadie has personal inside knowledge of relationships and people that perhaps are not so obvious to the police force. She's also very gutsy. (Sadie makes a murder suspect a snack in the home of a woman who just attacked her... could I? Maybe, but would I? No way!) Unfortunately, because she's dating a detective on the force and she has a reputation for interfering in investigations, Sadie is ignored by the police. But she does find a stranger to aid her investigation, one who just may crumble her relationship that is already on the rocks.

The plot is intricate and compactly woven. The story moves without lulls and while the reader may question the validity actions of the characters, they are sure of their motivations. As crazy as the cast is, they all mean well. As a reader, I never found myself ahead or behind the investigation. I was right with Sadie every step of the way, and just as shocked as she was by every turn of events.

Kilpack's writing style can go from witty to serious in an instant, and lets not forget about the delicious recipes included! The food is pulled into the story, and the recipes follow the chapter, but they are never forced.

It is the most complete in character and plot of the three books in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series and I couldn't put it down. Which is why I'm moving right into book four. I can't wait to start Key Lime Pie!

http://girlsjustreading.blogspot.com/2010/10/jenns-review-devils-food-cake.html ( )
  jaharnick | Oct 4, 2010 |
One of my favorite genres to read is the cozy mystery. Pair that with culinary skills of a middle aged amateur sleuth, add in some quirky characters and perhaps a budding romance and you have a winner in my opinion. Devil's Food Cake is just that!

The main character Sadie Hofmiller, a widowed cooking aficionado who just seems to easily channel her inner busybody, sets out to solve a murder mystery in Garrison, Colorado; not exactly what she had in mind for the evening.

When Sadie arranged for Tom Mortenson, a former resident, to speak at the library fund raiser dinner regarding his best selling book, everyone expected a nice quiet dinner meeting. Between the prime rib and devil's food cake, no one could foresee that just fixing a microphone would set off a shot gun blast that immediately killed Tom's agent, Mark Ogresky. None of the attendees paid $150.00 a plate to be scared out of their wits!

Who could possibly have gone to such trouble rigging the shotgun like that? What was their motive and when did anyone even have the opportunity to set it up? This made Sadie wonder if Mark was the real target or was it a mistake and did someone have it in for Tom?

Tom had left Garrison years ago following the suicide of his son and murder of his son's girlfriend. Sadie had to first figure out if anyone from the past still held a grudge. Through a lot of digging and some madcap adventures, Sadie, her son Shawn and a new acquaintance by the name of Eric managed to get themselves in the thick of the action despite the police telling them to just go home. Of course, that didn't stop Sadie!

Just when I thought it was a wrap and I had it figured out, a big turnaround happened at warp speed. Whoa, didn't see that twist coming. Good one, Josi! I had to speed read to the end I was so surprised and couldn't wait to see what happened.

Sadie Hofmiller and her teenaged son, Shawn, were fun characters to read. It's as if he and his mother had been solving crimes together for a long time, their thoughts meshed well together in figuring out what clues to follow. I also really liked another character that was introduced in this book and that was Eric. He turned out to be much more than I thought he would initially. I hope to see him again in the next book.

For fans of culinary cozies, this is definitely one for your wish list. And the recipes? I was drooling just reading the devil's food cake recipe. Devil's Food Cake is the third in this culinary series by Josi Kilpack. For more info on the author and her books you can visit her website or her blog . ( )
  momgee | Mar 24, 2010 |
Devil’s Food Cake by Josi S. Kilpack

Considering my love of both food and reading, this book seemed like a natural. The protagonist appears to be fixated on food while solving mysteries. The book included the recipes of the dishes she describes while sleuthing. The mystery is to discover who set up the shotgun trap to kill Mark.

Sadie Hoffmiller is not a highly likeable character. She recognizes that many people in her community consider her a busy body, most likely because she appears to be a busy body. She does have a good heart and believes most problems can be solved with the suitable application of culinary delights. I don’t know that I have ever read a book with a less likely heroine. It was a good mystery combining a love of food with an equal desire to solve mysteries.

I recommend the book. ( )
  wbentrim | Mar 2, 2010 |
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It's been years since author Thom Mortenson has been back to Garrison, Colorado. As part of the library fundraising committee, who invited him to speak, Sadie Hoffmiller wants everything to be perfect—right down to the homemade Devil’s Food Cake she made herself. Murder, however, was not on the menu.

When Thom's manager ends up dead on stage, Sadie does what any woman with a history of solving murders does--jumps right in to offer her guidance and expertise. The police, however, are not very appreciative. In fact, they’d rather she just go home. But can Sadie help it if she keeps stumbling over information? Can she help it if the people intricately woven into the deception keep crossing her path? The more she learns, the broader the spectrum becomes and when the police refuse to take her seriously, Sadie has no choice but to sidestep them altogether in the pursuit of justice.

With her son Shawn at her side, her reputation on the line, and a full cast of suspicious characters, Sadie Hoffmiller is once again cooking her way through a case that offers far more questions than answers.
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When a literary agent dies at a library fundraiser, Sadie Hoffmiller finds herself on the trail of the murderer. As she digs deeper into the mystery she discovers connections to an unsolved decade-old murder-suicide.

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Josi S. Kilpack is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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