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Iced in Paradise: A Leilani Santiago Hawai'i Mystery

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Leilani Santiago is back in her birthplace, the Hawaiian island of Kauai, to help keep afloat the family business, a shave ice shack. When she goes to work one morning, she stumbles across a dead body, a young pro surfer who was being coached by her estranged father. As her father soon becomes the No. 1 murder suspect, Leilani must find the real killer and somehow ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Prospect Park Books
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  137 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Edgar Award winning author, Naomi Hirahara, sets her new series in Hawai'i, the spelling she uses in the first book. It takes a little time to adjust to the language usage; the Pidgin, Hawaiian, and Japanese words and sentence structure in Iced in Paradise. Fortunately, Hirahara provides a glossary because I found myself checking words frequently while I read the mystery.

After five years in Seattle, Leilani Santiago returns home to Waimea on the island of Kaua'i in Hawai'i. Leilani's mother has
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This new series by an accomplished mystery writer hits all my happy buttons: Hawaii, surf culture, pidgin, shave ice, a complicated protagonist, and a solid mystery story. Yes, I'm the publisher, so yes, I'm biased, but I published this book for a reason: It's terrific.
Sarah Booth
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Interesting story of a family in Hawaii, surfing, and murder.
This is a well written story about Leilani, a 20 something girl trying to help her family and figure out what to do with her life. Her father brings home a pro surfer guy with him when hes finally back in town but the guy ends up dead on the floor of the family Shave ice shack. Her dad is of course the prime subject. As if this wasnt trying enough the relationship shes had with her dad has always been difficult and this just
Jamie Canaves
Hawaii Mystery (TW addiction/ sick parent/ past stalking incident mentioned)

This was so good and I really hope there is a lot more to come. Leilani Santiago moves back to Hawaii, after living in San Francisco for years, to help out her family. Shes working in their shave ice shack and mostly trying to figure out where she wants to be and what exactly she wants to be doing. The what gets answered for her when her dad, who she has a difficult relationship with, is accused of murdering the man
Alyssa Vea
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I cannot even put into words how much I loved this book. The fact that it was set on my side (west side is the best side) of my home island (Kauaʻi 💜) is amazing. The accuracy on all things Kauaʻi were accurate, and I loved that! The food, omg.... The mention of all the local food in this book definitely made me a little more homesick lol! The language in this book was absolute perfection, and I miss hearing our accents everywhere. It was awesome that I already knew what every ...more
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I haven't fully jumped into cozy mysteries the way some readers have, but I wasn't going to miss Naomi Hirahara's ICED IN PARADISE.

Set on Kaua'i, it features a Filipino-Japanese protagonist who comes home to Kaua'i after going to UW on the Mainland. The big draw for me was that it takes readers to the real Hawaii, away from the resorts. And if you read closely, you can ID a spot or two from real life.

Just as with her Mas Arai mysteries, Hirahara creates vivid characters that are so familiar they
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this - written in dialect with good descriptive details ( though not accurate in a travel guide manner). Love to read another by this author. ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Leilani Santiago has returned home to Kaua'i, to assist with the family's shave ice stand in the wake of her mother's MS diagnosis. Her father is an aging surfer, now hawking a surf based clothing line and mentoring other young surfers on the circuit. When star surfer Luke's arrival to the small island quickly turns into murder, Leilani, headstrong and with strong family ties, wants to help her father out, as he is the number one suspect This was a well paced mystery. The setting was described ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
[BR Read Harder 2020]

I *loved* this book. I just fell into it, reading it in paper (versus listening). As of late, reading paper has been bothersome (need new glasses??) but this book just made me stay up, squinting without glasses, to read read read. I love the voice of the protagonist, the cultural discussions and dilemmas, and the location (Kaua'i) since it is the only place in Hawai'i that I have been too and I sense/felt the cultural division there when visiting so in short, I could relate.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
The best thing about this book is its setting on Kauai, in particular when Leilani goes hiking with her boyfriend up Waimea Canyon. However, the structure of the book (like the title) is deplorable. Other than Leilani, the characters are just thrust in with little in the way of introduction. The plot does have some interesting threads, all of which are left hanging in the end. The solution to the murder mystery seems almost random. For an author who has produced a well- written police series, it ...more
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed Iced in Paradise, the first book in Naomi Hirahara's new series, A Leilani Santiago Hawai'i Mystery. The story is set in Kaua'i.
The main character, Leilani, her immediate and extended family, friends and acquaintances reflect the diversity of Hawaiians.
As with other books I've read by Hirahara, her research is used to lend authenticity and depth to the characters as well as the locale and its history. Additionally, she uses language-Pidgin, Hawaiian and Japanese to enhance the
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Leilani Santiago, a hapa haole-Japanese-Filipino native of Kauai, returns to her home in Waimea after five years in Seattle to help run the familys shave ice business. When she discovers her fathers protege, a popular and talented pro surfer, murdered in their shop, she works to prove her fathers not a killer.

A feisty heroine, authentic family relationships, realistic contemporary Hawaiian land conflicts and an easy smattering of Hawaiian, Japanese, Filipino and pidgin words and phrases make
Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was a quick, easy read. Set in Hawaii, family is at the center of it all here. Our sleuths family and the victims family, past families in Hawaii. The mystery is interesting and takes us on a journey around the island.
I had a hard time getting into the book at first, mostly because of the dialect. Then I discovered there was a glossary at the back of the book (should have been at the front) and that helped a lot. I was surprised that the author isnt Hawaiian, based on how the local dialect
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Iced" was well written and a lot of fun! Perhaps I'd give three stars in terms of overall plot and style, but the local flavor of Kaua'i gives it a fourth star. It really grew on me the further it went along. Leilani and her family and other characters were a lot of fun and I developed a real liking for them. But, Aisus! how many times dis book gone tell me how wrong "shaved" ice is to say! I grew up in Hawai'i and surely said it that way as much as not.
Lynn Lerch
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book made me homesick. I haven't been home since I was 12 and now am 77. I still remember it like yesterday. The description of Santiaho's shave ice shack and the Santiago's home reminds me of the old Kanehole and Kailua on Oahu that I lived in. I hope there will be another book with Leilani and Shaun. After all he has a Nazi to catch.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one for its inside views of mixed-culture family life and island life in Hawaii--Japanese Filipino native Hawaiian haole and what it is really like living there. And cool shave ice varieties! The whodunit was a surprise! The glossaries were welcome. The story was engaging--just all around a mini-vacation into another world. ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-harder
I enjoyed this mystery, which reads more like a cozy mystery with a lot of personal life thrown in and the main character, Leilani, is an amateur detective. Reading pidgin kinda threw me a bit as I'm just not used to it, even though I spent most of my life in Hawai'i!

Not bad start to a new series. I am looking forward to more.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great cast of characters featuring a mixed nationality family, a great setting on coastal Kauai, a very solid mystery with a believable reason why main character Leilani got embroiled in finding the solution-, this was a really solid enjoyable read.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Considering I read this in a single flight, it was fine. It just wasnt anything spectacular. Honestly, I know I wouldnt have stuck with it had I not been trapped on a flight reading it, but it was a mini mental vaca I suppose. ...more
F.T. Bradley
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A new favorite cozy mystery series for me (I hope there will be more). Great characters, vivid setting, and a solid mystery.

Loved this book.
Jun 28, 2019 marked it as to-read
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at ALA Annual 2019.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book took me right back to my happy place!🌺💛🐠
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The shave ice theme is funny, and the local language isn't too jarring. I lacked patience with a tech billionaire being the hero. Not bad.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Never quite finished. In Hawaii so I thought a contemporary book with Hawaii would be a good choice. Nope! Poorly written and not what I was looking for.
Stephanie Tanton
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The setting in Kauai brought back memories of my vacation there. It was good to get a flavor for the culture and slang.
Always enjoy Naomis writing and I look forward to her next adventure.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-harder-2020
#ReadHarder2020 Task #3: Mystery Where the Victim(s) is Not a Woman

I was excited for this ReadHarder task, as I actually really love mysteries, but tend to be put off from the genre due to the focus on lurid violence against women. I figured why not start with something with an actual female protagonist, focusing on a culture that I've always been interested in but didn't know that much about? Iced in Paradise did not for one second disappoint. The author's attention to detail with regard to
Margaret Clark
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pasadena, Seattle, Waimea...places Ive lived, too!

I really loved the Mas books. Living on Kauai, it was fun to read this newest book, since it was easy to visualize places.
rated it really liked it
Dec 03, 2019
Catherine Stover
rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2020
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Naomi Hirahara writes stories in the form of mystery novels, noir story stories, middle-grade fiction, historical nonfiction and personal essay. The third in her Mas Arai mystery series, SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN, won an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Paperback Original. The first, SUMMER OF THE BIG BACHI, will be published in France in 2015 as LA MALEDICTION D'UN JARDINIER KIBEI. The first in her ...more

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