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Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery With Recipes


Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery With Recipes

The flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing and the festivities are underway in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Summertime has arrived, and so has the Beeseman-Herman family reunion. And who better to provide some tasty treats to the families than Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar bakery?

Since several of Hannah’s close friends and family members are involved in this reunion, it’s only natural that she is hard at work in her kitchen providing sustenance for the families gathered to enjoy the festivities. One of the specialties of the day is her famous carrot cake. The dessert loses some of its appeal, however, when Uncle Gus is found dead with two pieces of it by his side.

As Gus is the uncle of her business partner, Lisa, and the brother of close friend Marge Beeseman, Hannah feels compelled to solve the murder of the man who has just returned to the fold after a 30-year absence. Where had Gus been? Why did he return now? What did he want? These are questions that only time will answer.

Although Gus returned flashing expensive jewelry and wearing even more expensive clothes, something doesn’t add up about the man who fled town in the middle of the night three decades ago. There is no lack of suspects in this murder, so it would be easier to figure out who didn’t want him dead than to track down who did.

Hannah has her hands full as she works hard to come up with one tidbit after another, soothe the ruffled feathers of her temperamental cat, Moishe, and solve this mystery on a bare minimum of sleep. She also continues to be torn between two men of interest in her personal life: Norman the dentist and Mike the detective, both of whom want Hannah all to themselves.

Hannah doesn’t have a lot of time to dither about which man she prefers, however, because it looks like Grandpa Jack may be blamed for Gus’s murder due to his advancing Alzheimer’s and a long-lasting grudge against the deceased. Hannah feels sure that Grandpa Jack isn’t the one who did this dirty deed, so she must do everything in her power to keep an innocent man out of jail and a murderer from going free.

CARROT CAKE MURDER is every bit as fun and entertaining as the previous nine Hannah Swensen mysteries. It’s almost like having your own family reunion when you get to catch up on what’s going on in Hannah’s life and visit with her mother, two sisters and close friends. There is just something so inviting about the town of Lake Eden and its residents that you’ll want to pull up a chair and sit a spell!

The plethora of tasty recipes included in each installment doesn’t hurt either! In this one you’ll find such treats as Viking Cookies, Hannah’s Special Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cocoa Fudge Cake, Rocky Road Bar Cookies and 17 others for a total of 21 concoctions to urge you into your kitchen. The mere mention of Norman’s special egg salad had me stirring up a batch of my own before I could even finish the book. I would warn everyone against reading CARROT CAKE MURDER on an empty stomach!

Reviewed by Amie Taylor on December 26, 2010

Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery With Recipes
by Joanne Fluke

  • Publication Date: March 1, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • ISBN-10: 0758210205
  • ISBN-13: 9780758210203