Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
2011, Kensington
Series: Book 1 of Hannah Swenson

Synopsis: Hannah Swenson already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother's attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden, Minnesota's most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah's famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can't get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer.

Who would have the sheer audacity and the motive to kill the most punctual delivery man Hannah ever had? Topping the list is the high school football coach. What exactly was his wife doing, making the rounds with the milkman? Could Max Turner, owner of Cozy Cow Dairy, have had a secret he didn't want to share with his top employee? The more Hannah snoops, the more suspects turn up. Why has Lake Eden's most prominent prodigal son, Benton Woodley, just resurfaced? And what about the mysterious Mr. Harris who seemed interested in buying the property next to the dairy, but then disappeared? This is one murder that's starting to leave a very bad taste in Hannah's mouth. And if she doesn't watch her back, Hannah's sweet life may get burned to a crisp.

Why read: I love Diane Mott Davidson's culinary mystery series and wanted to check out more foodie cozies.

What impressed me: Mmm, cookies! I'm not much of a baker, but I do enjoy a good bakery. The Cookie Jar is a great setting for much of the discussion in the book and lends a lot of atmosphere to what would normally be straight dialogue. Hannah is a fun character and I loved the relationship potential between her and Mike. The mystery was great and I didn't figure it out until the very end.

What disappointed me: Hannah may be fun, but she's also sort of involved way beyond what she should have been, much like every cozy mystery sleuth. And I have very little faith in a police department where an officer would recruit her help, even unofficially. I get that Bill really needed the promotion, but why would he think Hannah was the right person to ask for help in any reality?

Recommended: Culinary cozy lovers will really enjoy Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

Continue series: Eventually. I definitely liked it enough to try another book or two.

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