Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Review: Tres Leches Cupcakes by Josi Kilpack (Whitney Finalist)

Title: Tres Leches Cupcakes
Author: Josi Kilpack
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Whitney Finalist
This book would be rated: PG or PG-13 for violence, murder

In Tres Leches Cupcakes, book 8 in Josi Kilpack's Culinary Mysteries, Sadie Hoffmiller is still hiding from whoever and whatever happened to her in Boston (I didn't read that one). She's spent the last two months in Santa Fe, where she's living with some friends and working for the BLM to make sure what's going on at archaeological digs is legit. Short story is that it isn't legit, and soon Sadie finds herself in trouble again. She's in a bar fight, and gets arrested, and a friend disappears, but for most of the book she's not sure what happened to the friend or if there's something in New Mexico she needs to fear.

And that's where the problem lay for me with Tres Leches Cupcakes. In Banana Split, it was clear from the very beginning that Sadie was solving the murder of a specific person, but in Tres Leches Cupcakes, she seemed to be spinning her wheels. She knew there were sinister deeds going on, but she wasn't sure what they were or who was involved. In fact, it wasn't until the very end of the book that she knew she was working towards solving more recent murders instead of murders that had happened in the more distant past.

But I think there's more wheel spinning going on in the series than just what I saw in the plot of this particular story. Sadie and her boyfriend, Pete, have now been in love for eight books. While there were some cute interactions between them in Banana Split, it felt in Tres Leches Cupcakes that he was back to being her protector instead of her partner. I'd like to see some significant moves forward in their relationship, because if it stays basically platonic like it is right now, it stops being interesting. If I were Sadie's girlfriend, I'd tell her to get back to Colorado, take some time with Pete, and either move forward with the relationship or cut the guy loose. I hope that Kilpack resolves the issue of Sadie's safety and the Boston crew soon so Sadie is able to do this.

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