Wednesday, May 26, 2010

English Trifle by Josi S. Kilpack

Will the Real Killer please stand up? What does it take to truly be an Earl? English cuisine, murder mystery, fraud, attempted murder, blackmail, malpractice, you'll find it all in Kilpack's English Trifle. Recipes are interspersed throughout the book. With every turn of the page Kilpack has her readers really wondering Who Done It? What some people won't do to get justice. With ever thought as to who really did commit the crime, the plot takes an unexpected turn. Up to the end and with every turn of the page you just don't know who the real killer is and it probably isn't who you think it would be either. Kilpack keeps you coming back for more. If you like this one she has two other books out too. I loved the book and yes, I would read her other two books; however, I must stay true to my word code and put the warning here. There are a few curse words used. (see details here.) I loved the book.

Sadie Hoffmiller calls her new-found sleuthing ability a gift. Her daughter Breanna, however, calls it a disease—detectivitis, to be exact.
But when when they find a dead man impaled by a fireplace poker in an English Estate, and that same body then comes up missing; Sadie feels she has no choice but to take the case. Stranded at the estate until police clear her and Breanna to leave, Sadie seems to encounter one dead end after another and begins to wonder if anyone is telling the truth—or are these the dead ends she thought they were?
What began as a holiday trip becomes a full-fledged mystery that is anything but trifling. Layer by layer, Sadie uncovers another mouth-watering mystery with an English flair
With her son Shawn at her side, her reputation on the line, and a full cast of suspicious characters, Sadie Hoffmiller is once again cooking her way through a case that offers far more questions than answers.

“We need to take a turn about the room,” Sadie said excitedly. She didn’t wait for an answer, instead she moved to her daughter’s side and pulled her to her feet.
“What?” Breanna asked, looking at her strangely as she stumbled to get her balance, nearly dropping the scone in her hand as she did so.
Sadie was already tugging her toward the perimeter of the room. “Remember, it was on our list—taking a turn around the room like Miss Bingley and Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice?” She waved her hand through the air in a regal fashion. “I’ll be Caroline Bingley and you can be Elizabeth—although with your bad attitude, maybe you should be Caroline.”
“I don’t remember us defining characters when we put it on the list,” Breanna said before taking a bite.
Sadie gave her a dirty look while ignoring the commentary. Breanna shook her head but fell into step beside her mother, standing nearly five inches taller than Sadie thanks to the genetics she’d inherited from her birth parents. They walked slowly, scanning the collection of paintings and antique furniture on the interior wall as they made their way toward the far end of the long, narrow room. They’d been in this room twice before, but hadn’t inspected it too closely. It was only fitting that doing so should be part of their final moments at Southgate estate. When they neared the far wall they turned, and found themselves looking out the window furthest from the door. It was one of three floor to ceiling windows covered in elaborate folds of the same fabric used on the settees she and Breanna had been sitting on earlier. It had rained off and on all week, and had just started to sprinkle again, giving the view of the garden a watery look. Breanna popped the last of her scone in her mouth.
“I wish we’d had more time to walk through the gardens,” Sadie said as they walked toward the window and she looked out upon the meticulous shrubs and bushes. “It’s too bad it was so wet.”
Breanna suddenly stopped and since Sadie’s arm was linked through Breanna’s she was pulled to a stop as well, and none too gracefully either.
“Why are you being so difficult?” Sadie said, tugging on her daughter’s arm again.
Breanna didn’t respond, instead she lifted a hand and pointed toward the curtain panel just to the right of the window.
The curtain was pushed out from the wall, nearly a foot. Poking out from beneath the folds of the heavy pleated fabric were the toes of two black leather shoes. A glass fronted china cabinet against the wall between this window and the middle one seemed to have kept that particular curtain panel from being easily noticed–making it a perfect hiding place for whoever had chosen to do just that.
“Hello?” Sadie asked after several seconds of silence.
No response.
She and Breanna shared a look and Sadie felt annoyance rush through her at the idea that they were being spied on. They’d have overheard her suspicions about the staff wanting them to leave. How embarrassing.
“Alright,” she said in her school-teacher voice, directing her comments toward the shoes that hadn’t moved. “We can see you, so come out. Is that you, Liam?” Liam didn’t strike Sadie as the practical joker type, but it was the only explanation she could think of.
No answer. Not Liam.
Breanna took a step back, pulling her mother with her and although Sadie’s chest prickled with apprehension, she refused to give into it. She pulled herself up to her full five and a half feet and raised her chin. “This isn’t funny,” she said. “So just make it easy on all of us and come out.”
Taking a deep breath, and ignoring a new tremor of fear, she took a few steps forward and in one motion pulled the drapes back in order to unmask their uninvited guest.
Sadie sucked in a breath and didn’t move.
Breanna screamed before clamping both hands over her mouth.
The man impaled and subsequently pinned to the wall by what looked like a fireplace poker; his head flopped forward and a blossom shaped blood stain on his chest, did nothing but stare at the floor with his face frozen in shocked horror.

Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998, while on bedrest with a pregnancy, and never stopped. Devil’s Food Cake is Josi’s eleventh novel, and the third book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. The other novels, Lemon Tart (Book 1) and English Trifle (Book 2) were released in 2009. While the books all feature Sadie Hoffmiller as the main character, they stand alone in regard to plot and can be read as a set or as individual titles. Josi currently lives in Utah with her husband, four children, one dog and varying number of chickens.
For more information about Josi, you can visit her website at or her blog at

A copy of this book was provided for review by Virtual Book tours
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