From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes the next deadly delicious Carrie Jorgenson adventure in paradise…
Carrie Jorgenson is living the dream in Hawaii. She has a steady job as a waitress at the Loco Moco Café, a hot new love interest in her manager, and the curtain’s about to rise on her role in a local theater production. But when she’s asked to deliver food to a guest at the Aloha Lagoon resort—who then drops dead!—her dreams quickly become the stuff of nightmares.
World renowned food critic Randolph Cremshaw has no shortage of enemies. He’s rude, patronizing, and famous for his one-star reviews. After the coffee Carrie delivers is discovered to have been poisoned, she and the café quickly rise to the top of the suspects list. A jealous co-worker, thefts at the restaurant, and a performance that threatens to blow up in Carrie’s face only make things worse. With an already full plate, Carrie is also forced into making a decision that may change everything for her. But this all pales in comparison when she comes face to face with Randolph’s killer and what might be the final curtain call…of her life.
Vivian and I started to read the article silently to ourselves. It was entitled, “You’d Have to Be Loco to Eat Here,” by Randolph Cremshaw.
Okay, this was not going to end well.
As my faithful readers know, Hawaii was my home for several years. I enjoy the tropical climate and always stay at the elegant Aloha Lagoon Resort whenever I return to the beautiful island of Kauai. I don’t typically review cafés, but a recent visit to the Loco Moco, which wears the name “loco” well, has forced my hand.
The history of this restaurant itself is an interesting one, to say the least. The place was originally owned by George Kama, who then sold it to Maya and Sampson Akamu. The couple was killed shortly afterward in a car accident, and their son Hale ran the place solo for about twenty years. Hale himself was murdered a couple of months ago, inside the actual restaurant. Now if that wasn’t enough to make you never want to look at a plate of their pork hash again, this is what I have to say about my recent dining experience at the hole-in-the wall establishment:
Pass. That’s all.
Service—Three stars. The server was attractive and pleasant but totally inept. I have my doubts that she could manage to walk and chew gum at the same time.
Beverages—One star. When I am served coffee in the beautiful state of Hawaii, it should not be in the form of mud, but a beverage that consists of freshly ground Kona beans. Eventually I did receive the latter after complaint, but the experience was already ruined for me. A bitter disappointment—yes, pun intended.
Cleanliness—Two stars. The best I can say is that the table wasn’t sticky, and the server was nice enough not to place her gum underneath it.
Quality of food—Zero stars. That moment when you ask for ketchup but receive Tabasco sauce instead…well, what else is there left to say, except that I left the place in burning anger. Yes, another pun for you.
Average these ratings together and you come up with 1 ½ stars, or in my opinion a complete failure, so don’t waste your time and hard-earned money here. Look elsewhere.
Skip the Loco Moco Café. You’ll thank me for it later.
Vivian covered her mouth with one hand as she finished reading, and I sucked in some air. This would no doubt be very damaging to the café. I silently fumed about the line that stated the server couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Excuse me? I never chewed gum while I was working. What a jerk.
“How are Terry and Ava taking this?” I wondered if Keanu knew as well.
Poncho pressed his lips together tightly. “Not well. You just missed the latest episode of Terry’s screaming. I think Ava has managed to calm him down for the moment. The one thing they seem very curious about is how Tabasco sauce ended up in the ketchup holder.” He glanced piteously at both of us.
“I didn’t do it,” Vivian said quickly.
I shook my head back. “I filled some the other day, but I’m positive it was ketchup.” I distinctly remembered pouring the contents from the large container into the holders.
Poncho muttered something indistinguishable under his breath. “Anna filled a few the other day as well. Terry just called his royal highness—Cremshaw. Would you believe the man had the gall to tell Terry that he might remove the post from his blog if we would deliver breakfast and dinner to his room today? I am in the process of placing the breakfast items on a rolling cart. Carrie, he asked that it be delivered by the girl with the soulful dark eyes who waited on him the other day.”
A giant knot formed in the pit of my stomach. Great. Ava and Terry were probably upstairs right now throwing me under the bus for the ketchup incident. How I wished Keanu was here. I’d asked him what had happened after they’d found us kissing—nothing, he’d assured me, and left it at that.
“Lovely.” What was up with this guy anyhow? He didn’t like me but commented that I had soulful eyes? Was he a pervert in disguise? I didn’t want to go to his room alone. “Do I really have to wait on that creep again? I thought that food critics weren’t allowed to say such nasty things. “Can’t he be sued for slander because of the remarks he made about the Akamus?” Mercifully, he hadn’t identified me by name.
Poncho did a palms-up. “Ava and Terry are only concerned with giving the man whatever he wants right now. He is a freelance food critic and contributes to the most popular cooking magazine in the world. In short, he gets away with murder, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Vivian snickered as she helped us load the food onto the cart. “I bet he’s got more than a few people that would like to murder him.”
Poncho snorted. “It is tempting, ho’aloha. Believe me.”
There’s trouble in paradise…
Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, one of Hawaii’s hidden treasures. A little bit of tropical paradise nestled along the coast of Kauai, this resort town boasts luxurious accommodation, friendly island atmosphere…and only a slightly higher than normal murder rate. While mysterious circumstances may be the norm on our corner of the island, we’re certain that our staff and Lagoon natives will make your stay in Aloha Lagoon one you will never forget! visit us at www.alohalagoonmysteries.com
Catherine is the USA Today best selling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York and the Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) mysteries. Her next Cookies & Chance mystery, Silenced by Sugar, releases in January 2018.