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Key Lime Pie Murder [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Joanne Fluke
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

June 2007 Thorndike Mystery
It promises to be a busy week for Hannah Swensen. Not only is she whipping up treats for the chamber of commerce booth at the fair; she's also judging the baking contest; acting as a magician's assistant for her business partner's husband; trying to coax Moishe, her previously rapacious feline, to end his hunger strike, and performing her own private carnival act by juggling the demands of her mother and sisters. With so much on her plate, it's no wonder Hannah finds herself on the midway only moments before the fair closes for the night. As the lights click off, she realizes that she's not alone among the shuttered booths and looming carnival attractions. After hearing a suspicious thump, she goes snooping - only to discover Willa Sunquist, a student teacher and fellow bake contest judge, dead alongside an upended key lime pie. But who would want to kill Willa and why? Before long Hannah is sifting through motives and a list of suspects which include a high school student Willa flunked, the hot-blooded brothers of a disqualified beauty contestant, a rodeo cowboy, a baking competitor who failed to win her yearly blue ribbon, and the college professor Willa was dating. As fair week draws to a close, Hannah cranks up the heat, hoping that the killer will get rattled and make a mistake. If that happens she intends to be there, even if it means getting on a carnival ride that could very well be her last...
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

The yummy eighth smalltown cozy from Fluke (after 2006's Cherry Cheesecake Murder) finds sometime sleuth Hannah Swensen, owner of the Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minn., judging the baking contest at the Tri-County Fair. When one of her fellow judges, home economics teacher Willa Sunquist, is murdered, Hannah determines to sniff out the killer. Was it a man from Willa's mysterious past? Or a student she flunked? Fluke has developed a charming supporting cast—Hannah's besotted (and slightly spineless) two suitors, her overbearing but likable mother, her endearing sisters and her levelheaded business partner all feel like friends by the time the murder is solved. The dozens of tempting recipes Fluke includes are an added treat. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


"* "Yummy...Fluke has developed a charming supporting cast who all feel like friends by the time the murder is solved. The dozens of tempting recipes Fluke includes are an added treat." --Publishers Weekly" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Highly-creative confection recipes plumped the pages in KEY LIME PIE MURDER. Not knowing when to stop, the recipes opened themselves into luscious, heavy-laden, in-plot cooking, tasting, and contest judging. Then they incorporated themselves into a turbo-charged, flavor-upgrade including every imaginable slant of sweet & creamy. Yet, the surged concoctions didn't come across as overdone. (The extra hits of coffee maybe helped and were welcome!) The confections won a Literary Blue Prize from my taste buds, and enhanced the delight of light reading. This # 9 in Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen, Minnesota Cookie-Jar series was clearly giving Diane Mott Davidson a run-for-her-pie-crusts as "Queen of The Culinary Mystery."

As many culinary mystery series as I've reviewed, this was one of the more successful for causing me to feel like I was literally tasting, sniffing, and munching along with the characters, especially with the judges of the entries in the baking contest for the county fair. (No calories in print, when it's absorbed from eyes to brain; I've had no compulsion yet to eat pages.) A collection of scenes took place inside the ambiance of judging-tasting-sprees back-dropping discussions of town doings and murder. It didn't take much of that for my level of addiction to the sweet treats in this plot to be shoved over the edge of any concern about addiction.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  114 reviews
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming as Always March 12 2007
By Mark Baker - Published on
The Tri-County Fair has opened in Lake Eden, and it promises to be a busy week for Hannah. Her cookie shop is providing cookies for the chamber of commerce booth, her two sisters and one niece are in various contests, and Hannah has agreed to step in as the third judge for the baking contest.

It's through the contest that Hannah meets Willa. She seems like a bright, engaging woman, but she hints at secrets in her past. The mystery surrounding Willa is only compounded when Hannah finds her dead on the midway just after closing one night. The list of suspects is actually rather long. But who hated Willa enough to kill her?

These books are an equal mix of charm and mystery. We get doses of Hannah's life as well as the crime at hand. There is a good mix of the two, although the mystery does stall ever so slightly around the middle. My bigger complaint was Hannah's bad habit of not sharing info with the police. That seemed more of an issue this time around then in previous books, or maybe I just noticed it more.

It's best to read these books in order because when you do it feels like catching up with old friends who are as delightful as always. And, if you care about what is happening in their lives, you'll enjoy the many sub-plots that run through the book.

The character moments provided some of the best laughs of the book, especially the scenes where Hannah continues to face her two suitors. This is the most unrealistic storyline of the series, but I love watching the love triangle continue to unfold.

As always, there are more recipes as well. This go around, we get 16 of them. I've already tried the title recipe, and it's delicious. The others sound just as promising.

Even though this is a murder mystery, the book is a throw back to small town life and a more innocent time. If that appeals to you, you'll love this series.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Things Are Starting to Stink in Lake Eden! Feb. 29 2008
By Catherine - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read all of the Hannah Swenson mysteries and most have been entertaining and enjoyable, but this one was plodding and uninteresting. In fact, when poor Willa bit the dust, I found I didn't even care! And rather than acting like a 30 year old business woman, experienced in crime solving, in this plodding tome, Hannah is boring, techno-illiterate, and not too smart! (Why would you meet a man whom you considered a suspect in a brutal murder at a deserted fairgrounds late at night and then TELL him you had considered him a suspect???) As far as her relationship with Mike (the Hunk) and Norman (the Reliable One), I'm starting to find the entire love triangle boring and sophomoric! Make a decision, already! You're not 15 years old!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't recommend Sept. 14 2013
By Romaine - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wish I hadn't started this series. My addiction to series mysteries makes me keep reading. Supporting characters are good. Hannah, the main character, has no redeeming qualities. Sigh.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Culinary mystery. Cheap lit. Forgettable. Aug. 11 2012
By Molly - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Plump cookie shop owner drinks coffee and eats sweets nonstop while debating which eligible bachelor battling for her hand she should marry. Gets involved in murder mystery, puts self in danger, obsesses over deep fried candy bars and her forlorn cat.
16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last one April 8 2007
By SAS - Published on
I enjoyed Key Lime Murder more than the last installment. Ms. Fluke seemed to be less condescending to her readers' intelligence. And we were spared the precociousness of Tracy. I still was unsatisfied at the very end. The love triangle between Hannah, Norman and Mike has gone on long enough. I think I've just grown tired of Lake Eden and the characters and the style in which they are written. When you find the recipes more interesting than the plot, it is time for me to move on. There are just too many other better written and interesting books for me to read. I would recommend this for die hard fans only.
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