This is the second book in the Hannah Swensen murder mystery series.
In her debut mystery, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, intrepid amateur sleuth and bakery owner Hannah Swensen proved that when it comes to crime, nothing is sweeter than a woman who knows how to really mix it up. Now, the flame-haired, tart-talking (and baking) heroine is back, judging a contest where the competition is really murder.
When the president of Hartland Flour chooses cozy Lake Eden, Minnesota, as the spot for their first annual Dessert Bake Off, Hannah is thrilled to serve as the head judge. But when a fellow judge, Coach Boyd Watson, is found stone-cold dead, facedown in Hannah’s celebrated strawberry shortcake, Lake Eden’s sweet ride to fame turns very sour indeed.
Between perfecting her Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie and Chocolate Crunchies, Hannah’s snooping into the coach’s private life and not coming up short on suspects. And could Watson’s harsh criticism during the judging have given one of the contestants a license to kill? The stakes are rising faster than dough, and Hannah will have to be very careful, because somebody is cooking up a recipe for murder,,, with Hannah landing on the “necessary ingredients” list.
I loved this second book in the series, and I am glad there are 10 more on my shelf right now to read. I really like Hannah, and how her private life is coming about. The last page was so good!
And the mystery was a good one too. Coach Watson is adored by his pupils, especially his basketball team, but for his wife he is not so good. He regularly beats her up, but she won’t press charges. So when he is brutally murdered, his wife is the best suspect. And as it is election year, the sherriff won’t put to many hours in finding an other suspect. Hannah cannot let her friend go to jail for a murder she didn’t commit, and sets out to find the real murderer. With a lot of help from her sister, she finds a blackmailing journalist, who ends up murdered too, finds the evidence of the blackmail and gives it back to the people being blackmailed, and still has time to bake cookies and desserts, and spend time with her gigantic cat named Moishe. And of course, she discovers the murdered, almost too late to save herself from being the headlines in the news!