Book Review : Baked Alaska by Josi S. Kilpack
An Alaskan cruise is the setting for amateur detective Sadie Hoffmiller’s latest adventure. Sadie plans to spend time relaxing with her two grown children, Breanna and Shawn, and her boyfriend, Pete, while enjoying the luxury and cuisine of an elegant cruise ship and helping to plan her daughter’s upcoming wedding. But even as the crew prepares to leave port, Sadie has suspicions about the voyage ahead and the relationship between her normally easygoing son and a mysterious female passenger he obviously knows but refuses to discuss. When the woman’s dead body is discovered during the first night at sea, Sadie’s apprehension escalates. Over the last few years, Sadie has developed an extreme dislike for secrets—and it would seem her son is keeping one from her. (Courtesy of www.goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
Josi Kilpack has created an interesting writing dilemna as she has continued this series. Does she focus on a mystery or does she focus on the main characters’ lives?
In this installment Kilpack has brought all the main characters together on a cruise ship. Even though Sadie would know her children very well, I have never felt like I know them. Her daughter still seems aloof to me and unapproachable while Shawn is more volatile, but also warmer. I feel like I understand Shawn. Pete is always a rock and his character does not change. Sadie is still growing comfortable with the idea that she wants to marry Pete and at this point I wish she would get over her insecurities and move forward. Kilpack also brings up issues around adoption, in particular children seeking out their “birth parents” or “real parents”. I am not sure her dealing with adoption was very sensitive. She also deals with issues of organ donations.
This time around the story line focuses mostly on Sadie’s family which left a few gaps in the mystery. We never get to know the motivation for the final killer, and the question is left hanging if there were two murderers and an accidental third murderer. I felt like I was left in the dark and the conclusion was too vague. This was not my favorite in the series. As always Kilpack writes a lighthearted novel that many will enjoy.