Aloha, Candy Hearts Paperback – Apr 1 2004
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Bidulka touches on a variety of serious issues ... while neatly weaving these strands into an engaging mystery. -- Quill & Quire
About the Author
Anthony Bidulka is an award-winning writer who, like his protagonist, lives a big life in a small city on the Canadian Prairies. He also loves to travel the world—meeting people, sampling local foods, walking sun-drenched streets, making good use of swim-up bars, and being awed. Please visit his website at www.anthony bidulka.com. This is the sixth book in his Russell Quant mystery series.
Top Customer Reviews
Set mainly in Saskatoon, Aloha, Candy Hearts jumps throughout the city and it's history deeper than any has before. As well, the book expands on Russell's romantic life, says a final goodbye to a previous character and introduces a few more memorable ones. The series keeps getting better as it goes on. The ending was something straight out of Hollywood, and I don't mean that in a cliched or bad way. I had a lump in my throat as I read the final page and any book that can do that to you, is worth keeping.
In Aloha, Candy Hearts, detective Russell Quant is proposed to on the first page. This has to be one of the most unexpected ways to begin a crime novel. But as usual with this long-running series, Bidulka is here to tell us that his tales are not like anyone elses. And thank goodness for that.
The mystery doesn't take long to get rolling, beginning with a brutal murder of a sweet old man, involving a famous writer, an archivist, a long-dead Olympic hero, and seven dogs hilariously named after the Sound of Music children.
Bidulka continues to write at top form. Sit back and take in a hot summer afternoon with Aloha, Candy Hearts. You won't regret it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is the first time I've ever actually reviewed a book on Amazon. And as it turns out, I'm a fundamentally lazy reviewer... I figure you'll be able to get an idea of the plot from the synopsis above. In a nutshell what I'd like to say about ALOHA, CANDY HEARTS is that (1) it was great to spend some time with Russell again, (2) it was great to spend some time with the fantastically-rendered cast of secondary characters, (3) it was great to spend some time back in Saskatoon, and (4) I look forward to how the series develops based on the intensely-personal decision Russell is required to make in this installment. What more can I say? This book is worth every cent I paid for it.
I don't just think Russell Quant is a fantastic representation of gay detectives, I think he's one of the most interesting, affecting, and approachable literary characters I've read in a while. This is an exceptional series; and ALOHA, CANDY HEARTS is an excellent addition.
One of the more curious mystery titles I was suggested, was the first Russell Quant book, Amuse Bouche. I've now just finished devouring the sixth in this adorable and endearing series, Aloha, Candy Hearts. I stretched out the final pages as long as I could, feeling a bit heart sick. Not only from the deeply rewarding, heartbreaking yet still uplifting ending, but because I knew the story of detective Russell Quant, his family and friends in charming Saskatoon, and rich adventures around the world would come to an end too. At least until the next book, which I dearly hope comes out soon.
Do not be fooled. I urge you literary snobs, pick up a mystery or romance or fantasy novel, you may be surprised at what you find, and the joy it will bring you.
I didn't find much in the novel itself but his introduction reads like a personal diary: "Waikiki Shore with its perfect slice of Waikiki Beach and view of Friday night fireworks...The people of Hawaii are known throughout the world for their spirit of Aloha. This spirit can only be described as an inner warmth: a feeling of love, respect, and hospitality."
Aloha, Candy Hearts has this warmth and spirit of Aloha. I also loved the Candy Hearts part. It told me that I should expect to read a delightful romance and in that respect I wasn't disappointed. This is how Bidulka begins his novel:
"Russell Quant, will you marry me?"
The answer to this catchy question comes only at the end through twists and turns. Anybody who has ever pined over someone will appreciate this romantic sub plot. And for those who didn't already know, like me, Bidulka gives the reader insight into the tender romance between gay men.
In his acknowledgement pages Bidulka explains how he got the concept of the novel, thanks a whole bunch of people including his "cool" mom and Neil Plakcy creator of the Hawaiian mystery series. In Aloha, Candy Hearts Russell Quant meets Plakcy's detective Kimo Kanapa'aka. I thought that was pretty hip.
Russell Quant is a fun character and has a set of endearing sideline friends. A bit like Friends but with a mystery twist.
Bidulka mixes mystery with contemporary literature. I was just as interested in reading about Quant's relationships with his mother and sister as I was with the solving of the crime.
Something else that's interesting and places this book a notch above are the clues that Quant needs to solve. A map with five verses. Bidulka's talent with riddles shines here.
There are also dogs, career instabilities and grief.
Anthony Bidulka writes well and is a good storyteller.
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