donderdag 17 juni 2010

Joanne Fluke - Carrot Cake Murder

The tenth novel in this great series! The covers of the actual books are much prettier than the foto’s I’m posting here. This one is for instance, is bright orange, the last one shiny poison green! But it’s not the covers why I love those books, it’s the great stories.

Carrot Cake Murder

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 unraveling the mystery of her cat Moishe's recent strange behavior, 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's favorite 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's corpse with an ice pick jutting out of his chest! A little snooping reveals that not everyone was celebrating Gus's return. And when Hannah unearths more secrets from Gus's 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...

With the enormous family reunion of Herb and Lisa’s extended family, Hannah is busy baking cookies and cakes in the morning, and helping otherwise with the refreshments the rest of the day. She meets the famous Uncle Gus, who ran off without a word to his family 25 years ago, and never got in touch again. His parents died without knowing what happened to their son, and his sisters are at first glance very happy to see him again. But how did he know about the reunion when they could not inform him?

Getting better acquainted with Gus, Hannah really dislikes him. He is selfish and a user, and what appears later, a fake. The tales he told them are all untrue. He doesn’t own a chain of luxury nightclubs, he owns a strip joint! And because he owes money to some bad people, he came home to Lake Eden to gather some of his possessions of old, which his parents and later his sisters, kept locked in a trunk all those years.

But who did kill him? There are enough people with a motive. He hurt a lot of them before he left Lake Eden, and old grievances never really fade. But when the main suspect is Lisa’s father, who has Alzheimer, she tries her best to clear Jack. But that is not easy when he cannot tell them where he went on his walk. And in the end, when the real killer is found, and Mike has to save Hannah again from a ruthless murderer, everyone is happy.

On the home front, Moishe is clearly unhappy. He shreddes a pillow, he makes noises in the middle of the night, not only waking Hannah up from her much needed sleep, but also the neighbours. But Norman has the solution. Since Hannah can’t find the Animal Channel, he buys Moishe a giant cat house. With holes and toys and everything.
Norman is also a great help in finding out things in Atlanta City about Gus, and informing Hannah.

And Mike? He gives her a giant flamingo for Moishe, but when she finds out he just wanted to get rid of it, and it belonged to the other woman he is seeing, she is very mad at him. What does she need that isore for? It is ugly and cluttering her livingroom! She just hopes Moishe will trash it soon.

The interaction with her sisters and even her mother keeps getting better. And her mother finally tells them all about her project: she was written a book, a historical romance novel, and it is getting published. But Hannah dreads that date, because her mother has used every one of them as characters in the book!

The next book I have picked up is The Candy Cane Murder, which is an anthology. This has the benefit that I can try out other cozy authors :)

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