Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lemon Tart by Josi S. Kilpack

Title: Lemon Tart: A Culinary Mystery (Book #1)
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Mystery
Alerts/Warnings: Murder and nefarious behavior assorted with such crimes
Premise: "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." (King County Library System)
Opinions: I KNOW!!! Two reviews from me in under a week. Since I was crazy and had a third kid last year I haven't been able to focus my brain power on as much reading as I would like. However, I've had several people recommend to me the works of Josi S. Kilpack. So I rushed a request off to my local library and yesterday they had the first book in this series ready and waiting for me. I've said it before, but I am a mystery fan. Have been since I was about 10 or so (memories get fuzzy with lack of sleep...oh and age). So I picked it up yesterday and here I am at almost 11:30 pm writing a review about this book. Why? Because I could NOT put it down. It was FABULOUS!!!

I love Sadie, the main character, she is brilliantly written. She is absolutely the kind of woman I would love to know. She is witty, intelligent, has dealt with struggles in life, but come out ahead. She also is kindhearted and tries to be helpful whenever she can(even if it gets her in trouble with the police). She is a spunky, sassy, brilliant heroine. On a side note, I also LOVE that there are recipes included at the end of each chapter. And the frustrating part is now I have to go buy a copy just to have the recipes (let alone the great mystery that comes with them). The suspense is great, and the twists and turns keep you jumping around trying to figure out who really committed the crime. The library better be ready for me, because now I simply have to read the rest of the series and I suggest that you check them out as well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley

To read my reviews of the other books in this series see: March 31, 2011 post for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, April 20, 2011 for The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag, and Sept 1, 2011 for A Red Herring Without Mustard (I apologize that for some reason I can't get the hyperlinks to work at this time).

Title:I Am Half Sick of Shadows (Flavia De Luce #4)
Author: Alan Bradley
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Mystery
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: Death associated with murder mysteries
Premise: "Colonel de Luce, in desperate need of funds, rents his beloved estate of Buckshaw over to a film company. They will be shooting a movie over the Christmas holidays, filming scenes in the stately manse with a famous and reclusive star. She is widely despised, so it is to no one's surprise when she turns up murdered, strangled by a length of film from her own movies! With the snow raging outside and Buckshaw locked in, the house is full of suspects. But Flavia de Luce is more than ready to solve the wintry country-house murder. She'll have to be quick-witted, though, to negotiate the volatile chemicals of a cast and crew starting to crack--and locked in a house with a murderer!" (King County Library System)
Opinions: I enjoy a really good murder mystery and this was a really fun murder mystery. Once again the preteen chemistry expert, Flavia de Luce, strives to solve a murder before the police. The thing that I quite enjoy about Flavia is that, even though she is brilliant, she is still a kid at heart and is looking for solid ground in life to stand on. She still has childhood wishes and dreams. This makes her a complex character that I love to read about. Flavia's ingenuity knows no bounds and her love for chemistry keeps the subject far from boring for one as me who isn't so proficient in that area. Mr Bradley does a fantastic job piquing the readers interest and leaving them looking forward to finding out what this pint-sized heroine will be up to next.