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  3. Mai Tai One On | Jill Marie Landis | | NetGalley
  4. A Tiki Goddess Mystery Series
  5. Mai Tai One On

A jigger of tranquility is all Em Johnson wants, but now that her beloved Tiki Goddess Bar has been chosen as the location for Trouble in Paradise , TV's hot new reality show, life is anything but tranquil. When a member of the camera crew is found dead in her kitchen—stabbed to death with Chef Kimo's sashimi knife—the scene on the sleepy North Shore of Kauai goes from eccentrically crazy to downright dangerous. Suspects lurk behind every paper drink umbrella.

It's not enough that Chef Kimo is the number one suspect or that the life's-a-party Hula Maidens nearly burn down the place while dancing the hula with flaming coconuts. Roland Sharpe, handsome Hawaiian fire-dancing detective, warns the locals not to interfere, but Em and the madcap Maidens can't help themselves and soon wind up knee deep in danger again.

Can the irrepressible troupe solve three murders before the champagne goes flat? Some of the Island's top hula dancers are pushing up daisies. So when famed hula instructors from a rival dance troop start dropping like over-ripe passion fruit, Em and the Hula Maidens go undercover at the Kukui Nut Festival Hula Competition to uncover the killer. Em is once again up to her okole in danger and mystery, not to mention the seductive challenge of working with hunky detective Roland Sharpe, who moonlights as one of the island's sexiest fire dancers. The hula is lively, the luau is smoking, the mai tais are delicious, and a killer is looking to get away with murder in paradise.

As if all that isn't bad enough, when an obnoxious neighbor with a grudge is found dead in the Goddess luau pit, suspicion falls on Em and the rest of the Goddess staff. With the help of a quirky dance troupe of over-the-hill Hula Maidens, Em and the cast of characters must band together to find the killer and solve the mystery before the next pupu party. Reading this fresh, funny mystery made me yearn to hang out at the Tiki Goddess, sip one of Uncle Louie's drinks and watch a certain super sexy fire dancing detective entertain the crowd. This is a story for anyone who's ever been to Hawaii, dreamed of going to Hawaii, or wondered what it would be like to live in our 50th State.

May 09, Paula rated it really liked it Shelves: Recently divorced Em Johnson leaves the mainland for the North Shore of Kauai to help out her uncle when she finds out that he and the bar he owns, the Tiki Goddess Bar, aren't doing so well. She figures the change will do her good. She helps get the bar back on its feet again, only to have a dead body turn up in the luau pit, the underground oven where the pigs are cooked. The Goddess staff are being looked upon as suspects, so Em and the Hula Maidens the mostly senior dance troupe who perform Recently divorced Em Johnson leaves the mainland for the North Shore of Kauai to help out her uncle when she finds out that he and the bar he owns, the Tiki Goddess Bar, aren't doing so well.

The Goddess staff are being looked upon as suspects, so Em and the Hula Maidens the mostly senior dance troupe who perform at the Goddess even though they don't dance all that well decide to investigate to find the real killer. This was a really fun and cute mystery.

It has a very lively and colorful cast of characters including handsome police detective, Roland Sharpe, who moonlights as a fire dancer. The story is humorous with a small hint of romance and a wonderful setting on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kauai. View all 10 comments. With nothing to hold her on the mainland she hops a plane. She has been there are 6 months and some of her ideas have started to turn the place around. The jury is still out on her uncle. What really makes this book sing or I should say dance is its cast of quirky characters.

Their antics had me in stitches from the first page until the last. A new neighbor is quite flamboyant and the dead neighbor took obnoxious to a whole new level. This series gets off to a nice start with not only a murder or two but also a kidnapping and a human femur bone found on a shelf. Everyone seems to be holding something back and those secrets lead in many different directions. Detective Roland seems to be around often but in addition to asking questions the Hula Maidens think he has romantic ideas about Em.

She feels a little spark too, but until the case is solved she has no interest in the fire dancer, no matter how good he looks in that loin cloth.

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I have never been to Hawaii and probably will never get there so I really enjoyed this little virtual escape. I will be back when I read book 2, Two to Mango. If you like your cozy mysteries to include a nice slice of humor, fix yourself a mai tai and enjoy! Sep 14, Susan Mallery rated it it was amazing. Get ready to go on vacation to beautiful Kauai--in Hawaii. Makes sure to stop by the Tiki Goddess Bar, where the scenery is beautiful and the drinks are strong. California transplant Em is dealing with a recent divorce and running her uncle's bar. Uncle Louie may or may not be losing his marbles, there's a constant flow of tourists and locals and plenty of colorful characters.

But the real complication comes in the form of a murder. Any one of them could be a suspect. A second murder has Em and Get ready to go on vacation to beautiful Kauai--in Hawaii. A second murder has Em and her friends searching for clues, while a yummy detective is keeping a very close eye on Em. Fun, charming and full of atmosphere, Mai Tai One On is a delightful beginning to what promises to be a terrific mystery series. Oct 26, Ian rated it it was ok Shelves: Mai Tai One On is every single cozy mystery you've every read. It's not bad for what it is, but I've read the same book a dozen times before.

Different authors, different characters but essentially the same book. Aug 14, SOS Aloha rated it it was amazing. Best selling and award winning author Jill Marie Landis delivers a story that resembles a Mai Tai - fruity, tasty, and perfect for a summer escape. And let's not forget the umbrella! Only a kama'aina resident could translate the island's culture into the colorful characters that brings Tiki tackiness into the reader's home. The produc Best selling and award winning author Jill Marie Landis delivers a story that resembles a Mai Tai - fruity, tasty, and perfect for a summer escape.

Louie's customers-turned- friends, aka the Hula Maidens, grew concerned with his health. So they sent his niece, Emily Johnson, a one way ticket to visit her uncle.

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Little did they know that Em was at the end of her rope - divorced, broke, and out of options. The Hula Maidens gain a permanent home to perform. And Em hires Sophie - a twenty something local girl seeking to start anew something that Em can appreciate. As the GODDESS gang finds themselves suspects, they morph into junior detectives to solve the mystery and end the mayhem that threaten their wacky, yet comfortable, way of life.


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I commend Landis for including a wide spectrum of kama'aina - the Hawaiians and the transplants, the "aunties" older women and the wahine younger women , the kahuna priest and the Hula Maidens, the lunch trucks and the tourist traps. Landis demonstrates that Kauai is truly the American melting pot. Landis also treats readers to two poignant scenes that remind us of her heartwarming romances. Indeed, love transcends time.

And as the story ends, Landis surprises us with a hint of romance. To say any more would spoil the reader's pleasure. In the Tahitian language, Maita'i translates as "good".

Mai Tai One On | Jill Marie Landis | | NetGalley

Jul 18, Katja rated it it was ok Shelves: Firstly, the one thing that puts me off a book, and takes stars away in the speed of light: One is fine, two is okay-ish, after that it's just annoying. Ok, a nice storyline idea, but the characters and the happenings felt chaotic and somewhat rushed, rather than being a smoothly flowing story. Some humour in there, which is almost making me want to read the next book in the series. Can't say I'd recommend this book, unfortunately. This was an enjoyable and fun cozy mystery - I especially loved that it takes place on my beloved Kauai.

I love being able to picture where everything is happening. I will definitely check out the next in series. Murder in Paradise Emily Johnson, broke and newly divorced, came to Mauai to help her uncle, after the geriatric and pitifully bad dance troupe who performed at her uncle's Tiki Goddess Bar, the Hula Maidens, had contacted Em to inform her of his declining mental health and sent her a one-way plane ticket.

In the six months since she started helping him out, business has improved and the historic hangout is slowly getting back into the black. And that's despite the bar's nearest neighbor, an odio Murder in Paradise Emily Johnson, broke and newly divorced, came to Mauai to help her uncle, after the geriatric and pitifully bad dance troupe who performed at her uncle's Tiki Goddess Bar, the Hula Maidens, had contacted Em to inform her of his declining mental health and sent her a one-way plane ticket.

And that's despite the bar's nearest neighbor, an odious man named Harold. He had a habit of burning trash in his yard, despite being asked not to, and the trades carry the noxious fumes right over into the bar. That was, of course, before his dead body was discovered roasting in the bar's luau pit.

The police investigating his murder are focusing on both Em's uncle and the bar's bartender Chloe. Business has never been better but the stress has never been higher. Em, along with the wacky women of the Hula Maidens, have decided they have to solve the crime and save their family and friends. Delicious homicide detective Roland Sharpe would rather Em not pull a Nancy Drew impression, but stopping her would take more muscle than even he has.

Em's determination to clear her friend and keep her uncle's name clear puts her in danger when her poking around starts to uncover potential motives for murder. If the killer takes note of Em's secret sleuthing, it'll take more than the quirky Hula Maidens to save her butt. It'll take a miracle. Maybe it was bad timing, as the past few books I've read really rocked my book-loving heart.

Maybe it was my too-high expectations, as I've read books by Landis before and like her writing style. Maybe it was the setting, or the plot, or the characters. Maybe it's a little of all of that. Whatever it was, I couldn't seem to connect to either the story or the characters in this mystery, and that made it difficult to enjoy Mai Tai One On like I thought I would. I was expecting a lighter-toned murder mystery laced with humor that highlighted quirky and raucous secondary characters. I went into the book thinking I'd fall for the Maidens and chuckle along with Em as she amateur-sleuthed her way into solving the case.

Instead I ended up annoyed with Em's character, frustrated and disappointed by her morally and legally questionable actions and obtuse behavior which bordered on stupid more than once. The Maidens didn't appeal to me, either. There was too much back biting and snarky nastiness between them and too many waspish digs directed at others to consider them sympathetic or entertaining or make them evenly likable throughout the book. Roland's character was forbidding and standoffish, and though I was interested in him as one of my favorite characters, he was too often relegated to the sidelines of the storyline for my tastes.

The small sparks of simpatico and attraction between him and Em were some of my favorite parts of the book, but they were too few and far apart to truly impact my entertainment level with the book as a whole. The plotline of the mystery was fairly straightforward and it evolved at a steady pace with a narrative that was smooth and easily readable. Unfortunately the elements of the whodunit weren't all that mysterious, and I had the who and why figured relatively early.

That's not necessarily a detractor for me, and wouldn't have been in this case had I been able to enjoy the characters more, but without that, the fact that there were few potential killers or motives became more glaring. Later suspense elements of the story were equally disappointing and a little odd in their development.

I didn't quite buy the perpetrator's actions or motivations during the last part of the book. For me, the book was disappointing. The cover and the story description gives an impression about the tone of the book that I don't think the story supported, and I don't think Landis did quite enough to make her characters as flamboyantly entertaining as she could have.

Nick Cannon Mixes Up A Mai Tai

I can forgive one or two of the things that didn't work for me in this book, but put together, there just wasn't enough left for me to like. I don't think I'll be revisiting the Tiki Goddess Bar and its patrons.


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  8. This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own. Jul 09, Rhonda rated it really liked it. So I read it too. It did not disappoint. I laughed I was kept guessing on who to trust. I did know who was innocent because they were still characters in the third book. After I had read it I went and bought the second book and am excited to read that soon. Mai Tai One On is full of over the top fun characters. The Hula Maidens are a group of senior citizens who are dancing the hula dances at the Tiki Goddess Bar for free. They don't dance very well but have fun doing it.

    A Tiki Goddess Mystery Series

    They get into a lot of trouble and mischief. Em Johnson has been divorced and broke when the Hula Maidens had a fund raiser and paid for her airline ticket over to help her run the Tiki Goddess for her Uncle louie Marshall who was having problems with his finances. She is bringing new ideas to the bar that is bringing more business in. While everyone is in the bar someone put a dead body in the luau pit. It was their neighbor who has argued with Louis for 40 years.

    He is not a likeable character He burns a lot of trash and the smoke really bothers the bar. Especially when it is the Luau night. Sophie Chin one of the bartenders went over that morning and had a fight with him. She was late for work that day and became a suspect. She was living in her car when Em had hired her. Em did not ask about her background or call referrals at all. Em is asking questions in the wrong area and is kidnapped by someone. Detective Roland is the one in charge of the murder investigation. He is good looking and on the side he dances with fire knifes on the side.

    He flirts with Em. I want to see more of them together in future He is always trying to get the Maidens to stop crazy stunts and asking Questions. Their is also a parrot called David Letterman that predicts if a drink Louie makes up will be a success or failure. He brings more laughter to the story but I don't think serving drinks to critters is smart idea. I do enjoy this series of books. They are pretty clean. Lot of the story takes place in the bar.

    Has good suspense and mystery. Has murder, kidnapping, even a car chase in it with the hula Maidens doing the chasing. Just needs a little more romance. I have now read two of the books and look forward to reading Two to Mango next in the series.

    Mai Tai One On

    There is just one thing keeping this from being a five star read and it was a sudden jump that jolted my smooth reading pace. It made me say, "What the heck?


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    Sorry, I won't tell you more than that because I really try to avoid spoilers in my reviews. This was a great cozy mystery! Add in the North Avenue Irregulars or the Golden Girls, a crazy parrot, aging mix-ologist, a girl with a sketchy past, Mango and his life partner, Kauai, and flaming swords and how could you not have fun. Seriously, I love the Hawaiian islands so the setting for the series is perfect for me. Not to mention the tropical drinks made by Uncle Louie a the Tiki Goddess. So glad the author added in recipes for some of the drinks mentioned.

    The main character Em is not a native, but she is strong and confident and compassionate. She is redirecting her life after a messy divorce and helping her Uncle Louie put the Tiki Goddess back in the black. Things are going well until disaster strikes and she and her friends go about trying to solve the case since the local detective seems to be focusing his investigation on the wrong person. Yep, he moonlights as a fire dancer. If you like mysteries that are not gory then this series is for you.

    I'm adding the next two to my "to be read" list and have signed up for the newsletter. I do hope that the author continues to do in-depth research on Hawaii, its people, culture, traditions, and language.