Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Candy Cane Caper by Josi S. Kilpack

The Candy Cane Caper (Cozy Culinary Mystery Book 13) by [Kilpack, Josi S.]
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  Josi S. Kilpack has written twenty-five novels, one cookbooks and several novellas.  She is a four time Whitney award winner.  Josi loves to bake, eat, read, sleep, travel and watch television--none of which she gets to do as much as she would like.  She dislikes talking on the phone (I can relate), learn how to do new things and sweep.  Josi along with her husband and four children live in northern Utah.  You can find out more about Josi and her books by visiting her website.  Josi also has a blog.  Readers can also follow her on Facebook.
1890's Vintage Antique 4.5" High Symmetrical Oval Red Mercury Glass Grape Kugel | eBay! #vintage #antique #christmas #decoration #ornaments #christmastree
Kugel Ornament (like Mary's)
The Candy Cane Caper by Josi S. Kilpack has Sadie Cunningham worrying about the upcoming combined family holiday celebration in Fort Collins, Colorado while her husband, Pete is out of town.  She has agreed to provide food for the party and is preparing favorites from both sides of the family.  Sadie has also agreed to help her dear friend, Mary Hallmark decorate her Christmas tree.  Mary moved into Nicholas House after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Sadie knows this will be her friend’s last Christmas and wants to make sure it is special.  Sadie is surprised when she unwraps the ornaments to discover they are vintage from French and German.  Mary’s father brought them home after World War I and worth over $46,000.  Though Mary cannot see the ornaments, she can touch them and share her memories.  Mary plans to pass them along to her great-granddaughter, Joy on Christmas Eve.  The next morning, Sadie receives a call from Joy saying that some of the ornaments are missing.  Sadie intends to find them and restore them to tree without telling Mary.  The last thing anyone wants to do is spoil Mary’s last holiday.  Sadie whips up some cookies and sets out to tempt answers from people with her tasty holiday treats.  Can Sadie recover the ornaments before Christmas Eve?

DRESDEN Christmas Ornament - Early 1900s - 3D BOAT / GONDOLA w CHROMO Sailor
Dresden Paper Ornament (similar to one in story)
The Candy Cane Caper by Josi S. Kilpack is the thirteenth A Culinary Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series (like me).  Sadie Cunningham is a retired detective who now uses her expertise to craft culinary mysteries when not whipping up baked goods.  Sadie takes time out of her baking schedule, to help her dying friend, Mary decorate her Christmas tree.  Mary has a collection of vintage ornaments that her father brought over from Germany and France after World War I.  When eleven ornaments are found missing the next day, Sadie works to get them back.  She does not want Mary’s last Christmas ruined by a thief.  Sadie bakes up some special cookies and sets out to wheedle answers out of suspects.  I liked that Sadie actively investigated the crime.  There are good clues that help readers follow the path to the guilty party.  I appreciated that this mystery was a robbery instead of a murder.  I enjoyed the descriptions of Mary’s beautiful vintage Christmas ornaments.  It is a shame that they do not make ornaments (kugel and Dresden paper) like this any longer.  Mary’s collection is rare and valuable.  There are some humorous moments in The Candy Cane Caper with my favorite being when Mrs. Claus got her bustle stuck on a chair.  Candy Cane Caper is a lighthearted cozy mystery that reminds me of Ellie Alexander’s A Bakeshop Mystery series with Jules.  There are recipes included for the various items that Sadie baked.  The Candy Cane Caper is charming Christmas cozy with a salacious Santa, a bothersome bustle, a bevy of baked goods, a kugel loving criminal, and a tight timeline.

Smash up those broken candy canes and make a Candy Cane Buttercream Stripe Cake! Learn two simple decorating techniques that produce impressive results.
Christmas Candy Cane Cake (Sadie was making one)
The Candy Cane Caper can be purchased here* (Amazon UK).  You can find the complete list of A Culinary Mysteries here. Thank you for reading my review today.  I plan on featuring A Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking by Leigh Perry tomorrow.  I am trying to share the last of the Christmas themed books. I hope that you have a restful day (we need it after the bustle to get ready for the holidays).  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Reading | Two children read during recess on a cold January … | Flickr
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