Banana Split: A Culinary Mystery by Josi S. Kilpack
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really wanted to like Banana Split so much more than I did. To be fair, I was exhausted while reading this book. I tried reading it on down times during our very busy vacation non-driving days (even though we drove all of those days, but it was sight seeing and not just day-long driving). I think it deserves another read when I'm not so tired.
Up to this point in the series Sadie Hoffmiller could be described in many ways: nosy, brave, daring, quirky, excellent cook. The descriptive words could go on, but I really have enjoyed this series because of these features.
Enter Banana Split. Sadie had a really rough experience in the previous book Pumpkin Roll (not to mention many rough experiences leading up to that), and she can't handle regular day to day life. So, she heads to Hawaii to spend a few months trying to relax and calm down. This is a very different side to Sadie. She's now stressed, paranoid, scared, and depressed.
Sadie's situation worsens exponentially when she finds a dead body while out snorkeling. She's traumatized and fights getting involved.
It takes a lot of time, but Sadie is drawn out of her new shell to become involved and solve the mystery.
I've thought that most of the other Sadie Hoffmiller mysteries could stand alone, but I think Banana Split needs Pumpkin Roll in order to understand what brought Sadie to Hawaii. There are quite a few references to Boston, but little to no details about what actually happened there.
I liked the idea of the "bonus chapter", and was happy to put my QR code scanner to use.
Food is a big part of this series. Even though it doesn't play as big of a role in this book, the recipes that are included sound great. I'm excited to give them a try.
And, as always, I like how the first chapter of the next book in the series was included. Josi S. Kilpack is a very good writer, and even though Banana Split wasn't my favorite in the series, I'm excited to read Tres Leches Cupcakes when it comes out this Fall.