The Candy Cane Caper

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

Josi S Kilpack’s The Candy Cane Caper is a splendid combination of holiday read and cozy mystery that readers will delight in from cover to cover, especially with the return of Sadie.  This story is about finding some holiday ornaments that have disappeared.  They belong to an older lady that is about to pass away and her friends and family want to find them before she realizes they are missing so they can make this the best Christmas for her before she passes.  This story has a huge theme of being with the ones you hold dear, both friends and family, during the holiday season.  Readers will be thrilled with this exciting Sadie cozy mystery.
Series: A Culinary Mystery
Genre: contemporary, cozy mystery, holiday
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Publication date: October 1, 2019
Number of pages: 320
Other books in the series:
1-Lemon Tart
2-English Trufle
3-Devil’s Food Cake
4-Key Lime Pie
5-Blackberry Crumble
6-Pumpkin Roll
7-Banana Split
8-Tres Leches Cupcakes
9-Baked Alaska
10-Rocky Road
11-Fortune Cookie
12-Wedding Cake
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The Candy Cane Caper was a nice holiday themed book, but it would have worked better as a novella.  I felt there was too much extra added in to lengthen the book.  It only served to slow down the story rather than increase the enjoyment.  I had not read any of the previous books, but that did not cause the lack of interest in the book.  I wanted to like Sadie but she was as big of a criminal as the thief.
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This was just an OK cozy read for me. Sadie is celebrating Christmas and is worried that the storm  will delay the arrival of her family.  Her across the street neighbor, Mary is celebrating her last Christmas in an assisted living home.  She asks Sadie to pick up her heirloom Christmas Tree Ornaments and decorate her tree.  Mary is blind but still recalls all the ornaments from her childhood.  As Sadie decorates the tree she is shocked to discover that the ornaments are very expensive Antique German ornaments. When some are stolen overnight she is determined to solve the crime and get them back.  It was a very slow read for me and I felt the book could have been a lot shorter.  There were a lot of details that did not add to the story.  The recipes looked good but there were scattered through the book and just slowed the story down more.  The mystery was OK and there were enough suspects but I was able to figure out culprit. This book was disappointing and way to slow for me.
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The Candy Cane Caper by Josi S. Kilpack is the thirteenth A Culinary Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series (like me).  Sadie Cunningham is a retired detective who now uses her expertise to craft culinary mysteries when not whipping up baked goods.  Sadie takes time out of her baking schedule, to help her dying friend, Mary decorate her Christmas tree.  Mary has a collection of vintage ornaments that her father brought over from Germany and France after World War I.  When eleven ornaments are found missing the next day, Sadie works to get them back.  She does not want Mary’s last Christmas ruined by a thief.  Sadie bakes up some special cookies and sets out to wheedle answers out of suspects.  I liked that Sadie actively investigated the crime.  There are good clues that help readers follow the path to the guilty party.  I appreciated that this mystery was a robbery instead of a murder.  I enjoyed the descriptions of Mary’s beautiful vintage Christmas ornaments.  It is a shame that they do not make ornaments (kugel and Dresden paper) like this any longer.  Mary’s collection is rare and valuable.  There are some humorous moments in The Candy Cane Caper with my favorite being when Mrs. Claus got her bustle stuck on a chair.  Candy Cane Caper is a lighthearted cozy mystery that reminds me of Ellie Alexander’s A Bakeshop Mystery series with Jules.  There are recipes included for the various items that Sadie baked.  The Candy Cane Caper is charming Christmas cozy with a salacious Santa, a bothersome bustle, a bevy of baked goods, a kugel loving criminal, and a tight timeline.
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What a sweet, fun, cozy mystery to read at Christmas time! I really enjoyed this story! I didn’t figure out whodunit until at the end! I loved how the characters had Christmas-themed names, but it wasn’t overly cheesy or sweet. Also, I can’t wait to try out the recipes! Yum!
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This book brought tears to my eyes! It was so fun to catch up with Sadie Hoffmiller. In 'The Candy Cane Caper' Sadie is determined to help her friend Mary have a good last Christmas. Mary is older and blind, so Sadie helps her decorate her Christmas tree. The very next day Sadie realizes that several antique ornaments are missing from Mary's tree. Sadie is now on a mission to recover the ornaments without Mary discovering they were taken. All she has to do is conduct several interviews, pretend to be Mrs. Claus, and pick a few locks.
As always, Sadie treats us to some wonderful awkward moments, some laughs and some tears. Sadie helps remind us of the importance of family, memories, traditions, and service. This book was a wonderful end to Sadie's stories that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The previous books don't necessarily need to be read to follow this story, but I highly recommend them.
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Source: Review copy]

First sentence: It takes an awful lot of work to get ready for the most wonderful day of the year, Pete, but it doesn’t take much to destroy it.” Sadie paused long enough to take a breath, but quick enough to keep Pete from speaking.

Premise/plot: The Candy Cane Caper is the newest book in a series of mysteries (Cozy Culinary). Sadie, our heroine, is helping her neighbor, Mary, have the best LAST Christmas ever. (Mary has moved out of the neighborhood and into a nursing home, but, not out of Sadie's heart.) Mary is dying--and knows it, as does her family. She wants HER tree up one more time with HER decorations. The problem? Her decorations, ornaments, are super-valuable antiques worth THOUSANDS of dollars. Sadie worries that BLIND Mary could be ROBBED and never suspect a thing. Sure enough, a few (more than a few actually) ornaments DO go missing. Can Sadie find the thief (or thieves) before Mary herself suspects that anything is wrong? Can the lost ornaments be found and restored? And on top of this investigation, can she find time to make all the AMAZING food her family expects?

My thoughts: This was my first time reading a book in this series. If my library owned this series, I'd check them all out NOW and zoom through them. I absolutely loved this one and imagine that they are all equally fabulous. Each chapter--or at least most of them--end with a recipe. The characterization is well-done. The pacing is excellent.

I would definitely recommend this one--for any time of the year.
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A delightful cozy mystery.  
Sadie is a spunky sleuth who sets off to  save Christmas for a friend. As many Christmas stories go, this is a heartwarming tale of family love and friendship.
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The Candy Cane Caper
(A Culinary Mystery)
by Josi S. Kilpack

Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Shadow Mountain

Goodreads synopsis:
This Christmas, Sadie Hoffmiller Cunningham is making a list and checking it twice. For the first time since she and Pete married five years ago, their combined families are gathering for the holidays in Fort Collins, Colorado, for a party that would make Santa and Mrs. Claus proud.

She just has to bake the famous Cunningham Candy Cane Cake, make sure the looming snowstorm doesn't derail everyone's travel plans, and oh, yes, solve one teensy-tiny mystery before the big day.

At ninety-four and nearly blind, Mary, Sadie's friend and neighbor, knows this will be her last Christmas. When Sadie learns that someone has stolen antique Christmas ornaments from Mary's tree, she vows to find the thief, no matter what. The ornaments had been appraised at more than $40,000, but they were worth even more to Mary, who had intended to bequeath them to her great-granddaughter, Joy, as a final gift.

With Pete in Arizona wrapping up a case of his own, it's up to Sadie to question the residents of Nicholas House, where Mary lives, and deduce who had the means and the motive to steal heirloom ornaments during what should be the most wonderful time of the year.

When stories of other thefts surface, Sadie feels like she's creating a "naughty" list that could rival Santa's. Identifying the thief, recovering the ornaments, and restoring them to Mary's tree in time will take a Christmas miracle—and maybe a few extra-special cookies.


4.5 Stars

Wow! This was awesome. 

As I was reading along I felt like this was a cozy mystery turned on its head. It felt like half police procedural and half whodunit. 

The sleuth is Sadie. She had been new to her neighborhood when her elderly neighbor, Mary sort of adopted her and they became fast friends. Then Mary had to be put into a nursing home type facility since she is now losing her eyesight and is practically blind. Mary has Sadie get some Christmas ornaments from storage in order to decorate her room. She knows this will probably be her last Christmas. Sadie agrees but what she doesn’t realize is that these ornaments are antique and worth quite a lot of money. The day after Sadie puts these precious ornaments on Mary’s tree, they get stolen. And it is up to Sadie to save Christmas for Mary.

This was such a sweet story and friendship. I was crying at the end of this. This story is way more than stolen ornaments and missing things from other residents. This is a story of hope and Christmas miracles. Just a great mix of it all.

If you love cozy mysteries, police procedurals or detective fiction set at Christmas time, definitely check this one out. It does not disappoint.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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Josi S. Kilpack has many Culinary Mysteries and I guarantee you'll be delighted with this tasty treat as it's a Christmas Mystery.
The Candy Cane Caper is another delectable mystery in the series and it's absolutely chock full a fabulous story line, memorable characters and a mystery you'll think you have solved but as you follow along do you really ? 
I loved all the unique recipes for Christmas and can't wait to try them out.

Published October 1st 2019 by Shadow Mountain.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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I just finished reading this book! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book!

This is the first book I’ve read in this series. In this story, during the busy holiday season, Sadie visits a very dear friend who is in the final chapter of her life. Together they decorate what will likely be the elderly friend’s last Christmas. Soon after Sadie discovers that a number of the valuable antique ornaments have gone missing! 
I enjoyed this Christmas story very much!! The author kept you guessing until the very end!  Looking forward to reading previous books in this series!
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This book was my first venture into the series, and it worked impeccably well as a standalone of sorts (alrhough, I will be going back and reading what else of it I can get my hands onto). I live for a solidly written cozy mystery, though this one was heavier on the thrilling aspect than I'm accustomed to.
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It's the holiday season and Sadie's life is very busy.  Her dear friend Mary is in a hospice home and this will probably be her last Christmas.  Mary wants to put up her Christmas tree and hang her beloved ornaments one las time.  The ornaments not only hold a sentimental value, but also a high dollar value.  When some of the ornaments go missing, Sadie goes into investigative mode.

This is actually the first book I've read in the Culinary Mystery series and it worked very well as a stand alone.  I will say my curiosity has been peaked into wanting to go back and read the books I've missed.  Sadie is a retired investigator but some of her skills just come naturally.   I especially enjoyed the conversations between Sadie and her husband Pete.  He knows that Sadie sometimes bends the rules to find answers.  Even though he repeatedly warns her to not do anything illegal, Sadie just can't help herself.  This was a fun, fast read and I look forward to reading more from the series.

My thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing and Netgalley for this ARC.
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Josi Kilpack has done it again! This delightful mystery has wonderful, funny characters and will keep you in suspense! I highly recommend it.
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Another win for the Sadie Hoffmiller series. I loved this one. It lacked some of Sadie's usual danger and law breaking, but it didn't lack Sadie. Our lady was fully there while trying to figure out this latest mystery. It always helps when Pete is away, then she can get into a bit more trouble.

I love this series and this revisit at Christmas brings it home in a cozy kind of way, so get out the chocolate and cookies and cozy up with this one next to the fire. This one is an absolute winner.
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Very well written. The storyline was perfect. I could not out it down. Read the book in one day. The author sucks you in to the plot.
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Sadie is back!  I thought this series was over a few years ago but was thrilled to see at least one more book in this series to give us a peek into what Sadie has been up to since she married Pete.  They are enjoying life and she has hung up her investigating shoes until someone steals some of Mary's priceless ornaments from the tree in her room at the local nursing home.  With Pete out of town for work, she pulls out her sleuthing skills to determine who might have stolen the ornaments and why.

I have to say I did not expect the thief to be this character.  I truly had my eyes peeled another way or two and never suspected this person.  But beyond the mystery, this book was also about forgiveness and not letting those that you love stray too far from your life before it is too late.

There are many recipes in the book that made my mouth water and I'm going to have to try some of them out very soon.

We give this book 5 paws up.  If you have never read of the books in this series, you might want to start at the beginning or at least part of the way through the series to learn about the characters.
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I've only read one other Sadie Hoffmiller book before, so this was something kind of new to me. It's not usually the genre I go for, but it was a fun book to read. 

Sadie is... well, she's kind of nosy... but not in a bad way, if that makes any sense. Her personality is a complete 180 from mine, so it wasn't easy to relate to her, but I loved how much importance she put on family and friend relationships. 

The mystery kept me guessing right up until the end, and the text interactions Sadie had with her husband while she was sleuthing cracked me up. I look forward to trying some of the recipes from this book as the Christmas season approaches.
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It has been a while since I read a culinary mystery featuring Sadie. I am reminded of why I love her so much. She is a bumbling amateur detective who has a strong desire to help others.

This story takes place several years since the last one. If you have never read a book featuring Sadie Hoffmiller Cunningham, this is not a bad place to start. Of course, if you read this one you may want to go back and read the others.

Sadie's dear friend is celebrating her last Christmas. She celebrates by putting up a Christmas tree with her valuable ornaments adorning it. When several are missing Sadie is on the case. She wants this Christmas to be a happy one for her friend.

One of my favorite aspects of a Sadie book is the awkward situations she gets herself into. She has a wonderful sense of humor and doesn't take herself too seriously. She is a character that I really enjoy. This book was perfect for the coming season and for enjoyment. This book contains a bonus, at the end of every chapter is a recipe featured in that section.
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The Candy Cane Caper by Josi S. Kilpack is book thirteen in the Cozy Culinary Mystery series. This is the first one I have read but had no problem getting up to date..
Christmas is coming fast and Sadie is busy baking and visiting her almost blind friend, Mary, in assisted living. When Mary asks Sadie to decorate her Christmas tree with her family heirloom ornaments, she happily agrees. Once Mary goes into detail about the ornaments, Sadie realizes they are worth a small fortune. Then when some of the ornaments come up missing Sadie is on the hunt to find them before Mary finds out.
This is an easy to read cozy with plenty of suspects but what I most enjoyed was the reuniting of family. The setting and characters are great. And you get some yummy recipes.
I was given an ARC by NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review.
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