I hadn't known what to expect when I started reading Josi S. Kilpack's culinary mystery, Lemon Tart, or that it would actually be fun to read a mystery. Even now, writing the word fun down, it seems an ironic word to describe this book. It could be a recipe for disaster as many of the story's ingredients were quite dark, after all , a young mother is murdered, a baby is missing, and a man struggles with adultery.
Right away you become aware of the resident baker, Sadie Hoffmiller, who has designated herself as a neighborhood spy because these two detectives, who are completely opposite and troubled as they work together, couldn't possibly solve this case better than Sadie herself. For these are people that she cares about and she can't turn a blind eye without helping by finding any situation where she might gather information whether or not it helps or hinders the investigation. Sadie is merely harmless and downright hilarious too. Even though she is a busybody, she is well intentioned and likeable. I partly expected her to show up anytime at my own doorstep with goodies in hand.
Since it is a culinary mystery, there were plenty of descriptions about food to make your mouthwater. So, for people who love food this is a book you may enjoy. I did make the brownies from the story and they turned out really good. Besides Sadie's personality, perhaps it is the food that makes this book feel fun after all.
It was an easy read and well paced. I have to admit that I thought this book was fairly predictable until the very end and I was wrong. So, you had me there, Josi, that was an unexpected surprise.
This is a book that seemed finished and can stand on its own so I'm interested to read the next installment, English Trifle, to see how Josi is going to make a series out of these. I know three ingredients to look forward to and that is Sadie, her recipes and the mystery, of course.
361 pages, March 2009, My rating: 3 stars