Reviewed by Laura
I look forward to each Joanne Fluke book because even if they are predictable, the characters feel like family and I absolutely love the recipes at the end of the chapters. I have tried several of them and they are delicious and easy to follow. The perfect book for someone like me (and maybe you?) who loves cookbooks AND mysteries.
This book is the latest in a long series of books about Hannah Swenson who operates The Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota. So, lots of cookie recipes, which is awesome since I’m something of a Cookie Monster! In addition to being a baker, Hannah has an unfortunate knack for discovering dead bodies. She then works to solve the mystery with the help of her family and friends. Everyone in Lake Eden knows to come to Hannah when a murder occurs, much to the chagrin of the local police. Though it’s nice to have met the stock of characters before, it isn’t an absolute requirement to have read the previous offerings. (However, if you are as excited as me to be introduced to a new series you haven’t read, the first book was Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. Come by the library, when you can, and we’ll be happy to help you read the series in order.)
In this book, Hannah and her mother are called back from vacation in California to help Lonnie, her younger sister’s detective boyfriend, who is the only suspect in a recent murder case. Lonnie knew the victim and was, in fact, the last to see her alive. He had given her a ride home from the local bar and then passed out on her couch. Waking up in the morning to find her body in the bedroom, he has no idea what happened and no memory of the night before. Needless to say, Hannah has her work cut out for her. The only bright spot, if you look hard enough to find one, is that instead of reminding her to let the police do their work, she is encouraged and helped by her detective friends who are unable to take the case due to their relationship with Lonnie.
If you have read Ms. Flukes previous books, you know that there is a wide variety of interesting characters and you are probably firmly embedded in either Team Mike or Team Norman in the unusual love triangle throughout the series. Mike is an attractive police detective and Norman is a kind local dentist. Hannah has been hanging out with one or both throughout the series, except for one brief stint married to neither. I won’t divulge which side I’m on, but suffice it to say, Hannah is still waffling, thinking she isn’t in love with either of them, but depending on both. Jeez Louise, make up your mind already!
If you could use something light and easy to read during these difficult times, this just might be the book for you. It is certainly not the best in the series, but it is enjoyable and has the added benefit of those wonderful recipes! You might have to place a hold on this one, but TN READS has many of her other books available now, including Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. This may be the perfect time for you to give this series a try.