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Carrot Cake Murder [Hardcover]

Joanne Fluke

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Book Description

Feb. 26 2008 Hannah Swenson Mysteries With Recipes
Summertime has finally arrived in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar bakery, is looking forward to warm, lazy days, eating ice cream, and sharing picnics with friends. But when a family reunion takes a deadly turn, it's up to Hannah to find a killer...Between baking up a storm for The Cookie Jar and unravelling the mystery of her cat Moishe's recent strange behaviour, Hannah Swensen has a lot on her plate. But she'll always make time for her business partner, Lisa, who's in the midst of preparing for a big family reunion. Everyone is delighted when Lisa's long-lost uncle makes a surprise appearance. No one has heard from Gus in twenty-five years - and his arrival has everyone buzzing with excitement.Uncle Gus is immediately the hit of the reunion, telling tales of his great success and flashing money for all to see. He's almost as popular as Hannah's scrumptious carrot cake, which is also Gus' favourite dessert. But the next morning, as the whole family gathers for the group photo, one person is missing. Hannah offers to track down Uncle Gus, but her search leads to a shocking find. Over by the bar at the pavilion, she spots two slices of her infamous carrot cake, frosting-side down on the floor - and Gus' corpse with an ice pick jutting out of his chest!A little snooping reveals that not everyone was celebrating Gus' return. And when Hannah unearths more secrets from Gus' past, she discovers even more people with an axe to grind. Now Hannah's got to sift through a long list of suspects to find a killer - even if it could mean a recipe for her own demise...

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (Feb. 26 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758210205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758210203
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.8 x 3.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,146,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Filled with juicy scandal, delightfully eccentric characters and 21 tempting recipes from Cream Cheese Frosting to Lemon Fluff Jell-O, bestseller Fluke's 10th Hannah Swenson mystery (after 2007's Key Lime Pie Murder) centers on a family reunion that turns deadly. Hannah's friend Marge Beeseman is thrilled when her brother, Gus Klein, who disappeared from Lake Eden, Minn., more than 30 years earlier, unexpectedly arrives. At the big family party, everyone wonders how the elegant, well-dressed Gus heard about the reunion and why he came back. When Gus fails to show up for the group photo the next morning, Hannah finds his body on a pavilion floor—with ants crawling around pieces of her carrot cake nearby. Hannah's malcontented cat, Moishe, and flickers of romance with her devoted dentist and the no-less attentive local police chief add spice to the subsequent murder investigation. The ending will leave cozy fans gasping for breath. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Mm, mm, Fluke's fans can't wait for the next confection in the series to be served up."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  145 reviews
39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Staler than month-old cookies April 8 2008
By Smeddley - Published on
Oh, Hannah, you never change. And I don't know how to stop reading you. Truly, I think this is a series that has run its course. I can no longer believe that Hannah is that much smarter and better than an entire police department, even in a small town. The lengths to which the author goes to smooth this over are also beginning to show - there's too much of a deal made over it. Her involvement - and justifications for it - is mentioned every other chapter, and it's painfully obvious it's a bit of a sticking point.

The mystery itself was run-of-the-mill cozy, nothing great, nothing awful. The recipes, as usual, sound incredible (makes me think the next book should just be a cookbook). Hands (paws?) down the best character is the cat, and even he's getting a little boring, despite the neuroses foisted upon him this installment. Even some of the better secondary characters seemed to lack fizzle, and the whole cast came across as a bit flat. There's not much to make me feel compelled to read forward, other, perhaps, than force of habit. It would take something amazing to turn this series around at this point.

I'd recommend the first few books in the series, then I'd say to wean yourself off them or just get them for the recipes.
40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Continuation March 1 2008
By Chic - Published on
I've read all of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, and generally I enjoy them. They are very light fare - I typically finish them in a day or two. That said, some of the story lines are getting old. This particular mystery did not have very much depth and I figured out who the murderer was about halfway through the book. I am getting really sick of the Norman/Mike storyline - it has been dragging on for book after book. It is wholly unrealistic as no men would be waiting around for a woman who is self-described as average at best to decide between the two of them. The story needs to go somewhere fast. I vote for Norman as I just do not see it working out between the arrogant, egotistical Mike and Hannah. This is an okay continuation of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, but the author needs to tighten up the mysteries and resolve the love triangle. If you like the series, you will most likely enjoy this book, but you will probably feel like me - ready for some story lines to be tied up.
52 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Enough Is Enough! April 13 2008
By T. Dempsey - Published on
I cannot believe I actually made it through to the end of this book. I justified checking it out from the library by telling myself this newest installment should finally wrap up the Norman/Mike triangle. But no such luck. Except for the victim, the scenario is the same in each book - a new dessert, a person found dead with the new dessert nearby, Hannah solving the murder, Hannah in danger, Hannah being rescued by Mike & Norman...DESSERT, MURDER, RESCUE, OH MY, (sing along with me now). The only good thing about this one is that Hannah is less condescending to the people not quite as intelligent as she.

I think the Hannah character is quickly becoming unlikeable. Is she really that much smarter than the entire Lake Eden Police Department? So much so that people beg her to investigate?! She's always just one step ahead of Mike. Another thing I find totally unrealistic (in this book & the previous ones) is that Norman & Mike seem to be fine with Hannah dating both of them at the same time - sitting between them at dinners, having them both walk her to the van. Seriously, are they going to take turns kissing her goodnight? I am also getting tired of the way recipe talk is thrown in so awkwardly (pg 105 & 106 Sunny Vegetable Salad), especially when Hannah is talking to her sisters who don't cook.

I think the author needs to re-evaluate where she is going with this series & wind it up fast before she loses all her fans. If she decides to keep it going, she needs to shake it up a bit.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Make Up Your Mind Already!! April 21 2008
By Melodie Stickrath - Published on
I have enjoyed Ms. Fluke's "Cookie Jar" series since the beginning and this book was actually pretty good. However, I am SOOOOOOO sick of the "Hannah-Can't-Decide-Between-Mike & Norman" angle that I can't stand it. I have decided that I'll get the next book from the library, and if this same absolutely silly line continues, I'll be done with the series. What a shame to ruin a nice cozy series with such a dumb story angle. How many men do you know who would show up to a social event and sit on either side of the woman they're supposedly in love with and act like it's a normal occurence? Get real!
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Meh... Sept. 2 2008
By Lisa - Published on
I just don't have the patience anymore. Initially the series was tight and fun, with recipes thrown in as an added bonus. Now Hannah is getting unlikeable and full of herself and, if she is so concerned with being an old maid, why doesn't she do something about it? It's tiresome and I think an earlier reviewer put it best when likening it to having a high-school crush on two boys at the same time. This isn't high school and it is a bit insulting to "small-town" living in that it's ridiculous to believe that Hannah and only Hannah has this amazing ability to solve crimes whilst her little cult of personality grows by leaps and bounds. Soon there won't be anyone left who hasn't had a family member killed and had to deal with Hannah's crime-solving prowess. Yikes. I get the impression that the author is getting a bit lazy and personally doesn't feel like bringing the triangle to a resolution for fear of alienating either the "Normans" or the "Mikes". Unfortunately, this leads to cringe-inducing moments that just make these books almost intolerable anymore. Perhaps Fluke should take a break from the series, compile a nice cookbook, then just be brutal and be done with it. It's just not fun anymore.

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