Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book Review: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

This book was recommended to me by my mother.  When I discovered the first book in the series was available in audio format, I snatched it up. I know you can pick up any of these Hannah Swensen mysteries and read them out of order, but something always makes me want to start at the beginning.

In Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, we are introduced to the likeable sleuth, Hannah Swensen.  She is an independent woman who runs a local cookie shop in the small town of Lake Eden, Minnesota. Her brother-in-law is trying to earn the position of detective, so Hannah agrees to help him ferret out the killer of a local milk delivery man.  In the midst of her sleuthing, she must also fight off the dating schemes of her over-zealous mother, who is desperate to get her married off.

This was a light-hearted, well-done mystery.  The narrator repeatedly rehashes the clues as they add up, so that the reader feels like they are solving the mystery right alongside Hannah. There are the typical red herrings and a wide cast of possible suspects.  The pacing was perfect.

Best of all, the book includes seven interesting cookie recipes, complete with instructions for why you should do certain steps in the procedures.  Since I listened to the book in audio form, I doubt I will ever attempt to make any of the cookies she mentioned, but perhaps in one of the future books by Joanne Fluke, I'll select it in book form specifically so I can have the recipes to copy down.  I'm better at baking than cooking, so the recipes in her books have added appeal.  This was a delightful little book, or as one Amazon reviewer put it, this was a "sweet mystery."

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