There's an antique ornament thief on the loose... The Candy Cane Caper by Josi S. Kilpack (Review)

Welcome! I love how this series always includes some fun recipes along
with its cozy mysteries. Read my thoughts on this newest addition below...

The Candy Cane Caper
(A Culinary Mystery #13)
By Josi S. Kilpack
Adult Cozy Mystery, Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
October 1st 2019 by Shadow Mountain


This Christmas, Sadie Hoffmiller Cunningham is making a list and checking it twice. For the first time since she and Pete married five years ago, their combined families are gathering for the holidays in Fort Collins, Colorado, for a party that would make Santa and Mrs. Claus proud.

She just has to bake the famous Cunningham Candy Cane Cake, make sure the looming snowstorm doesn't derail everyone's travel plans, and oh, yes, solve one teensy-tiny mystery before the big day.

At ninety-four and nearly blind, Mary, Sadie's friend and neighbor, knows this will be her last Christmas. When Sadie learns that someone has stolen antique Christmas ornaments from Mary's tree, she vows to find the thief, no matter what. The ornaments had been appraised at more than $40,000, but they were worth even more to Mary, who had intended to bequeath them to her great-granddaughter, Joy, as a final gift.

With Pete in Arizona wrapping up a case of his own, it's up to Sadie to question the residents of Nicholas House, where Mary lives, and deduce who had the means and the motive to steal heirloom ornaments during what should be the most wonderful time of the year.

When stories of other thefts surface, Sadie feels like she's creating a "naughty" list that could rival Santa's. Identifying the thief, recovering the ornaments, and restoring them to Mary's tree in time will take a Christmas miracle—and maybe a few extra-special cookies.

Advanced Praise

“A warmhearted mystery.” -Kirkus

“Sadie Hoffmiller dishes up a fresh serving of Christmas cheer. An inspirational cozy whose feel-good vibe will be perfect for fans of Julie Hyzy's and Nancy J. Parra. Readers with a sweet tooth will be sure to enjoy Sadie's family recipes, sprinked throughout the book.” -Booklist

“Kilpack represents a nice range of ages in this story, and the relationships feel both real and aspirational. The clues and solution are complex enough to keep readers guessing. Recipes are included, making this a fun choice for cookbook discussion groups as well as general readers. Twelve previous "Culinary Mystery" titles precede this entry, which can be read on its own.” -Library Journal

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My Review

THE CANDY CANE CAPER is another enjoyable story in this cozy mystery series with more fabulous recipes to try out. Readers are sure to love these memorable characters, following along as a thief is revealed, and the Christmas setting. The ending is especially endearing. Highly recommended to fans of the series and cozy mysteries with plenty of heart.

I've only read a few of the books in this series, but didn't have any issues getting into and following along in this story. Some of the information was a bit irrelevant because of that (such as the status of Sadie's children and other prior characters), but didn't affect my enjoyment of the story. It was fun to see how Sadie and Pete were doing and to see Sadie dive back into trying to solve a mystery. I enjoyed the friendship and family relationships, some of which were complex. I also enjoyed seeing the sweet moments between Sadie and Pete, who have finally found happiness. I appreciated how the author showed that perceptions can be so misleading. I also enjoyed trying to figure out who the thief was right alongside Sadie and thought the mystery aspect of this story was well crafted. There was quite a bit of heart in this story and some poignant moments that made it more than just another cozy mystery. The ending was so perfect and tugged on my heart as well. And the recipes... don't read this when you're hungry! I definitely will be making these recipes and hopefully finding a few favorites to remake in coming years.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! Definitely an entertaining and heartwarming book for cozy mystery readers and an addition that fans of the series will love.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Josi S. Kilpack is an accomplished and prolific author of nearly two dozen novels including the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. She has won multiple Whitney Awards for Myster/Suspense, Romance, and Novel of the Year as well as the Utah Best of State Fiction Winner. She lives with her family in Utah.

Follow the author on Instagram @authorjosiskilpack

Have you read any of Kilpack's other culinary mysteries? What your favorite cozy mystery series or author?

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