Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Christmas Dessert Murder

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Christmas Dessert Murder (2021) Joanne Fluke (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Christmas Dessert MurderThis is actually two novellas:

“Christmas Caramel Murder” (2016)
“Christmas Cake Murder” (2018)

The first story is Hannah (the main character) telling a friend with whom she is out to dinner, the story of a murder she get involved in the previous winter.

The second story is set further back in time. Her father has recently died, so she has returned home–at loose ends–and his helping her mother while trying to decide what to do with her life.

Hannah is a young woman who owns a local bakery, and somehow repeatedly ends up involved in murder investigations.

I liked how the stories gently poked fun at themselves.

Life in Lake Eden was very good if you didn’t consider the murder rate.

And I liked that Hannah and her mother and sisters were close. Admittedly at times it felt a little too close, but in the first story they were dealing with the grief of losing Hannah’s father.

The second story had a story within a story, which I’d pretty quickly figured out what was happening. It also has Hannah making the decision to open a bakery instead of returning to graduate school.

Both were interesting, but the second story meandered a lot more, and I did a fair bit of skimming.

I read this because I hadn’t read one of her mysteries before, and for me, short stories and novellas are a good way for me to dip my toe in to see how I feel about the author’s writing and the characters.

Despite not loving the second story, I think I will read another, because both stories stood on their own, and being holiday stories, I don’t always except them to be as good as “regular” stories.

The recipes were interesting, but I’m not sure if I’d make any of them so far.

Publisher: Kensington Cozies
Rating: 6.5/10

Categories: Cozy, eBook, Female, Food, Mystery, Novella


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