Thursday, April 23, 2020

Coconut Layer Cake Murder

This is the 25th installment of the Hannah Swensen mystery series by Joanne Fluke.   I really enjoy this series and I am caught up on the series after completing this book.  They are pleasant cozy mysteries set in Lake Eden, Minnesota.  Hannah runs a bakery and coffee shop with her business partner Lisa.  Lisa recounts all the stories of Hannah finding dead bodies.   In typical fashion, she gets mixed up in a murder, finds clues that allude the police, and ends up in a dangerous situation while solving the crime.  This series has been made into TV movies for Hallmark and Hannah is played by Alison Sweeney.  Also enjoyable to watch.

This series has recurring characters besides Hannah and there is an ongoing relationship triangle between her, Norman, and Mike.  Norman is the steady considerate type who is a dentist.  Mike on the other hand, causes Hannah to flutter when he comes around.  He is more the bad boy police detective with a past.  Problem is Hannah cannot make up her mind so she won't commit to either of the men, regardless of how hard they try to persuade her.  This is an ongoing relationship tension that has persisted throughout the series.   It is a given that at some point in the book Hannah will find herself seated between Mike and Norman at a dinner.   

In this particular book, Hannah is taking a much needed vacation in Southern California with her mother.  She is unexpectedly summoned home by her youngest sister, Michelle.  Apparently Michelle's boyfriend, police officer Lonnie, has inadvertently found himself a suspect in the murder of a high school friend of his.  Because he is Mike's partner, Mike is prohibited from working the case as is Lonnie's brother.  This means Hannah and her sisters and friends are left to do snooping while Mike sits on the sidelines.  In this case, Hannah actually has the blessings of Mike since he cannot be perceived to interfere in the investigation.  Thus, atypically, Hannah is running the investigation with little input from Mike and no objections.

This case has a bit more personal side stories and in depth detail than many of the books.  Of course it is full of recipes for both sweets and breakfast foods as are all of the books in this series.   All in all an enjoyable quick read despite the fact I felt the ending was a bit rushed to reach a solution to the case.

Coconut Layer Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #25)Coconut Layer Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another fun murder mystery with Hannah Swensen

Always fun to visit Lake Eden and this time we got an added bonus visit to sunny SoCal. Hannah's vacation was cut short when she had to rush home to clear Lonnie , her sister Michelle's boyfriend, of murder. The usual cast of characters helped Hannah solve the case. Following clues and leads led Hannah into a perilous situation as usual. My only complaint and why I have it a 3 was the ending felt rushed. The story was flowing along with good details character interaction but then suddenly the solution is just is just abruptly there. It felt a little unsatisfactory. Still all and all an enjoyable read

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge -  Book #37
  2. Literary Escapes-  MN
  3. Finishing the Series-  #FinishingTheSeries2020   up on the Hannah Swensen series  Apr 2020
  4. Cravings for a Cozy and Cloak and  Dagger #CloakDaggerChal : Book  #29; 13th cozy
  5. Cruising through cozies -  Free choice #3
  6. Calendar of Crime-  #CalendarOfCrime2020  February  #3 action takes place
  7. Medical Examiner-  1 Toe Tag 
  8. Mystery Bingo
    • Weapons card :  pillow
  9. Wizading World Tour  
    • Ilvermorny:  Food on the cover

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