Welcome! Death by Dog Show by Arlene Kay comes out on March 5 with A Tender Hope by Amanda Cabot. Hearts in Harmony by Beth Wiseman will publish on March 12. The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner releases on March 19 along with Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins (this one looks good). The Brides of Big Valley by Wanda E. Brunstetter (with Jean and Richelle Brunstetter) comes out on June 1. A little something for everyone.
Chocolate Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke is the twenty-fourth A Hannah Swensen Mystery. Hannah Swenson is still reeling from the fact that her new husband, Ross is married to another woman. She is lucky to have such loving, supportive friends and family. Actually, the whole town has rallied behind her with several people threatening to harm Ross if he steps foot in town. Unfortunately, it looks like Ross will be visiting Lake Eden soon for the Minnesota Movie Festival with interviews being conducted at The Cookie Jar. After a severe blizzard that left Hannah stranded at home, she is happy to be back at The Cookie Jar. She is preparing to bake her mouthwatering cookies when there is a knock at the backdoor. Ross has snuck into town and wants the money he left behind for Hannah along with a key. Hannah soon learns how little she really knew the man she married as she fights to get answers and to stay alive.
I have been anxiously waiting for Chocolate Cream Pie Murder because I wanted answers about Ross. I never understood why the author took the series in this direction (probably so she would not have to pick between Mike or Norman). Chocolate Cream Pie Murder reminded me of cool whip—light and fluffy. There is mystery and intrigue mixed with baking, eating, drinking coffee, time with Moishe and Cuddles, friendship, family, and chatting. I wanted fewer recipes and more substance. At the end of the book, I was still left many unanswered questions about Ross. I will admit, though, that Chocolate Cream Pie Murder was an improvement over the previous books in the series where Hannah veered off course courtesy of the persuasive Ross. I found the story easy to read with the author’s conversational writing style and engaging characters. Lake Eden has friendly residents and charming shops. Chocolate Cream Pie Murder can easily be finished in a couple of hours. I do not recommend reading Chocolate Cream Pie Murder on its own. You do not have to read all the books in the series, but it helps to have read the last four or five (the Ross saga). The mystery is extremely simple. It was obvious who would be killed and who did the killing plus what a key clue would be to solving the mystery. The murder does not occur until very late in the book. The dialogue, unfortunately, continues to be stilted. Joanne Fluke leaves us with a surprise ending and we will have to wait until the next A Hannah Swensen Mystery for answers (once again). I am giving Chocolate Cream Pie Murder 3 out of 5 stars.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is the first book in A Hannah Swensen Mystery series. Thank you for reading my review. I plan on featuring The Reconciliation by Susan Lantz Simpson tomorrow. I am off to pay bill and order a new supply of my Russell Stover chocolates (pecan and English walnut with milk chocolate). Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader