Blueberry Muffin Murder

Well I’m very encouraged by the fact that I got my very first comment yesterday so I’m going to tell you about Joanne Fluke’s third Hannah Swenson mystery which is the ‘Blueberry Muffin Murder’.

Synopsis provided on the book:
Preparations are underway for Lake Eden, Minnesota’s annual Winter Carnival – and Hannah Swensen is set to bake up a storm at her popular shop, The Cookie Jar. Too bad the honour of creating the official Winter Carnival cake went to famous lifestyle maven Connie Mac – a half-baked idea, in Hannah’s opinion. She suspects Connie Mac is a lot like the confections she whips up on her cable TV cooking show – sweet, light, and scrumptious-looking, but likely to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.Hannah’s suspicions are confirmed when Connie Mac’s limo rolls into town. Turns out America’s ‘cooking sweetheart’ is a bossy, bad-tempered, and downright domineering. Things finally boil over when Hannah arrives at The Cookie Jar to find the Winter Carnival cake burnt to a crisp – and Connie Mac lying dead in her pantry, struck down while eating one of Hannah’s famous blueberry muffins.Next thing Hannah knows, the police have declared The Cookie Jar’s kitchen crime scene off-limits. She’s a baker without an oven – and the Carnival is right around the corner. Hannah’s only alternative is to cook up a plan to save her business – by finding the killer herself.

This latest installment of the Hannah Swenson series has 7 recipes in it for us to try, and they add to the fun.
The premise of this book is a corker, I absolutely love the set-up and the character Connie Mac is very well written, I really enjoyed her death :-), Fluke has done a super job with characters in this installment and I get the sense that she really enjoyed writing it, the prose flows and the descriptive passages really enable us to imagine the small town and its’ inhabitants.

Unfortunately, Fluke overtells, and the repetition is starting to grate a little bit, I still remember stuff from the first book, it was repeated in the second and we have it again in the third, most of the info isn’t even abridged. This really does need to stop because it makes me (I don’t know about you) feel that Fluke is neglecting her fans in the hope of an extra sale. In addition I’m a little bit bothered by the ending of this one, I prefer my detectives to work out who did it properly, with reasoning and logic rather than stumbling across the answer. It is not so much that Hannah comes across as stupid but more that she has been rather slow on the uptake. I think part of this is because whilst a person can think something in a flash, the reader has to read about that thought, a good author needs to compensate for this but I don’t feel Fluke entirely succeeded, consequently the ending is one of those frustrating ‘what is she doing?’ moments that I can do without. I hope this gets ironed out in the next installment and that Hannah gets to be a bit more Jessica Fletcher rather than floundering around relying on men. That said, I will be continuing with the series and the fun story and great prose make up for the flaws so I recommend ‘Blueberry Muffin Murder’ but I strongly advise against reading the series back to back, read something in between or the repetition will probably drive you nuts.

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