Friday, May 28, 2010

Virtual Book Tour and Review: English Trifle by Josi S. Kilpack

First line: "Is it just me or does it feel like the staff wants us to leave?" Sadie Hoffmiller asked after the door of the sitting room shut behind them.

From the back cover:
High Crimes at High Tea
Things to Do in England:
Visit Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and the London Zoo
Take the Jack the Ripper tour - creepy!
Sample authentic English scones and crumpets
Discover a dead body

What begins as a holiday trip for amateur sleuth and cooking aficionado Sadie Hoffmiller and her daughter, Breanna, turns into a bizarre mystery when they discover a dead body in the sitting room of an English manor. Breanna's boyfriend, Liam, is heir to both the family title and the family estate of Southgate, where everyone seems to have a secret ... or two. When the body in the sitting room disappears, Sadie and Breanna are stranded at the estate until the police can clear them to leave. With their departure delayed, they might as well solve the murder.

Armed with a jogging whistle, her personal recipe collection, and an unfailing sense of American justice, Sadie begins her own investigation to find the killer. But as Sadie uncovers layer after layer of misdirection, secrets, and outright lies, she wonders if anyone is telling the truth - or if the case is really as hopeless as it appears to be.

Take a missing family history, toss in a secret romance, mix with a mysterious murder, and this is one vacation Sadie will never forget.

My thoughts: This is the second in the Sadie Hoffmiller culinary mysteries. Once again, Sadie has come upon a murder, this time while on vacation with her daughter in England. Annoyed with the way the English "police" are handling the situation, Sadie takes it upon herself to figure out what is going on. Along the way, we are introduced to some new characters and some that we met in Lemon Tart, the first in the series. The story is filled with clever dialogue and the twists keep you guessing until the end. While we are immersed in the English culture of maids and butlers, it is this cast of characters that add to the richness of the story, complete with hidden stairways and certain places within the estate that are off-limits to guests. Sadie, however, feels that a kitchen, one of the off-limits areas, is her home-away-from-home and makes her way there plenty of times, sometimes only to be sent right out. Of course, there are plenty of recipes added throughout the book, such as Sadie's Scrumptulicious Scones and High Tea Lemon Cookies, that I am eager to try. A quick, humorous, enjoyable read that will find you hungry for more Sadie.

About the author:  Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998, while on bedrest with a pregnancy, and never stopped. Devil’s Food Cake is Josi’s eleventh novel, and the third book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. The other novels, Lemon Tart (Book 1) and English Trifle (Book 2) were released in 2009. While the books all feature Sadie Hoffmiller as the main character, they stand alone in regard to plot and can be read as a set or as individual titles. Josi currently lives in Utah with her husband, four children, one dog and varying number of chickens.

For more information about Josi, you can visit her website or her blog.

I received a complimentary copy of English Trifle by Josi S. Kilpack from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour.

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