Back when I shared my 2010 Whitney Awards ballot, I mentioned the possibility of also doing a post-awards review of the Mystery/Suspense category. It looks like that probably won’t happen, but I do want to mention the one novel in that category that I did read: Josi S. Kilpack’s Lemon Tart: A Culinary Mystery ( Amazon ).
Lemon Tart is a Miss Marple-style mystery (what the marketing copy calls a “cozie”) — that is, it feature an older woman who gets drawn in to a murder case (here, it’s the murder of a neighbor) and uses her pluck, life experience, natural curiosity, and local connections to help solve the case. What I liked about the novel is that it succeeds as a cozie, but that it also brings some character and plot elements in that have a real impact on the protagonist Sadie Hoffmiller. The emotional, physical and family/community/romantic repercussions from not just the murder, but also solving the murder are not glossed over at all. There’s just enough grit to it to make it work for a reader like me. And, in particular, the climactic sequences are fairly thrilling. The danger is real. Continue reading “Whitney Awards follow up: Lemon Tart”