by Kathleen Costa
This week we have a review of Death of the Kona Man by Catherine Bruns, and a recipe from the book is at the end of this post. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either a signed print copy, or an ebook copy of the first book in the series, Death of the Big Kahuna, and a link to purchase the new book from Amazon.
I am really enjoying traveling back to the Islands reading Gemma Halliday Publishing’s Aloha Lagoon Mystery series penned by several favorite authors. Catherine Bruns, a “Top Ten” personal favorite, is back with Death of the Kona Man. Carrie Jorgenson came to the Islands from Vermont wanting to strengthen, well, more like resuscitate, her relationship with her boyfriend Brad, but he turned out to be bust. But things turned around when solving the murder of her boss in “Death of the Big Kahuna,” she found a new more rewarding relationship with Keanu, a local blue-eyed hunk, life saver, and now the boss of the Loco Moco Café.
This second adventure starts off with Carrie involved in dress rehearsals for a local production of “Little Women, the Musical.” She is nervous, flubbing a few lines, and rumors that a Hollywood director would be attending the opening night performance have everyone on high alert. She learns from said director that a cut-throat food critic has arrived on the island and is staying at the Aloha Lagoon Resort. She worries he might pop in at the Loco Moco Café causing havoc too soon after the last murder a couple of months ago brought awkward press to the restaurant. Carrie’s worse fears are realized when Randolph Cremshaw, dubbed “The Kona Man” because of his well-known 10-cup a day coffee addiction, shows up in true obnoxious and demanding form, not someone you’d want visiting your low-key, laid-back establishment. There’s also a new and somewhat inept waitress who seems to have eyes for Keanu and the ‘green eye’ for Carrie. Lunch, of course, is a fiasco and Cremshaw’s 1-1/2 star review has customers steering clear and Keanu’s dad, the new owner, furious. Why can’t life just be easy for once! At least the obnoxious guy gets his ‘real kope’ (koh-peh; coffee) sweetened with a bit of cyanide! Whew, I love karma!
I was totally engaged in this page-turner as Carrie and Keanu uncover a treasure trove of suspects for my inner Sherlock to consider: more than a few disgruntled relatives, Keanu’s own parents, Carrie who found the body…again, and even hints of other victims of the man’s restaurant reviews all have motive to spike the man’s coffee. So, Carrie with her ‘Dr. Watson’ Keanu partner together to corroborate opportunity and means to find the killer and put their lives back on track. This was an exciting and engaging story…I loved it!
Catherine epitomizes the cozy genre as she treats murder lightly focusing more on the clever mystery, strong characters, and lots of twists and turns that lead to a nail biting end that puts Carrie again in personal jeopardy. And playing in the background to add a bit of realism we have serious differences of opinions between Keanu and his parents who haven’t warmed up to Carrie as Keanu’s girlfriend, thefts at the Café, performances at the theater, and the not-yet fully tested relationship between Carrie and Keanu. We are also treated to some delightful Island recipes straight from Chef Poncho’s kitchen at the Loco Moco Café: Loco Moco (Yeah!), Aloha Mix-Up Cookies, Ahi Tuna, and Pineapple Cookies. You will love it! Don’t forget to check out book one Death of the Big Kahuna to complete your experience. Just add a cup of freshly ground Kona coffee, a plate of Pineapple cookies, and you are set for an Aloha adventure only Catherine Bruns can provide!
Death of the Kona Man earns 5+/5 Cups of Kona Coffee Sans the Poison!
Loco Moco is the name of a popular Hawaiian dish that Carrie samples for the first time in “Death of the Big Kahuna.” Since I was doing research during my recent visit, of course I had to try it, right? The dish consists of white rice and a hamburger patty topped with a fried egg and then covered in mushroom gravy. Okay, not exactly healthy but so good!
Prepare a large skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Divide the ground chuck into 4 equal portions and form into patties. Fry the patties in the skillet until they begin to firm and are hot and slightly pink in the center, about 6 minutes per side. Remove patties to a plate, retaining drippings in the skillet. Stir onion and water into the reserved drippings. Reduce heat to low, and cook until the onions are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Pour gravy over the onion mixture, and stir. Cook until the gravy is hot, about 5 minutes. Gently lay patties in the gravy, then simmer until reheated through. While the patties simmer in gravy, prepare a separate skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Fry eggs in the hot skillet until the white is opaque but the yolk remains runny, about 2 to 3 minutes. Divide the rice between 4 plates. Top each rice portion with a beef patty, and top the patties each with an egg. Pour gravy equally over each portion. Makes four servings.
To enter to win either a signed print copy, or an e-book copy, of Death of the Big Kahuna, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “kahuna,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 11, 2017. US winners only for the print copy. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address and either way be sure to state if you want print or ebook.
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