Monday, May 14, 2012

Banana Split by Josi S. Kilpack

Banana Split: A Culinary Mystery (Culinary Mysteries)

About the Book:

A woman can only be expected to fight for justice, and her life, so many times before the trauma starts to take its toll. In an attempt to heal, Sadie accepts the offer to stay at a friend's condo on the island of K'auai', the perfect place to center herself and process all that's happened over the last year and a half.
Unfortunately, the isolation only enhances her anxiety. During a snorkeling trip with the Blue Muumuus, a community group made up of adventurous older women, Sadie experiences a panic attack which finally convinces her that she has to get some professional help if she can ever hope to return to the woman she once was. No sooner has she made that decision, however, then she finds herself entangled, quite literally, with the dead body of Noelani Pouha, a local drug addict.
            The police are convinced they know exactly what happened to Noelani and
Sadie has no interest in involving herself in looking for other possibilities until Noelani's son presents her with a reason to gather her inner strength and use what she's learned from her past cases to try to find closure . . . for both of them.

About the Author:

Josi S. Kilpack is the author of twelve novels, including the awardwinning mystery, Sheep s Clothing. She was born and raised in Salt Lake City and now lives with her husband, Lee, and their children in Willard, Utah. She loves to read and write, bake delicious confections, and garden.

Guest Post from the Author:

As an author I am often asked how I write or where I write or when, or what or where I write. They are relatively easy questions to answer, but now and again I’m reminded of the question no one asks. Why do I write? Why do I spent so much time making up stories? Why do I put off other things I enjoy to focus on people who don’t exist? Why do I cry over tragedies I create myself, or feel unsettled with resolutions that just don’t fit together? Why do I pursue a career in which few people every accomplish financial solvency? Why do I work so hard on something that a year after it’s published will be difficult to find on bookstore shelves?

Why do I write? Today, I have a variety of answers. I do feel like being a writer is part of who I am, part of the reason I’m here at all. I do believe that through stories we can learn great things. I feel bettered for some stories I have read in my life and I believe my stories can do that for other people. I write because I enjoy it. I write because it challenges me to learn and grow. I write because I feel more myself when I’m creating a story about someone else. It’s validating, it’s challenging, it’s exciting, and it’s hard. But even that doesn’t really answer it. Who’s to say that pursuing something else wouldn’t give me all these same things? I certainly can’t know that because I’ve spent the last thirteen years of my life pursuing writing. To be separated from it now is hard to imagine.

And yet, there are days when I’m writing because of the eventual paycheck. There are other days when I’m writing because after thirteen years, I don’t know what else to do with my time. There are days I write even though I hate it, and days when I embrace it like a child for whom I feel responsible. Perhaps the biggest reason I write is because I can. For whatever purpose, I have words in my head that make stories I enjoy bringing to life. For whatever purpose, I grow through the telling of those stories. For whatever purpose, I am here, now, with opportunity and potential and desire. I would hope that if I had those same things calling me in another direction, I would follow that voice too.

We are each on a journey, no journey is the same. While I create the journeys of people who aren’t real, I’m on my own personal journey as well. My writing has provided multiple experiences through which I have learned remarkable things, met remarkable people, and gained understanding into aspects of my life that have nothing at all to do with the stories I’ve told. Perhaps I write because it’s the track laid out for me, that as I follow I become a better self than if I left this path and tried another one. And isn’t that kind of the point? To better ourselves; to learn and grow and improve? My writing does that for me and so I write.

My Review:

Josi Kilpack is widely known for her culinary mysteries and if the rest of her books read like this one, I will definitely be reading the rest. Sadie Hoffmiller, suffering from post-traumatic syndrome, travels to Hawaii where she stumbles upon another murder. This poor woman obviously cannot get any rest.

The author offers us well-developed characters and plots with her descriptive writing. I felt the author did an excellent job of highlighting the characteristics of PTS in her character. The reader transcends into scene of the book through graphic narratives and helps to solve the mystery alongside the protagonist.

From the first panic attack snorkeling (I found myself hyperventilating) to the last page of the book, I enjoyed every moment of the journey with Sadie Hoffmiller. I loved when I thought I had solved the mystery, only to have the plot take a different turn and send me in a new direction, questioning my crime solving skills repeatedly.

This is my first read by Josi Kilpack and I have to admit that the cover was what drew me in. The story kept me there, but the cover drew there first. I am a sucker for a beautiful cover and the covers of Josi’s books make you want to devour them. I also love that she included recipes. The book had it all, suspense and food. What more could you ask for? With titles like Pumpkin Roll, Blackberry Crumble, and Devil's Food Cake,  I just don’t know which book to choose next. (I'm thinking it may be the chocolate one!)

Banana Split can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here:

If you enjoyed my review, I would love it if you clicked here and voted yes for my review on Amazon. Thanks so much for your kindness!

BUT, Guess What? I have a copy to give away!

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