Cover Image: The Candy Cane Caper

The Candy Cane Caper

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The Candy Cane Caper is the 14th book in the Culinary Mystery series. However, I had not read any previous books and I was able to follow along. 

Sadie is overwhelmed with checking things off her to-do list before her family arrives for Christmas. Yet, when her friend’s priceless, family-legacy Christmas ornaments go missing, Sadie is on the case. 

I liked Sadie as she is quirky, and being a retired P.I. she does stick her nose in where it doesn’t belong, but it’s always done with good intentions.  I liked how the story stressed the importance of family, friendship, and not judging others by appearance. 

I really enjoyed how this Cozy was about the missing ornaments rather than murder and I loved learning about the ornaments history. (I use to collect ornaments as a teenager)

There are several suspects as family, friends, and nursing home staff are included in the suspect list.  I didn’t guess the thief until the very end.

I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher and Netgalley.  All thoughts and opinions are my own
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I love Sadie Hoffmiller (now Sadie Cunningham), the "59-ish" amateur detective that seems to find trouble, or it finds her, wherever she goes. It's been five long years since the last Culinary Mystery book, but now Sadie's back with all kinds of Christmas plans which may get derailed when her good friend's Christmas ornaments are stolen.

Sadie's husband Pete is out of town on business and she's got a lot to do by Christmas Eve. It's their first Christmas with all of their kids, their spouses and children coming in to celebrate, so Sadie wants everything to be perfect. Her good friend Mary is in a care facility, and with this more than likely being her last Christmas Sadie wants it to be a memorable one. Everything's going according to her schedule until Mary's heirloom ornaments disappear from the tree in her room. Somehow in between cooking and delivering gifts, Sadie needs to make time to catch the thief and recover the ornaments and she's only got 24 hours to do it!

Oh, how I love Sadie. I've read every book in the series and was thrilled when I found out the author was writing another one. I love Sadie's organizational skills and all her lists because I'm a list maker too. I love the humorous situations Sadie finds herself in--when she tries to get information from Joy's boyfriend without him knowing who is was priceless. There's also the scene in the mall when Sadie's mistaken for the hired Mrs. Claus that didn't show up. They talk Sadie into filling in and the children's reactions to her reminded me of Tim Allen's The Santa Claus. There's also Sadie's exclamations using Christmas words such as Holy Nutcracker. I loved them all.

This book has so much heart to it too. Sadie helps Mary and her daughter start mending their strained relationship and she helps Mary's great-granddaughter Joy come to terms with something that happened years before. This is a perfect book to read to get into the Christmas spirit and of course it includes all of Sadie's recipes.

Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for allowing me to read this wonderful book. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. 

Where has this series been all of my life? As if I needed anything else to add to my ever growing TBR pile, but I'm making an exception for this series. I loved everything about this book. The plot was solid the variety of characters were all extremely relatable. I cannot wait to get my hands on the others in the series. Just a side note, this was a great stand alone book. I didn't feel lost as we sometimes do starting a series anywhere but in the beginning. Grab this one up and get in the Holiday Spirit a little early!
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This was a fun cozy mystery, but I did have a few issues with it.

The biggest one being that our amateur sleuth did more than just cross the line during her investigation, she jumped over it, Breaking into an employee break room and taking someone's planner and photocopying it. Nope, sorry, That was just a bit much for me. That was the biggest thing that stood out to me.

I did really enjoy the plot of this mystery and the fact that it didn't revolve around a murder but around the theft of some very valuable Christmas ornaments. It was a very nice departure from the typical murders that are found in most cozy mystery stories. 

A quick and fun mystery that will give you all the holiday feels.

Full review on my YouTube channel.
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I’ve become of fan of Josi S. Kilpack’s historical books over the past couple years, so I thought I’d give her cozy mysteries a try. What I didn’t realize is The Candy Cane Caper is the fourteenth book in the series. However, The Candy Cane Caper stood totally on its own. Not once did I feel like I was lost or missing out on something because I haven’t read the other books.

Sadie is overwhelmed with checking things off her to-do list before her family arrives for Christmas. Yet, when her friend’s antique Christmas ornaments go missing, Sadie is on the case. Family, friends, and nursing home staff are included in the suspect list.

Sadie is a little quirky, sometimes sticking her nose into things where it doesn’t belong, but her heart is in the right place. While the mystery is front and center in this book, the heart of the story is in the importance of family, friendship, and not judging others by appearance.

Add in some delicious recipes, and it’s no wonder Kilpack’s Sadie fans have requested another serving of the Culinary Mysteries.

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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Josi S. Kilpack’s The Candy Cane Caper is a wonderful and gentle Christmas cosy that’ll fill you with holiday joy. This is my first book in the series but I had no problem understanding what was happening.

Former private investigator Sadie has an overflowing plate this Christmas. She’s prepping for an epic holiday gathering for her huge blended family. But now, there’s a mystery in the mix! Someone has stolen expensive antique Christmas tree ornaments from Mary, Sadie’s elderly friend. Mary lives in a care facility and this will probably be her last Christmas so Sadie hides the theft from her. Mary wants to enjoy her ornaments for one last Christmas before she gives them to her beloved great-granddaughter after Christmas Eve Mass. With time ticking, Sadie must recover Mary’s precious ornaments before it’s too late!

I wasn’t expecting such a sweet and deep story but this book strikes all the right chords to really move you! Kilpack skilfully handles issues of death, making amends, and family against the backdrop of the warmth and hope of the holiday season.

This book is a true cosy. It’s super clean with no violence. I really like the mystery of the missing ornaments and I loved learning about their history. I enjoyed Sadie’s culinary adventures as well as her sleuthing and shenanigans! There are several viable and well-written suspects and the plot takes some interesting turns. I really didn’t guess the culprit until the big reveal.

However, I wish the plot was more exciting with more tension and suspense. I had no doubt that Sadie would save the day. However, this didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book. The lack of tension actually adds to the gentleness of the book and I think this will appeal to readers who are looking for an easy and quiet read.

The characters are all memorable and well-crafted. I like Sadie but her anxiety and judging attitude isn’t entirely relatable and sometimes irritated me. Mary’s storyline is touching and sad. I loved her interactions with Sadie, as well as beloved great-granddaughter Joy and somewhat estranged daughter Ivy. I like that there is meaningful and organic growth for all these characters.

I absolutely love the delicious festive recipes! I like that they’re meaningfully placed at the end of the chapters that the food was mentioned in. I love that so many of them are approachable and I can’t wait to make Sadie’s Candy Cane Crinkles or her Cinnamon Pie.

The Candy Cane Caper is a sweet cosy that’ll put you in the Christmas frame of mind. This is the first Kilpack book that I’ve read and I will definitely check out more in this series!



🎅🎅🎅🎅 Santa Clauses out of 5!
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This is the first book in this series that I have read (I'm going back to read the others). This was a delightful Christmas mystery. I found it well written, the characters are enjoyable, and the mystery was wrapped up nicely. I laughed and I cried while reading this book and I highly recommend it.
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For me, reading holiday romance and mysteries are the equivalent of watching all those syrupy holiday Hallmark movies; I'm more of a reader than a watcher. I am so glad to have found this particular holiday mystery. While I don't mind a mystery with dead bodies and the like, of course, it is refreshing to read a holiday cozy mystery where there is nothing too heavy. The mystery involved in this book has to do with missing Christmas ornaments. As such, I would call it a rather gentle, even sweet mystery. Honestly, it is more about the family and friend relationships in the community of the book. Amateur sleuth and baker Sadie is stressed because she wants to make the perfect holiday for her blended family. She and husband, Pete, are having all their children and grandchildren from their first two marriages coming to town for the big day. I love watching the interaction between Sadie and Pete. They are a loving couple, and I appreciate it when stories feature a middle-aged couple. Why should all the young people always have all the fun? The mystery involves the disappearance of the valuable ornaments of a very dear nonagenarian whose eyesight and Health are failing. Despite everything else that she has going on, Sadie can't help but get involved. Another cool aspect of this book is that recipes are scattered throughout, starting with Snow Flurry cookies and ending with a delicious-sounding Cunningham's Candy Cake with chocolate ganache. If you enjoy reading holiday mysteries and don't mind that they're on the kinder side (no death), this sweet caper cozy mystery may be right up your alley.
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Sadie Hoffmiller is a delightful character who is the protagonist in twelve previous culinary mystery novels; Wedding Cake was supposed to be the end of the series, and most readers were very disappointed to learn that after Sadie’s marriage, there were to be no more. However, fans will be delighted that Josi S Kilpack has added another installment to the series, and while a bit different from the previous novels, The Candy Cane Caper is delightful. There is no dead body in this novel, And Sadie, amateur sleuth extraordinaire, is out to solve a different sort of mystery.

Sadie and Pete are happily married now and living in Ft. Collins, Colorado. One of Sadie’s good friends, Mary, who is in her 90s has moved to a managed care facility, and even though she is blind, wants to put up her cherished heirloom Christmas ornaments on a tree in her room; even though Mary can’t see them, her family and friends can. Sadie is helping her friend put up the tree, and learns that the ornaments are worth over $40,000, and Mary is leaving them to her granddaughter, Joy. Some of the ornaments are then stolen, and even though Mary doesn’t know yet, Sadie sets out to investigate the theft and tries to solve it before Mary has to be told. 

The book features well-developed characters, including Mary’s daughter, who seems bitter, and is a prime suspect, as well as other characters who are cleverly woven into the story; readers won’t know whom to suspect or whom to trust. The book isn’t particularly suspenseful, which is different from the previous novels in this series, but readers will enjoy the lightness of the novel and the fact that there is no graphic violence, sex, or language. It’s a great novel to read at Christmas time, and includes some great recipes; the recipes are reason enough to read this novel, but the story is fun, too.

Fans of the previous novels will love this book, and those unfamiliar will want to go back and read the previous novels to get more insight into Sadie Hoffmiller. 

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.
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Thanks for the advanced read #NetGalley, #Candycanecaper
This was the first book that I have read in this series. It was a fun read. 
I really enjoyed reading this, Sadie is a such a fun main character. The mystery was well thought out with a satisfying ending, and the recipes made me salivate throughout!
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I was so excited to see that Josi Kilpack was giving us another Sadie Hofmiller mystery. I loved that whole series and was missing it! The Candy Cane Caper is vintage Sadie and fans will not be disappointed.

Sadie has a lot on her plate. Her husband is out of town and she's getting ready for a blended family Christmas and wants everything to go smoothly. Her neighbor, Mary, is ill and this will likely be her last Christmas. Sadie wants everything to be perfect for her friend and is horrified when Mary's heirloom Christmas ornaments are stolen. She fits in her investigation of the theft between cooking culinary masterpieces for her upcoming family holiday. And there are plenty of unexpected turns along the way!

I love how the author is always able to stay true to Sadie's character. She doesn't break the rules, exactly, just bends them, and always seems to find trouble no matter what. There are some laugh out loud moments in this story as well as an underlying theme of not judging those around us, healing hearts before it's too late, and the importance of family. This fun mystery is just the thing to start off your Christmas season with a little Sadie sleuthing, lots of great recipes, and the reminder to cherish those we love. I am so happy to have another Sadie book to add to my collection.
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This is book 13 in the Culinary Mystery series.  It can be read as a stand alone but with all the family and friends gathering for Christmas it might help to have a little background.  Sadie and Pete have been married for 5 years now and this is the first Christmas that the blended family will be all together in Fort Collins.  As Sadie prepares for the influx of family she is spending more time with Mary at the nursing home because they all know this will be her last Christmas.  With that in mind Mary has Sadie and her great granddaughter decorate her tree with ornaments worth thousands of dollars. Mary intends to give them to her great granddaughter after the holiday.  When 10 of the ornaments are stolen the gang investigates to see who would steal from Mary.  Great story and fun to catch up with all the regulars.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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After five years Sadie Hoffmiller returns in a new book set at Christmas time. There is so much to love about this story. It is a good mystery without needing a dead body. Antique Christmas ornaments are stolen from one of Sadie’s friends. There is positive progress in family relationships. The magic of Christmas graces the story. I love the ending which is bittersweet.
It felt like Sadie had grown emotionally in the time between Wedding Cake and Candy Cane Caper.
The recipes sound yummy.
There is a tiny bit of preachiness about judging people by their appearance but it fits with the kind spirit encouraged at Christmas and would be good practice all year long.
With the time and distance from the rest of the series, Candy Cane Caper can definitely be enjoyed without having read any of the other books in the series.
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When I first started reading this book, I had no idea it was part of a series, let alone the 13th book of that series. It can absolutely be read stand-alone. However, was I read it, I was hooked and will go back and read the rest of the series from the beginning.

This is not a murder mystery. It is solving a theft whodunnit. While I had some idea of who might have been involved, I was surprised by the total resolution.

Sadie Hoffmiller is the sleuth in this book. Her best friend, Mary, is much older (at 94) and is in hospice and not expected to live through Christmas.

Sadie helps Mary decorate her last Christmas tree. Mary is unable to see but get feel her ornaments, which turn out to be antiques that are extremely valuable. When some of the ornaments turn up missing, Sadie decides she must solve the case and get those ornaments back without Mary knowing they were ever gone.

There is a lot of sadness in knowing that Mary is dying and that Sadie will have to learn to live without her best friend. At the same time, Sadie learns more about Mary’s relatives and creates new friends. She also finds out more about her own family members and what they are capable of doing without her assistance.

There is a recipe at the end of every chapter of the book. The recipes are referred to and seamlessly worked into the story. I loved reading them and hope to make some of them this holiday season and beyond.

It’s been awhile since there was a new book in this series. I’m not sure if this book ties up loose ends or is a new beginning for Sadie. In either case, it was a very good read and got me into the right mood for the Christmas season.

I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
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Series: Culinary Mysteries – Book 13
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Holiday/Culinary
Publisher: Shadow Mountain 
Page Count: 320
 
 From Shadow Mountain comes a standalone holiday cozy book from author Josi Kilpack,  in her “Culinary Mysteries” cozy series The Candy Cane Caper. This beautiful holiday book will have readers smiling, longing for the holidays, family, and a warm fire, but it will also at times leave readers in tears. It is an emotional ride from beginning to end and one that will stay with readers for a very long time to come.
 
Sadie’s friend Mary is dying, there is no question that this will be her last Christmas, and everyone wants to make sure it is precisely what Mary wants it to be. But when someone steals some antique Christmas ornaments from Mary’s tree, Sadie does whatever she can to get them back before Mary finds out they are gone and ruins her final holiday.
 
This holiday cozy book doesn’t have a murder, only a thief. The suspects are likable, even loveable, even the thief. Its heart wrenching knowing that Mary will die and if readers don’t cry, then they aren’t human. This book is one of those rare tomes that will make readers want to hold on for dear life to those they love for as long as they can. To keep memories of times gone by close to their heart and relive events that made them happy. Especially holidays spent with loved ones who are no longer with them.
 
The Candy Cane Caper is filled with clues and suspects, all of which enhance the reader's enjoyment and keep them guessing. The twist at the end of the book will have the tears they shed for Mary dry up replaced with a big smile that will spread across their faces. This holiday cozy book has everything a great book should have and more. The writing is smooth and proper, the characters memorable and the plot original. I am thrilled to recommend this book for readers who are looking for holiday cozies for the upcoming season.

ARC provided by NetGally
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This was the first book I read in the series.
I very much enjoyed reading this, Sadie is a fun main character. The mystery was well set up with a satisfying resolution, and the recipes made me hungry as I read!
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Sadie Hoffmiller is back and this time she's solving a mystery, preparing the first Christmas celebration for her large blended family and missing her detective husband Pete, who is out of town on an investigation.

Sadie's beloved friend,  94 year old Mary, the person who welcomed her to her new community, is very ill.  When Mary's sentimental and valuable Christmas ornaments are stolen, Sadie is on the case.  I loved this story.  It is part of the Culinary Mystery series, featuring Sadie, but this can be read as a standalone.  The character of Sadie is very relatable and likable.  The mystery was well-written and was the perfect holiday book.

The book evokes the Christmas spirit and showcases a favorite cozy character.

I received an ARC , from NetGalley, for a fair and honest review of this book.
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This was another cute cozy mystery torpedoed by a super unlikable lead character. Sadie was annoying as #"¤%. A judgmental busybody that I wanted to throat punch about a million times. Other than that, the rest of the book was good. Very festive. The mystery was well done. A nice array of likable side characters. And a lot of yummy sounding recipes to try out.
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Christmas has come early for cozy lovers! This is the 13th book in the Cozy Culinary Mystery series. If you like cozy mysteries with recipes, this is for you. And if you make the candy cane cake, please share. 

It's the happiest and saddest time of the year. Sadie is preparing for a big blended family Christmas with her children, grandchildren, and the children and grandchildren of her husband Pete. She is also saying goodbye to her friend and former neighbor Mary. Over 90, with pancreatic cancer, Mary is enjoying her last Christmas in this world. Sadie helps her decorate a tree in her room at an aged-care facility and is astonished to learn that Mary's ornaments are worth many thousands of dollars. They are gifted to Mary's great-granddaughter Joy after Christmas so she can use them to start building a new life. When several get stolen one night, Sadie is determined to find and return the ornaments to the tree before Mary hears anything about it. 

This was a different cozy in that no one died. Our heroine didn't discover a body, nor did she end up trapped by the murderer, while they confess their crimes and motivations. The mystery was interesting without a murder and the culprit was a bit of a surprise. There was a lot of investigating and I would have liked a bit more story around that but it's still an entertaining holiday read.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.
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Sadie Hoffmiller is back! Her new friend, Mary Hallmark, received two sets of World War I era Christmas ornaments from her father that are now worth tens of thousands of dollars to antique collectors. As Mary's health fails, she moves into Nicholas House for round-the-clock care. No one expected Mary to see Christmas this year, and Sadie feels an obligation to make sure this Christmas is a perfect one for Mary. Those plans are shaken when several ornaments (worth thousands of dollars) go missing less than 48 hours before Christmas.

Sadie pulls out her rusty private investigation skills and hits the bitter cold streets of Fort Collins to solve the mystery. On top of that, she is trying to plan a large family Christmas reunion/party. Concerned about the safety of Pete, their children and grandchildren traveling from around the globe during a dangerous winter storm, Sadie has a lot on her mind this Christmas!


With less intensity and danger than previous Sadie Hoffmiller mysteries, this installment revolves around holiday traditions and family relationships. As always, though, Sadie's spunky, somewhat rebellious attitude pulls readers into the story, while the recipes scattered throughout will have them drooling and making a shopping list of ingredients!
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