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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.
Hannah's life is very full. Not only is she juggling the demands of running The Cookie Jar, but her brother-in-law is running for sheriff in a very tight race and she's trying to organize the recipes for the Lake Eden cookbook. One night, as she's taking the trash out after her potluck cooking class (a convenient way to test all the recipes to make sure they're right before the book goes to print), she finds the body of Sheriff Grant in the dumpster. Now Bill is suspended from work because he's a suspect, and Hannah must clear him by finding the killer before he drives the very pregnant Andrea crazy cleaning out their house. This also adds major complications to Hannah's relationship with Bill's partner Mike. Meanwhile, her mother is acting strangely, and she needs to get her cat to eat his senior cat food. And she's searching for the missing ingredient in Mrs. Koester's fudge cupcake recipe so it can make the book. Can Hannah juggle all these competing demands? Needless to say, there's never a dull moment in this book. There are a few times when the murder investigation seems to stall briefly, but the other sub-plots take up the slack. Frankly, I hardly noticed because there is so much else happening. The mystery does progress well, with an ending I figured out a little before Hannah, but not by much. All the characters we've come to love are back, and it's definitely a wonderful visit with old friends. This book contains 10 delicious sounding recipes. (A word about the title recipe. The first edition contains an error. It should read 1 1/2 teaspoons baking POWDER not baking soda. This will be fixed in all future editions.) Is it possible to get the warm fuzzies from a murder mystery? If so, this is the series to do it. If you like your murder served cozy, look no further then this fun series.
Hannah Swenson, owner of the Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota is having a couple of problems. First there's the sheriff's race, where Bill, her sister Andrea's husband is running against Sheriff Grant. Secondly, she's attempting to put together a cookbook filled with Lake Eden's favorite Potluck dishes. And the late Mrs. Koester's fudge cupcakes are proving a problem. Beatrice Koester's very anxious to have the cupcake in the cookbook, for her husband Ted's sake. He & mom were very close. Unfortunately, the recipe includes 1/2 cup of secret ingredient. It's up to Hannah and her partner Lisa to try and find out what that ingredient is. So it trial and error as they bake and bake. Hannah's first batch is taking to the Potluck Cooking class that she's teaching at the local community college. (They're testing all the recipes.) Sheriff Grant is at the college, and Hannah gives him a couple of cupcakes to try out. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to give a review as when she's putting out the trash, Hannah finds the Sheriff's body in the dumpster. Who'd want the sheriff dead? Did it have anything to do with the election? What about his son's death in a car accident a couple years ago? Or maybe it was the "big case" he always found and solved just before elections. Things get even worse, when Bill is taken off duty by acting Sheriff Mike Kingston,(Hannah's Boyfriend), as a possible suspect. Hannah and Andrea have to work hard to find who the killer is, before Bill gets arrested. Highlights: Hannah's relationship with her two boyfriends, Mike the Cop and Norman the Dentist. Both great guys, and it's unusual for there to be two boyfriends in a series. Family and Friends.Read more ›
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The other reviewers have given a good "recipe" of the plot so I won't do the same. Hannah Swenson can be entertaining and I've copied down some good recipes. But for someone who is supposed to be smart, Hannah Swenson can be incredibly stupid. She locates the murder weapon, a tire iron, is left alone with it for an apparently lengthy period of time while waiting for the murderer to return (knowing he's the murderer), but instead of putting it in her vehicle and taking off, she tries to buy it from the murderer. When the murderer realizes he's been outed, she runs off into the salvage yard with--not her car keys--but a bag of cupcakes.
Then, while hiding in a junk car, listening for the sound of footsteps on gravel to indicate the approach of the murderer, she somehow misses the sound of heavy equipment approaching. It's ridiculous that someone can miss the sound of car moving equipment and then be completely stunned when the car mover scoops up the car in which she's hiding. Had she stumbled across a tree root, it would have been a perfect rendition of the incredibly dumb girl in horror movies that everyone in the audience yells at not to be so dumb.
Then, when Mike the handsome cop arrives and stands immediately below her elevated hiding place, he somehow misses the leather jacket that floats down from above (which Hannah tossed down to get his attention), gets hit in the head with a fudge cupcake but doesn't look up and only becomes suspicious that something is afoot when he gets bonked with a second cupcake. Honestly! How dumb and blind can one supposedly brilliant cop be?
And Hannah's approach to romance needs serious work.Read more ›