Plum Pudding Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery
By Dottie
Oct 11, 2009 - 4:52:50 PM

In Lake Eden, Minnesota, Hannah owns a cookie shop called The Cookie Jar with her partner Lisa and she seems to have a knack for finding dead bodies, much to her mother’s chagrin.  Between running the cookie shop and solving murders, her hands are full.  However, she finds time to date two men, stable, dependable Norman, a dentist, and exciting, flirtatious Mike, a police officer.  Though they both know she is dating both of them, they are fine with it as long as she doesn’t commit to just one of them.  As for making a commitment to one of them, she is confident about Norman staying faithful to her, but she is not so trusting of Mike.  Her mother and Norman’s mother are partners in an antique shop.  She has two sisters, Real Estate Agent Andrea, who is married to the police chief, has an adorable daughter Tracey and the other sister is Michele, who is going to college.

As Christmas Eve approaches, Hannah and Lisa are busy making extra cookies for some of the events around town, including the Crazy Elf Cookie Shop, part of the Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot.  Larry Jaeger and his fiancée Courtney, who owns fifty percent of the business, run it.  They are constantly running out of cookies so they have just increased their order from The Cookie Jar.  On the way home from dinner, Norman takes Hannah by the lot to pick up her check from Larry for the cookie order.  However, neither one is ready for what they find when they get there.  Larry is dead on the floor in a pool of blood and his large television has three holes in it.  The announcer for the game he was watching is still talking, but there is no picture on the television.  Mike is called in to investigate, but Hannah, who loves a mystery, is determined to find the killer herself.  Between investigating suspects, helping out at The Cookie Jar, finding out what is wrong with Norman’s mother, who is suddenly acting strange and trying to find a way to keep her cat Moishe out of the Christmas tree and away from the delicate ornaments that were passed down to her, she finds herself tired and missing sleep. As the clues come together, Hannah finds herself in danger.  Her sister Michele is singing in the Christmas Follies at the college on Christmas Eve, but if Hannah isn’t careful, she won’t be around to see her perform.


PLUM PUDDING MURDER, the latest book in Joanne Fluke’s HANNAH SWENSEN MURDER MYSTERY series, is an enjoyable, cozy mystery.  As Hannah draws in her family to help her investigate, she comes up with her own list of suspects and slowly clears them.  The townspeople know they can come to the Cookie Jar, not only for delicious cookies and coffee, but also for the latest gossip about the dead body that she found.  Her mother is constantly on her back for finding dead bodies and wants her to stop finding them.  Filled with humor, mystery, some romance, charming characters and delicious cookies, this book is a delight.  Like most cozy mysteries, there is not a lot of steam, but the reader will enjoy trying to uncover the killer.  The ending was a surprise and it takes some effort to reveal the culprit before the end. For readers who like cozy mysteries and enjoy many new recipes, PLUM PUDDING MURDER is the book for you.  This book contains many original Christmas recipes.

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