"Key Lime Pie," by Josi S. Kilpack, Deseret Book, 360 pages, $17.99

Josi S. Kilpack is getting better with each book in her culinary mystery series.

“Key Lime Pie,” the fourth in the series, was published in August and is the best yet.

The pacing is a little more believable, and the heroine, Sadie Hoffmiller, is becoming more of a person than a caricature.

Kilpack’s unique formula works: a little mystery and somewhat dangerous plotline interspersed with recipes for yummy treats and dishes including, of course, Key Lime Pie.

And Hoffmiller, despite the fact that she simply can’t keep her curiosity in check, is a likable heroine.

She’s warm and funny and really tries to help. She doesn’t mean to stir the pot, so to speak.

It’s not her fault that people aren’t what they seem and the most likely scenario is usually the one that will get her into trouble, again, with the law and with those she just tries to help.

She covers a pretty good amount of ground for an amateur, by the way, but it’s possible if you give her the benefit of the doubt or suspend reality a bit.

Who says a girl wouldn’t disappear for a few years and suddenly turn up pregnant with twins right where Hoffmiller looks? Who is surprised that somebody Hoffmiller trusts can’t turn out to be completely evil?

Why should a so-so relationship stay so-so?

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Here is a book that makes for a quick read if you have the time, or it can be spaced out because it’s easy to pick up again wherever one left off.

The story moves right along, and there are plenty of surprises and twists.

Not sure how often Hoffmiller can dabble in situations that bring out the criminals and come away relatively whole but so far, she’s getting away with it.

Along the way, there’s a nice bit of romance too.

Try it with a snack in hand because the recipes tend to make a reader salivate.

e-mail: haddoc@desnews.com