Joanne Fluke books

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder--Hannah Swenson is a cook and the self-employed owner of the The Cookie Jar. She is also her mother's number one project. Her mother desperately wants this daughter married. Hannah prefers life as it is, with her roomie Moishe (a cat).

Hannah winds up first on the scene at a murder. Between solving the murder and creating new recipes, she has her hands full. But she still has to deal with two men now in her life. One is courtesy of her mother, and the other is a new detective in town.

I'm not into murder mysteries or cooking, but this is a fun series. Even the recipes are simple enough for me to try. I enjoyed reading it enough to get more of the series. It has 7 original cookie recipes within book too.

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder--Norman, one of Hannah's boyfriends, just bought a house. He plans on tearing it down to build the dream home they created for a contest. Norman lets Hannah and her mother go through the house, looking for antiques before they tear down. They find a lot of good stuff, plus the previous owner's body! To add to the confusion, money from an old bank robbery starts showing up around town. Is it related to the murder or not?

The tension builds up quite well. It's leavened with Hannah's worries about what her two boyfriends are up to. It switches back and forth between the detective work on the murder, and the worrying of a woman who's afraid of being asked to get married, adding to the fun. There are 9 original recipes, including a pie and a pancake one. Delicious!

Fudge Cupcake Murder--The sheriff's election is the going game in town. Sheriff Grant has been in charge for a very long time. This year he has competition, Bill. Bill is also Hannah's brother-in-law. Grant has a mean streak and doesn't take that well, especially when Bill pulls ahead in the polls.

Grant ends up murdered and Bill is the number one suspect. Hannah starts looking for others, and finds a whole lot more than anyone guessed. There aren't many people who didn't want rid of him. He treated his grandchild and her mother like scum. His wife was furious that her grandchild had to live in poverty because of him.

Some of the other policemen also had reason to hate him. During election years, he always made a big bust to ensure his election. He got the bust by stealing cases from his deputies and claiming them as his own.

This one is very involved. There are so many suspects it takes a lot ingenuity to find the real killer. These books just get better and better. 10 original recipes.

Sugar Cookie Murder--This one is a real soap opera. Everybody's at the annual Christmas buffet for the final testing of recipes. Martin Dubinski is bringing his new wife. Unfortunately, his ex-wife is also going to be there. His secretary, who is also in love with him, is also there.

The ex-wife has been wearing an old coat for three years cause she can't afford a new one. The new wife has a $20,000 new coat of fur. When the new wife is found with a sharp desert knife in her chest, the party gets a little 'dead.' Worse, there's a blizzard going on, trapping them all at the buffet.

The story itself is very short, compared to the size of the book. But it still packs a LOT of detective work inside that story. It's very interesting following the trail with her. There are over 100 original recipes, ranging from appetizers to pies. Even if you don't care for the story, this is a keeper for all the delicious recipes!

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