4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Candy Cane Caper by Josi Kilpack is a wonderful cosy mystery. It’s a follow-up to a 12-book series about amateur detective Sadie Hoffmiller. The intrepid Sadie seems to have survived many previous adventures! However, she has been happily married and retired from the investigation business for the past five years. As the story opens, Sadie is in the last stages of preparing for Christmas with her blended family. Peter, her husband, is away on business and a snowstorm is coming. Sadie is worried the snow will keep everyone away for the holidays. To distract herself, she bakes last-minute treats and agrees to help her former neighbour, Mary, decorate her Christmas tree. There are delicious recipes at the end of most chapters.
Mary, elderly and nearly blind, now lives in a nursing home. As Sadie adds the ornaments to the tree, her friend tells the story of how the decorations came to be a part of her family tradition. It soon becomes clear that the ornaments are valuable antiques. Mary wants to hang them on the tree one last time before bequeathing them to her great-niece. Unfortunately, some of the ornaments are missing the next morning. Sadie quickly dusts off her investigation skills. She wants to find and return the ornaments to the tree before Mary realizes they are missing. There are many suspects to consider! The list includes Mary’s family members, the nursing home staff and the numerous people who come in and out of the residence during the Christmas season. Sadie finds out that her friend is not the only one to have valuable items go missing at the home, and the hunt is on.
This is a fun book! The characters are realistic and relatable. Sadie is preparing for Christmas as many of us do, with last-minute baking and errands. Sadie is funny and doesn’t take herself too seriously, but she does take friendship seriously. She goes to great lengths to help her friend out – including a stint as Mrs. Claus at a busy shopping mall! A good investigator is careful not to take anyone or anything at face value. They make an effort to look deeper. As Sadie investigates and listens to each person, she works to look past first impressions in an effort to discover the true culprit.
There was nothing to dislike about this mystery. It was professionally edited. I only found one typo and one mix-up of words throughout the whole book! The plot was interesting and made sense. The mystery and the relationships were balanced well. Even though this is a follow-up to a series, it read quite well as a stand-alone novel. Enough information was provided that I am curious about the previous books, but I don’t need them to make sense of this story. The end of the book wrapped everything up nicely. It was a very satisfying read.
I am happy to rate The Candy Cane Caper by Josi Kilpack 4 out of 4 stars. This book was exceptionally edited. The plot was well-executed, it had a sense of humour, and it was a pleasure to read. This is an entertaining novel for readers who enjoy cosy mysteries, Christmas themes, books with recipes (Christmas recipes, in this case), and family and friends stories. This is not a crime/procedural/thriller novel but an excellent cosy mystery that can be enjoyed by all ages.
The Candy Cane Caper
View: on Bookshelves