Lemon Tart: A Culinary Mystery
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Deseret Book (March 4, 2009)
Rating (1 to 5 *): *****
Review of Lemon Tart
Sadie Hoffmiller is a pillar in her community. A much-loved teacher, chair of fundraisers and involved in charitable works. She is also the keeper of the spare key to every house in her neighborhood, knower of all the goings-on and incurable busy body. When her morning of making homemade applesauce is interrupted by several cop cars whizzing past her house into the circle in which she lives, she has no choice to investigate and is saddened to learn that her friend, Anne Lemmon, has been murdered and her son is missing.
Sadie wants to help the police solve the murder of her friend and find the missing toddler, but while one of the detectives on the case, Cunningham, is receptive, Madsen is hostile from the very beginning. Sadie feels she has no choice but to investigate on her own, following up on leads she gains through less-than-honest means. Soon, she learns that Anne was not the person Sadie thought she was, and that Sadie’s fiancé and brother are somehow involved in an unsavory way. Desperate to find the truth, Sadie faces a constant threat of being arrested or worse, but she knows she cannot stop until she solves the case.
Readers might recall my review of Kilpack’s more recent book, Devil’s Food Cake. As with that one, Lemon Tart shares several recipes of delicious treats that appear in the story—with the addition of some great homemaking tips. The story itself is delightfully complicated, offering new surprises at every turn and keeping the reader guessing up until the very end—just the way a mystery should be written. While some of the characters seem a little unnatural in their actions and attitudes at times and Sadie is sometimes frustrating in her self righteousness, it all feeds into a fun read that is hard to put down.