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Banana Split

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Sadie Hoffmiller has survived eighteen months of nonstop adventures filled with murder, deceit, and danger. She could really use some rest—and maybe even some time to heal—relaxing in the tropical paradise of Kaua'i. However, palm trees and sunshine are not as effective a medication as Sadie had hoped. And when she finds herself entangled—literally—with a dead body, she is Sadie Hoffmiller has survived eighteen months of nonstop adventures filled with murder, deceit, and danger. She could really use some rest—and maybe even some time to heal—relaxing in the tropical paradise of Kaua'i. However, palm trees and sunshine are not as effective a medication as Sadie had hoped. And when she finds herself entangled—literally—with a dead body, she is forced to face the compounding fears and anxieties that are making her life so difficult to live. Her determination to stay out of danger and to focus on overcoming her anxieties soon takes a backseat when she meets eleven-year-old Charlie, the son of the woman whose body she discovered near Anahola Beach. Charlies has some questions of his own about what happened to his mother, and he is convinced that only Sadie can help him. If only Sadie were as confident in her abilities as Charlie is. With the help of her best friend and a local social worker, Sadie dives into another mystery with the hope that, at the end, she'll be able to find the peace and closure that has eluded her.


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Sadie Hoffmiller has survived eighteen months of nonstop adventures filled with murder, deceit, and danger. She could really use some rest—and maybe even some time to heal—relaxing in the tropical paradise of Kaua'i. However, palm trees and sunshine are not as effective a medication as Sadie had hoped. And when she finds herself entangled—literally—with a dead body, she is Sadie Hoffmiller has survived eighteen months of nonstop adventures filled with murder, deceit, and danger. She could really use some rest—and maybe even some time to heal—relaxing in the tropical paradise of Kaua'i. However, palm trees and sunshine are not as effective a medication as Sadie had hoped. And when she finds herself entangled—literally—with a dead body, she is forced to face the compounding fears and anxieties that are making her life so difficult to live. Her determination to stay out of danger and to focus on overcoming her anxieties soon takes a backseat when she meets eleven-year-old Charlie, the son of the woman whose body she discovered near Anahola Beach. Charlies has some questions of his own about what happened to his mother, and he is convinced that only Sadie can help him. If only Sadie were as confident in her abilities as Charlie is. With the help of her best friend and a local social worker, Sadie dives into another mystery with the hope that, at the end, she'll be able to find the peace and closure that has eluded her.

30 review for Banana Split

  1. 4 out of 5

    T.J.

    Most importantly, look at that cover! Seriously, have you gone to any site that shows all of Josi’s Sadie Hoffmiller books? These covers are awesome! While Banana Split wasn’t my favorite book ever written, it was actually good enough to make me want to read the rest of the series. If you are unaware, Banana Split is the 7th book in a series and more interestingly, it is the 1st I’ve actually read. Personally, it was a little long for me. I could have lived without a little less subplot things h Most importantly, look at that cover! Seriously, have you gone to any site that shows all of Josi’s Sadie Hoffmiller books? These covers are awesome! While Banana Split wasn’t my favorite book ever written, it was actually good enough to make me want to read the rest of the series. If you are unaware, Banana Split is the 7th book in a series and more interestingly, it is the 1st I’ve actually read. Personally, it was a little long for me. I could have lived without a little less subplot things here and there. It kinda seemed like 2 stories in one and the one really had nothing to do with the other. I felt like I ate a little too much red herring to enjoy the salmon feast. The grammar guru in me did catch a few errors. It honestly makes me feel arrogant and prideful. Nonetheless, they were there. I know of the difficulty for an editor to find all these errors. And in all honesty, most of them would have been easy to miss, in my opinion. Something I really liked was how quick the chapters went by. I wasn’t stuck in the middle of something when I had to put the book down to help my pregnant wife or one of our children (again, helping my pregnant wife). I’m sorry, but I really love short chapters. Now, if each page was a new chapter, I’d be annoyed. I don’t like them that short. If I were to tagline what you’re about to read for Banana Split, I’d say “flow your way through a Hawaiian mystery with Sadie Hoffmiller.” Her writing was very smooth. I can actually read another Sadie Hoffmiller book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Claire Maloy

    “Banana Split,” by Josi S. Kilpack, was a real stomach cincher. Sadie Hoffmiller is off in Hawaii trying to get away from her old “detective” life. She needs a fresh start, and as she is snorkeling she finds something interesting in the ocean. She finds the body of a girl named Noelani, who’s child happens to meet Sadie. She gets to know Charlie more and more as she tries to solve this case. Was it suicide, or murder? This series is one of my favorites because I love mystery. I always try to sol “Banana Split,” by Josi S. Kilpack, was a real stomach cincher. Sadie Hoffmiller is off in Hawaii trying to get away from her old “detective” life. She needs a fresh start, and as she is snorkeling she finds something interesting in the ocean. She finds the body of a girl named Noelani, who’s child happens to meet Sadie. She gets to know Charlie more and more as she tries to solve this case. Was it suicide, or murder? This series is one of my favorites because I love mystery. I always try to solve it with the evidence it gives you before they tell you what actually happened. She is a great author because she knows how to get you hooked. Everything just gets more interesting, and interesting. Some slow parts though, is when she is talking to her new friend Konnie at the beginning. I didn’t see the point, it was slow and unnecessary. When Sadie meets Pastor Darryl, that is when I thought it started to get deep. She started getting a lot of info and made many more friends. That was just when I knew I wanted to keep reading. She was getting so close to solving it, and that was only in the middle-ish! I knew it couldn’t be over yet, there was so many more adventures waiting. This was another amazing book in the series. Josi is an amazing author and is very detailed. This is a series I will never stop reading. The theme for this story is, never change who you are. Sadie went to Hawaii in the first place to change, and stop being apart of any crime that happened. She was anyway and it all worked out for her in the end. So always be yourself and love who you are.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

    It hasn't been long since I reviewed Kilpack's last book and she has another coming out in the near future so I decided to review this one here. Banana Split is Josi Kilpack's latest culinary mystery starring Sadie Hoffmiller. In this book Sadie is almost unrecognizable as the same Sadie as in earlier volumes of this series. Instead of the annoying snoop of the first few books or the more mature, but impulsive would-be-detective of Pumpkin Roll, she's suffering severe anxiety attacks due to too m It hasn't been long since I reviewed Kilpack's last book and she has another coming out in the near future so I decided to review this one here. Banana Split is Josi Kilpack's latest culinary mystery starring Sadie Hoffmiller. In this book Sadie is almost unrecognizable as the same Sadie as in earlier volumes of this series. Instead of the annoying snoop of the first few books or the more mature, but impulsive would-be-detective of Pumpkin Roll, she's suffering severe anxiety attacks due to too many traumas in a short period of time and especially from the aftermath of being nearly killed by someone who is still "out there." After nearly three months in Hawaii, a trip that was supposed to help Sadie relax and regain her self-confidence, she seems to be slipping farther and farther into a dark place. A group of native women who try to offer her friendship invite her for a scuba dive, but once in the water, Sadie panics big time and swims frantically for shore where more trauma awaits her in the form of black seaweed which turns out to be the long trailing hair of a dead woman. Her hysterical reaction to discovering the dead woman leads her to a psychiatrist's office and sharing her debilitating problem with her friend Pete who is attending a law enforcement conference on the mainland. When the eleven-year-old son of the dead woman comes to Sadie looking for answers concerning his mother, Sadie reluctantly becomes involved. Taking small steps, her concern for the child draws Sadie out of her safe hiding place and into the real world. As her search leads her to a too-friendly minister, a motel with a gag order, and being locked in a narrow storage space, Sadie faces a struggle between her panic disorder and her old self wanting to learn the truth about the dead woman and help a troubled child. Though not an enthusiastic fan of Sadie in the first few books in this series, she won me over a little bit more with each successive adventure until Pumpkin Roll sealed the deal. Ironically I had difficulty with her role in Banana Split as a frightened, insecure elderly woman teetering on the edge of a total breakdown. All in all Sadie Hoffmiller is a fascinating character and Kilpack has done an exceptional job of showing growth and change in a series character when such characters generally stay quite static. The Pacific Island setting is fun and doesn't have the touristy feel that so many books set in Hawaii have. The plot is paced well and I was pleased to see Sadie take a stronger role in rescuing herself than she has done previously. Though she takes a few foolish, impulsive risks, the motivation to do so is stronger than in previous books. Anyone coming to this series late will have no trouble following the plot line without reading the previous books. Each volume can stand alone. Readers old and young, male and female, will find Banana Split an enjoyable read. This book like the previous six books in the series is loaded with recipes which can also be accessed from her web page, however I won't comment on the recipes since I skipped reading them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I think you all know that I am a big fan of Josi's culinary mysteries. Sadie Hoffmiller gets herself into more scrapes than any respectable busybody should (she's just helping!) but this time things are different. After her experience in the last book, this book opens with Sadie experiencing PTSD and unsure who she is anymore. Banana Split was so different than any of the other books. At first I wasn't sure if I liked the new Sadie. Where she was previously strong, she was now weak. The relations I think you all know that I am a big fan of Josi's culinary mysteries. Sadie Hoffmiller gets herself into more scrapes than any respectable busybody should (she's just helping!) but this time things are different. After her experience in the last book, this book opens with Sadie experiencing PTSD and unsure who she is anymore. Banana Split was so different than any of the other books. At first I wasn't sure if I liked the new Sadie. Where she was previously strong, she was now weak. The relationships she'd relied on in the past weren't there anymore, and Sadie was so un-Sadie-like. But then I realized that this was author genius. Kilpack had taken our beloved character to the edge and pushed her over. It was up to the reader whether they would come along for the ride to see if Sadie could claw her way back or just let it all go. Besides the sheer genius of remaking our heroine over and letting the readers see and experience all the warts and weaknesses, Kilpack sets the story in Hawaii. Yes, the very same vacation spot that I am dying to go to someday. Of course, that may have influenced my enjoyment of the book somewhat because the setting is so authentic AND the author includes recipes that are incredible. I'm especially interested in the Kalua pork. I'll let you know how it turns out. Which leads me to the third stroke of genius---the cover. Loved it! How could you not look at that and be hungry with every glance? Genius I tell you. So, with an un-Sadie, an incredible setting, and a dead body (the discovery of the body in the first chapter seriously creeped me out it was that well-written) what's a reader to do? Read on, my friends. This mystery has several twists and turns that keep you guessing to the very last chapter. (A part of me even wondered if the death wasn't really a death if you know what I mean.) I think Josi's mysteries are some of the best in the business and this one does not disappoint. Originally reviewed on http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    This book is quite different from the other ones in the series. Sadie is much more hesitant, a little more scared and not as daring as she has been in the past books. Although there were times when I was yelling in my head "what the heck are you doing? That's not normal!". We deal with a broken Sadie who is scared to even go outside of her condo. I really enjoyed all the references to Hawaii, the lingo, the food, the area, it was awesome! I can't wait to try a few of the recipes. Although this w This book is quite different from the other ones in the series. Sadie is much more hesitant, a little more scared and not as daring as she has been in the past books. Although there were times when I was yelling in my head "what the heck are you doing? That's not normal!". We deal with a broken Sadie who is scared to even go outside of her condo. I really enjoyed all the references to Hawaii, the lingo, the food, the area, it was awesome! I can't wait to try a few of the recipes. Although this wasn't a favorite of mine, I think we got to see a much more vulnerable Sadie which I liked. But I do have to say, these books are getting a little out of control, how much trouble and/or deaths can one person really stumble upon. At some point we're going to have to say goodbye to Sadie and her story and I really hope it's on a good note.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I am torn - I love reading this series (and love love love the recipes), but does the Sadie Hoffmiller character get on anyone else's nerves to the point of distraction??? Who acts like that? Certainly not any fifty-something woman I've ever known. That being said, I simply can't wait for the next installment coming in the fall, I believe. I must be as unbalanced as Sadie!!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The first part of the book vividly described Sadie experiencing PTSD. Kilpack did an excellent job with that description, so much so that I almost didn't finish the book. The last thing I wanted was to read a book about a woman dealing with anxiety. The book changed after a few chapters, though, and the mystery drew me in. She still had to deal with the anxiety, but it wasn't as overt as the first few chapters. I enjoyed the mystery and found the I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The first part of the book vividly described Sadie experiencing PTSD. Kilpack did an excellent job with that description, so much so that I almost didn't finish the book. The last thing I wanted was to read a book about a woman dealing with anxiety. The book changed after a few chapters, though, and the mystery drew me in. She still had to deal with the anxiety, but it wasn't as overt as the first few chapters. I enjoyed the mystery and found the rest easy to read. The recipes in this book look really, really good. I look forward to trying some of them.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I really wanted to like Banana Split so much more than I did. To be fair, I was exhausted while reading this book. I was on a family vacation and I tried reading it on down times during our very busy non-driving days (even though we drove all of those days, but it was sight seeing and not just day-long driving). I think it deserves another read when I'm not so tired. Up to this point in the series Sadie Hoffmiller could be described in many ways: nosy, brave, daring, quirky, excellent cook. The d I really wanted to like Banana Split so much more than I did. To be fair, I was exhausted while reading this book. I was on a family vacation and I tried reading it on down times during our very busy non-driving days (even though we drove all of those days, but it was sight seeing and not just day-long driving). I think it deserves another read when I'm not so tired. Up to this point in the series Sadie Hoffmiller could be described in many ways: nosy, brave, daring, quirky, excellent cook. The descriptive words could go on, but I really have enjoyed this series because of these features. Enter Banana Split. Sadie had a really rough experience in the previous book Pumpkin Roll (not to mention many rough experiences leading up to that), and she can't handle regular day to day life. So, she heads to Hawaii to spend a few months trying to relax and calm down. This is a very different side to Sadie. She's now stressed, paranoid, scared, and depressed. Sadie's situation worsens exponentially when she finds a dead body while out snorkeling. She's traumatized and fights getting involved. It takes a lot of time, but Sadie is drawn out of her new shell to become involved and solve the mystery. I've thought that most of the other Sadie Hoffmiller mysteries could stand alone, but I think Banana Split needs Pumpkin Roll in order to understand what brought Sadie to Hawaii. There are quite a few references to Boston, but little to no details about what actually happened there. I liked the idea of the "bonus chapter", and was happy to put my QR code scanner to use. Food is a big part of this series. Even though it doesn't play as big of a role in this book, the recipes that are included sound great. I'm excited to give them a try. And, as always, I like how the first chapter of the next book in the series was included. Josi S. Kilpack is a very good writer, and even though Banana Split wasn't my favorite in the series, I'm excited to read Tres Leches Cupcakes when it comes out this Fall.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    The story of Sadie Hoffmiller keeps on rolling. First off, I loved this book because it was all about Kauai, one of my favorite places! I could imagine every scene since I recognized some of the beaches and places mentioned. Not only was it placed in paradise, it tugged at my heart strings with the victim being a mother. A mother who is trying her best for her child. I'm glad Sadie is around for justice. I also liked that we are learning more about the toll of all the adventures Sadie has been on The story of Sadie Hoffmiller keeps on rolling. First off, I loved this book because it was all about Kauai, one of my favorite places! I could imagine every scene since I recognized some of the beaches and places mentioned. Not only was it placed in paradise, it tugged at my heart strings with the victim being a mother. A mother who is trying her best for her child. I'm glad Sadie is around for justice. I also liked that we are learning more about the toll of all the adventures Sadie has been on. PTSD is a real thing, and so is anxiety and depression. Just going to an island will not take these conditions away or cure someone. I liked how we learned how Sadie is handling herself and the decisions she is making. I did guess the murderer! I didn't have the right motive, but I knew who did it!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Bookworm Lisa)

    Sadie has had a few too many close calls. She is struggling with anxiety. In this book she is in Hawaii, taking a break and trying to recover. The sad part is that she has a hard time leaving her condo. She hides from the world. She finally makes it out of the condo. She's going snorkeling with some of the local women. She is overcome with anxiety and swims to shore, only to find a body. Yup, she's pulled into another mystery. The case seems clear cut. A woman just out of rehab OD's and dies. Then Sadie has had a few too many close calls. She is struggling with anxiety. In this book she is in Hawaii, taking a break and trying to recover. The sad part is that she has a hard time leaving her condo. She hides from the world. She finally makes it out of the condo. She's going snorkeling with some of the local women. She is overcome with anxiety and swims to shore, only to find a body. Yup, she's pulled into another mystery. The case seems clear cut. A woman just out of rehab OD's and dies. Then the woman's 11 year old son shows up at her door with questions that Sadie wants to find answers to. Sadie is vulnerable in this book and has many obstacles to overcome. I love that the way she finds to feel better is by helping someone else.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle

    BANANA SPLIT was my favorite book in the Sadie Hoffmiller culinary mystery series. It may have had something to do with the fact that the book is set in beautiful Kauai, which I just traveled to in May (and coincidentally did a lot of research for a book that I am writing which will be set in Kauai as well). But the biggest reason I liked this book is that the writing is solid, the characters are developed, and Josi had my mind spinning trying to figure out whodunit. It seemed like everyone was BANANA SPLIT was my favorite book in the Sadie Hoffmiller culinary mystery series. It may have had something to do with the fact that the book is set in beautiful Kauai, which I just traveled to in May (and coincidentally did a lot of research for a book that I am writing which will be set in Kauai as well). But the biggest reason I liked this book is that the writing is solid, the characters are developed, and Josi had my mind spinning trying to figure out whodunit. It seemed like everyone was keeping a secret and although Sadie was in a fragile state of mind, she still pulled off an excellent investigation to help a young boy answer questions about his mother's death.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lacey

    AUGUST 2017- I have to say, after re reading this story it was probably one of my least favorites. I'm not sure why. I think it's partially because of some Sadie's antics, I just can't understand WHY she does some of the things she does, and how she manages to get so involved. I still love her as a character, and I liked seeing a more vulnerable side of her. FEBRUARY 2012- Once again, Josi Kilpack has managed to create a fun story that leaves you hanging.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    I have to be honest...i had a hard time with this book. I love the series and have never felt anything but anticipation for the next one to come out. I was so looking forward to reading this one too until I actually started it. I had to force myself to keep going, hoping it would get better (which it eventually did). I will continue to read the series because I enjoy the characters, but if the next one is as hard for me as this one, I might not read any further.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nellie

    I didnt love this one. In fact, i stopped and read two or three books during the time i read this one. Sadie goes to Hawaii. She finds a body in the ocean, and is compelled ta investigate the cause of death. I was never connected to the characters, and didnt feel like all the stories were completed. The recipes were wonderful i did try those and loved them.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    Another fun mystery. These books are an easy read and a nice break from some of the heavier stuff. I do take some issues with how fast Sadie went from full on anxiety attacks just for leaving her apartment to breaking and entering just a few days later, but still a good mystery to a wonderful cast of characters. I want to go and live in Hawaii the next time I have anxiety!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    This is the best yet! I love this book. Sadie Hoffmiller lives on!! Can't wait for Tres Leche Cupcakes!!!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I have read the entire series and I think this was one of the best.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    If you go on a trip to Hawaii, you have to bring this book along!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I just love how Sadie ends up in helping solve a murder

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Hansen

    Could hardly pay attention once she gives you the recipes for the banana split toppings. Just kept looking at the picture thinking I needed to go make them. Good story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Helynne

    It had to happen sooner or later. At the beginning of this story, Sadie Hoffmiller has been so traumatized over the events of her harrowing adventure in Boston (Pumpkin Roll) that she has been dealing with her fears by ordering stuff she doesn’t need from every late-night TV infomercial she sees. I would have though it would be more like Sadie to turn to food when she is troubled. Instead, she has lost her passion for cooking and become thinner. At one point early in the story, she serves browni It had to happen sooner or later. At the beginning of this story, Sadie Hoffmiller has been so traumatized over the events of her harrowing adventure in Boston (Pumpkin Roll) that she has been dealing with her fears by ordering stuff she doesn’t need from every late-night TV infomercial she sees. I would have though it would be more like Sadie to turn to food when she is troubled. Instead, she has lost her passion for cooking and become thinner. At one point early in the story, she serves brownies made from a (gasp!) mix. Very un-Sadie-like. Her son, daughter, and boyfriend Pete have staged an intervention and sent Sadie off for a few months of R&R in Hawaii where she has been working a low-stress, low-tech job (cleaning condos) on the island of Kaua'i and seeing a psychiatrist. Believe it or not, this next adventure is not one that Sadie blustered or busy-bodied her way into. While walking on the beach, she stumbles upon a drowned body floating in the water, and at first she tries not to get involved. But you know Sadie: If she does not seek out an adventure, one will find her, and this is one of the most convoluted mysteries yet. When the victim’s 11-year-old son finds Sadie, hoping she can provide some answers about his mom, Sadie is hooked. Soon she is snooping around the island in her muumuu, meeting people, asking questions and, employing her latest specialty— picking locks. (Um, Sadie, they put people in jail for picking locks). And just as Sadie was trying to recover from the trauma of her last adventure, the last act of this one throws her into a more distressing situation than ever. In addition to being a murder mystery, this story also comments on the frequent failings and challenges of foster care for teens. The regional Hawaiian ambiance Kilpack includes in the narrative is particularly charming. Recipes include regional specialties such as macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup, aloha cookies, green bean and bowtie pasta salad, Kauai pork, and caramel and hot fudge sauce. Did anyone else notice that there was no mention of bananas in the description of the banana splits?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Loralee

    I have often wondered what it would be like to live life as one of those poor hapless people in the murder mysteries on TV that continually stumble over dead bodies every week, and seem genuinely surprised when they do, despite the fact that last week, and the week before, the same thing happened. I've often wondered why poor Father Brown, as well as Laura Thyme and Rosemary Boxer don't develop PTSD because of their constant interactions with people showing up murdered. In Banana Split, the seven I have often wondered what it would be like to live life as one of those poor hapless people in the murder mysteries on TV that continually stumble over dead bodies every week, and seem genuinely surprised when they do, despite the fact that last week, and the week before, the same thing happened. I've often wondered why poor Father Brown, as well as Laura Thyme and Rosemary Boxer don't develop PTSD because of their constant interactions with people showing up murdered. In Banana Split, the seventh book in the Culinary Mysteries which feature Sadie Hoffmiller, a middle aged detective, that very thing has happened. It's the first book of Josi Kilpack's Culinary Mysteries that I've read, though. And in this book, poor Sadie, trying to relax in Hawai'i because of the stresses of other mysteries she's been involved with, finds herself entangled, quite literally, with the deceased body of a young woman found floating in the ocean. Already suffering from PTSD, OCD, etc. she finds herself terrified of leaving her condo, and accepting the police's assessment that the poor young woman must have died either from a drug overdose, or by falling in the water while intoxicated with something. But then the young woman's eleven year old son shows up at Sadie's doorstep pleading for answers, and Sadie finds the strength to help the young man try to find out what really happened to his mom. This book is a fun read, especially for people who enjoy mysteries. I appreciate how the victim is treated. Noelani Pouha isn't just a dead body put there for shock value and a reason to solve a mystery. Sadie sees her as a person, gets to know Noelani through her son and her friends, and cares about her, even though Sadie never met her while she was alive. I liked the several different red herrings, which made figuring out the whodunit quite entertaining and kept me guessing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Honestly, this book just left me feeling a bit sad. There was no possible ending that could result in a happy one. It’s just the nature of the story, unfortunately. My heart just broke for Charlie and there isn’t anything that can make that better. I’m honestly kind of surprised it didn’t happen sooner, but Sadie has finally had too much with these mysteries and near-death experiences. Interesting that her family and friends felt like sending her away to an exotic place, by herself, would help h Honestly, this book just left me feeling a bit sad. There was no possible ending that could result in a happy one. It’s just the nature of the story, unfortunately. My heart just broke for Charlie and there isn’t anything that can make that better. I’m honestly kind of surprised it didn’t happen sooner, but Sadie has finally had too much with these mysteries and near-death experiences. Interesting that her family and friends felt like sending her away to an exotic place, by herself, would help her snap out of it. I’d think she would need some close support. But of course it sets us up for another whirlwind murder mystery. Charlie is pretty stinking smart. Street smart, anyway. He figured quite a few things out that a lot of adults might not have thought of. My heart still goes out to him, though. Nat makes me so angry. I just have no kind words. Pastor Darrell and Bets. I don’t know. I was fully convinced about both of them and then thrown for a loop right at the end. All I’m sayin is the man needs to recognize what appropriate physical contact is! Gail and Pete are wonderful, supportive friends. I get why Pete can’t be out there with Sadie, though it still seems unsafe to send her by herself in her mental state (in their defense, I don’t think anyone realized how bad it was, though). But I love that Gail came out and got wrapped up in the mystery and helped solve it. I thought that was cute. It is a good story. I liked the mystery and thought the lineup of characters gave me some good stuff to mentally chew on and hypothesize over. But the subject matter is just sad.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nessa

    Like many reviews here, I was not a huge fan of the departure of our resident protag's usual zest for life, cooking and meddling.. When I first started reading Banana Split, Sadie's mindset was very claustrophobic and I'll be honest, I had a mind to shelf it and go on to another book in the series and maybe revisit this one at a later time. In fact, with so many references to Boston, I had to go through and see which installment she was referring to because I thought I missed a vital part of und Like many reviews here, I was not a huge fan of the departure of our resident protag's usual zest for life, cooking and meddling.. When I first started reading Banana Split, Sadie's mindset was very claustrophobic and I'll be honest, I had a mind to shelf it and go on to another book in the series and maybe revisit this one at a later time. In fact, with so many references to Boston, I had to go through and see which installment she was referring to because I thought I missed a vital part of understanding who her character was. Each time I came back and tried to read another chapter and then before I knew it, Sadie was regaining her mojo again. I just stuck with it. Part of it is Sadie's so close to a breakdown in the beginning, the author takes you through the quicksand with Sadie and it's powerful, but it can only be done in small bites. Take your time with this one, so you don't risk losing anything in translation. It's not a fast culinary speed read, as most can be. If you think it is, you missed getting to know the inner workings of what makes our resident sleuth tick.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    I started off reading Engish Truffle. I had a hard time staying with it. After a long time, I finally forced myself to finish it. It was okay and I vowed never to read any more of her books. Then my wife bought me blackberry... I read 18 chapters and gave it up. I just couldn't get into the book. Then my wife years later downloaded the whole series. I picked up Lemon Tart. It was very good. And so I picked out another one. Now I find them so good I keep racing through the series. This one starte I started off reading Engish Truffle. I had a hard time staying with it. After a long time, I finally forced myself to finish it. It was okay and I vowed never to read any more of her books. Then my wife bought me blackberry... I read 18 chapters and gave it up. I just couldn't get into the book. Then my wife years later downloaded the whole series. I picked up Lemon Tart. It was very good. And so I picked out another one. Now I find them so good I keep racing through the series. This one started out slow and with Saedi not herself. But in the 2nd half it proved to be quite an adventure.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Hawaii is Sadie's salvation Sadie has had some near death experiences since she stumbled into solving crimes. As a result, her anxiety is out of control. She jumps at a chance to live on thr Island of Kauai housesitting for a friend. For a few months, Sadie has only been going through the motions of living. She feels lost and adrift. Then she lands on top of a murder . . .literally. Wanting to help an orphaned child, Sadie reluctantly moves forward to solve the case.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda King

    This one was so real Sadie is developing so much as a character. I love how Kilpack really gets to know the areas she talks about and is realistic about how these situations would affect someone. And she didn't do the typical glossing over of mental illness. I have struggled with anxiety and depression and her descriptions of how Sadie felt and thought were like descriptions of me. I was crying at the end. This was a very good book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    this time Sadie is in Hawaii trying to recover from anxiety and depression from the events in Boston (see Pumpkin roll). Her condition is not helped when she sees a dead body tangled up in the pier and she ends up falling on it. Of course she needs to find out what happened when the victim's son, Charlie shows up at her door. The time she is more willing to call police although she still gets in to a harrowing position

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    Banana Split has a different feel to it than the previous 6 Sadie Hoffmiller mysteries. Different, but it works. Sadie is dealing with anxiety disorder from everything she's been through in the previous 18 months (the time that transpires from book 1, Lemon Tart, to this book.). It is raw & vulnerable & real. Sadie is still Sadie though, even if she doesn't feel like herself. Banana Split has a different feel to it than the previous 6 Sadie Hoffmiller mysteries. Different, but it works. Sadie is dealing with anxiety disorder from everything she's been through in the previous 18 months (the time that transpires from book 1, Lemon Tart, to this book.). It is raw & vulnerable & real. Sadie is still Sadie though, even if she doesn't feel like herself.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    I really like this series of books. Fine literature it is not- but these are great “vacation” type books. I’m actually reading the series to be sure they are appropriate for my tween daughter. And so far I think they are. I started out at her age reading ALL the Mary Higgins Clark. I think these are a good series before stepping in to those.

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