Friday, August 7, 2020

Banana Split by Josi S. Kilpack

Banana Split (c) 2012 by Josi S. Kilpack
Banana Split (c) 2012
by Josi S. Kilpack
 I have often wondered what it would be like to live life as one of those poor hapless people in the murder mysteries on TV that continually stumble over dead bodies every week, and seem genuinely surprised when they do, despite the fact that last week, and the week before, the same thing happened. I've often wondered why poor Father Brown, as well as Laura Thyme and Rosemary Boxer don't develop PTSD because of their constant interactions with people showing up murdered.

In Banana Split, the seventh book in the Culinary Mysteries which feature Sadie Hoffmiller, a middle aged detective, that very thing has happened. It's the first book of Josi Kilpack's Culinary Mysteries that I've read, though. And in this book, poor Sadie, trying to relax in Hawai'i because of the stresses of other mysteries she's been involved with, finds herself entangled, quite literally, with the deceased body of a young woman found floating in the ocean. Already suffering from PTSD, OCD, etc. she finds herself terrified of leaving her condo, and accepting the police's assessment that the poor young woman must have died either from a drug overdose, or by falling in the water while intoxicated with something.

But then the young woman's eleven year old son shows up at Sadie's doorstep pleading for answers, and Sadie finds the strength to help the young man try to find out what really happened to his mom.

This book is a fun read, especially for people who enjoy mysteries. I appreciate how the victim is treated. Noelani Pouha isn't just a dead body put there for shock value and a reason to solve a mystery. Sadie sees her as a person, gets to know Noelani through her son and her friends, and cares about her, even though Sadie never met her while she was alive.  I liked the several different red herrings, which made figuring out the whodunit quite entertaining and kept me guessing.


Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden

"Sheriff Cade O'Brien was heartily sick of shooting people." This sentence begins The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden, and tells me a whole lot about Cade O'Brien in that one simple sentence. Right there, I like Cade O'Brien, and also feel a little sorry for him, too. But only a little. He's too cool to feel sorry for. So mostly I like him.

Sheriffs of Savage Wells, The (c) 2016
by Sarah M. Eden
And when I meet Paisley Bell, I like her just as much. She is good at being a peace officer, but no one in Savage Wells Wyoming in 1875 wants to take her seriously because she's a woman. Still, she'll try for the job even if she has to face off with the famous Cade O'Brien to do it.

In Savage Wells, the last sheriff left because he wanted to go cut down trees in Oregon. That left the spot of sheriff open. Paisley had been acting sheriff for several months as the past sheriff shirked more and more of his duties as he got ready to leave. So she should be perfect for the job. But the town council doesn't exactly agree with her. So they advertise for the job, and Cade O'Brien shows up. Not one to back down easily, Paisley wants to have a try for the job as well, so the town counsel decides to let them have a competition.

The banter between them is at times heated, and at times less so. Paisley really wants the job. She's good at it, and she wants to be able to take care of her aging father. Cade is good at it, too, and wants to settle in a small, quiet town without having to shoot any more bank robbers or horse thieves.

Despite their differences, and conflicts of interest, Paisley and Cade start realizing their attraction to each other. But then before they can discover what their growing feelings for each other might mean, a gang of bank robbers shows up in town, and the two sheriffs will have to put their feelings (good and bad) aside to deal with the bad guys. What happens next? Read the book and find out!

This is a very enjoyable and clean romance. There are a few clean kissing scenes, and the worst word in the book is "Saints!" which Cade is fond of spouting when things aren't going his way. If you like clean, western romance, this is a book you will enjoy!