Hannah and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all the goodies for the town’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say “Bah, humbug!” the actress playing Mrs. Claus exits stage left for good. As murder suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays...
Christmas Dessert Murder by Joanne Fluke contains Christmas Caramel Murder (Book 20) and Christmas Cake Murder (Book 23). These are not new Hannah Swensen tales but reprints. While I wish they were new stories, I still enjoyed reading these two holiday tales. All our favorite characters are back: Hannah, Delores, Michelle, Mike, Norman, Andrea, and Lisa. The stories move along at a quick pace. The are lighthearted stories with plenty of cozy moments. Hannah spends time baking (of course), cooking, eating, and with her friends and family. There are plenty of recipes for readers to try as well. I thought it was amusing that in Christmas Caramel Murder, Hannah is visited by her father who acts as the ghosts of past, present, and future. In Christmas Caramel Murder, Hannah is telling the story to Ross while they enjoy dessert at the Lake Eden Inn. Christmas Cake Murder takes us back to when Hannah was in college and her father had recently passed away. Hannah is worried about her mother who has not been the same since Lars passed away. Recreating the Christmas Ball for Essie gets Delores up and out of the house. Hannah is enlisted to make the cakes for the cake parade at the ball. I liked that we get to learn more about the Swensen women as well as Lisa. There is a story within a story in this book. Hannah reads Essie’s notebooks which contains a story she was writing. I liked this tale. The mystery was simple but interesting. I did find the dialogue to be off. It was awkward at times. I do wish that the recipes were put at the end of the book instead of between the chapters. They interrupt the flow of the story. It was great to visit Lake Eden, Minnesota so I could check in with Hannah and the gang. There are mouthwatering recipes that will have you heading to the kitchen for a bake-a-thon. Christmas Dessert Murder contains two A Hannah Swensen Mysteries that will get you in the mood for the holidays.
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