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Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries) Hardcover – March 1, 2009

220 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It was inevitable that Hannah Swensen’s sweet lifestyle was going to catch up with her. That time has come in this eleventh entertaining cozy featuring the cookie baker: she must go on a diet. Hannah starts working out at a health club and vows to stop tasting the scrumptious treats she prepares every day for the Cookie Jar bakery in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Stress mounts when Hannah discovers the body of a fitness instructor floating in her club’s Jacuzzi. The acerbic trainer was universally loathed by women and liked by most men (including the staff of the local police department) for her flirtatious ways. In a reversal of the usual procedure, this time one of Hannah’s boyfriends, Detective Mike Kingston, recruits her help in solving the mystery, as he and his fellow cops are potential suspects. Hannah and her other boyfriend, dentist Norman, go to work to solve the mystery with dubious and conflicting suggestions from all of the real detectives. As usual, Fluke intersperses delectable recipes and reveals plenty of new personal details about her eccentric and likable cast of characters. --Judy Coon

Review

"Foodie fans will eat up Fluke's cozy.... A fluffy mix of sweets and suspense." - Publishers Weekly "A tasty treat" - Kirkus Reviews" --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Hannah Swensen Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; First Edition edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758210221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758210227
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanne Fluke is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 20 novels. Like Hannah Swensen, she was born and raised in a small town in rural Minnesota, but now lives in sunny Southern California. She is currently working on her next Hannah Swensen mystery, "Double Fudge Brownie Murder" and readers are welcome to contact her at the following e-mail address, Gr8Clues@joannefluke.com, or by visiting her website at www.JoanneFluke.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Holly TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of this series since the beginning and have faithfully read each and every one of them as they are published. It's one of my favorites and I look forward to settling in with Hannah and her friends and family as well as having a mystery mixed in for good measure.

This one was different for me. The first 100 pages or so I was really enjoying the book. Definitely a "cozy" story since no murder had been committed yet. I was appreciating getting caught up with the characters from the previous novels and zipped right along. Around page 110 things started deteriorating. The mystery portion was introduced and I thought it was fairly weak. Lots of unrealistic situations occur to the point of spoiling it. All cozies have bits of reality that you have to ignore, but this one pushed it past acceptable. All of the police department's detectives are unable to work the case for some reason or another, so they decide to have a cookie shop owner run the police investigation? It's one thing for a mystery to revolve around a person sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong, its another thing to have us all swallow that four different police officers recruit an amateur and let her solve the mystery. A detective is brought in from the big city and even she lets Hannah take the lead and do all the investigation. Just too over the top for me.

By the time the last 100 pages came around, I was finding it hard to stay with the book. I wasn't motivated to finish other than out of loyalty to the series and a personal desire to finish every book I read.

I did like the Mike/Norman/Hannah situation and was glad to see some movement in that story line. I also got a real kick out of Moise (Hannah's cat) and the mystery of the disappearing food.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Hannah has two weeks to lose enough weight to fit into the dress that her mother bought her to wear for a book launch party. That means a strict diet and joining Heavenly Bodies, the new gym out at the mall. With Andrea cheering her on, Hannah might actually make her goal.

On the down side, membership at Heavenly Bodies means interacting even more with Ronni Ward. One of the instructors at the gym, Ronni has made enemies out of every woman in town with her constant flirting. Still, Hannah is shocked to find Ronni floating face down in the gym's Jacuzzi. To make matters worse, sometimes boyfriend Mike is a suspect in the case. Since Mike is suspended until things are resolved, he is becoming irritating. Can she solve the case before Mike drives her completely crazy?

Let's be honest, there are a couple of things in this series that are highly unrealistic. And this book does nothing to change that. Mike and other police officers are actually trying to run their investigation through Hannah. Realistic? No. But it does provide for some very funny scenes. As in Murder, She Wrote, I ignore it and move on. The Mike/Norman triangle certainly doesn't seem to be going anywhere either, although this book makes it very clear who she should chose.

Now that I've noted those items, I must confess I still enjoy these books. The cast of series regulars always makes me smile. This is another great visit with old friends. For that reason alone I will keep reading the series. The mystery could have been stronger earlier, but it still captured my interest and kept me guessing until the end. I count something in the neighborhood of 20 recipes that made my mouth water as I was reading.

Like the chocolate Hannah is always prescribing, this series is a cure for any problem. This is another light, fun read.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Pandy on April 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Joanne Fluke needs to just stop - her books are all exactly the same. I am so disappointed in how this series has turned out. Hannah doesn't act like a 30 year old, but like a celibate 50 year old. Not making up her mind about Mike or Norman is completely annoying and both men have ceased to be fleshed out characters and are now just caricatures.

After reading the last book and finding it dull, I decided to give her one more chance with this novel. I am now finished with this series. It doesn't go anywhere, it's boring, and it is completely unrealistic (even by cozy standards)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MissJeeves on February 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must say, I have read every single Hannah mystery up through this one, and I will not be continuing any further. There are several reasons why I've decided to stop reading. The plot has gotten old, and the details are dull. Not only is it an extremely easy read, written well below a high-school reading level, but Hannah is most certainly not an adult. Disney makes more risque characters.

For one, dating two men is fine, for a while. Eventually, one or both men would give up and move on after waiting as long as they did with such prude. That woman is not in her thirties! Unable to cope with a cell phone, or standard technology, operating a business without computers, and still driving a 1992 Suburban, nothing changes with her. Additionally, why is there no intimacy? There is no way a grown man in his thirties, let alone two, would wait several years with chaste kisses and nothing more. As you can see in this book, Mike doesn't, he gets what he needs from someone else. Besides, Norman builds her a house, no expense spared, when she'd never even spent an overnight with him? That's not sane. Throw some spice in and for goodness' sake, let her let loose! Has she even been drunk?

The thing is, I could, maybe, but not quite, understand if there were psuedo-religous grounds for acting like an old Christian spinster who looks down her nose at anyone not like her, and its getting worse.

Also, how many murders can a town that size really have? How many bodies can one woman find without becoming the main suspect herself?

As a cook, I find her non-pastry recipes horrific.
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