donderdag 17 juni 2010

Joanne Fluke - Cream Puff Murder

The twelfth novel in the Hannah Swensen Mysteries. Yes, I did read Candy Cane Murder and loved it, but I am stuck in the second story in the book. Reading bits at a time, review will come when I have finished the whole book.

Cream Puff Murder

Bakery owner Hannah Swensen has a dress to fit into and a date with her sister, Andrea, at Lake Eden's new health club, Heavenly Bodies. Dragging herself out of bed on a frigid Minnesota morning for exercise, of all things, is bad enough. Discovering the body of man-eating bomb-shell Ronni Ward floating in the gym's Jacuzzi? Okay, that's worse. Nor does it help that there's a plate of The Cookie Jar's very own cream puffs garnishing the murder scene.

Trying to narrow the list of Ronni's enemies down to fewer than half the town's female population, Hannah has her plate full. Trouble is, when it comes to cookies - and to murder - there's always room for one more.

Delores has bought very pretty dresses for her three daughters for her book launch party. Trouble is, Hannah has gained some weight, and the dress just won’t fit. So Andrea comes up with the solution: Hannah has to diet for two weeks, and join her for exercises early in the morning in the new gym.
Hannah hates exercising, but not to disappoint her mother, she agrees. The sisters go out early, to work with the machinery, and then they join Roger’s class for exercising with a group of women. But when Roger gets injured in a car accident, Ronni Ward is taking over. And Ronni is a person who flirts with every man she sees, and who cuts the woman with her rude remarks. So she is not loved by the female population of Lake Eden. The man though, including Hannah’s own sweetheart Mike, don’t see it. Mike is living across from Ronni, and spending way to much time there.

Then Ronni gets murdered, and over half the police detectives are suspended as they were to friendly with the victim. Not only Mike gets suspended, but Bill suspends himself, and Michelle’s’ boyfriend Lonny as well. And all four of them ask Hannah to conduct an investigation, and they will instruct her what to do, and how. But of course Hannah just does her own thing, which works always better than the police methods. Beside, she doesn’t have time to follow procedure like Mike wants her, to delve into forensics like Bill wants, to check out Ronni’s past as Lonny asks.

Mike may be the prime suspect in the murder of man-eating bombshell Ronni Ward, but he's by no means the only one. Plenty of Lake Eden's ladies won't miss Ronni, including her ex-fiance's former girlfriend, the angry mother of one of her would-be conquests, and even the mayor's wife. Could any of them have wanted her gone badly enough to make it happen?

Mike is not supposed to have any contact with Hannah, so he recruits Norman to deliver his instructions to her. But he also calls her awake at midnight to meet her down in the parking garage. Not once considering she has to get up in four hours! And when she finds out he wasn’t just friends with Ronni, but they were more than that, lovers, she is really disappointed. But of course they had no exclusive relationship, so she has no right to be mad at him.

Andrea, Michelle, Norman and the mothers are really pitching in with the legwork, and Lisa takes great care of the cookie shop. She even ups the prices! But Hannah still gets too little sleep, and one night she spends the night at Norman’s, in their dreamhouse. And again, she is very very tempted to accept his proposal. The house is everything she can dream off, Norman is so sweet, and he makes a mean breakfast! But still, she is not ready. Not when the very sight of Mike makes her breathless.

Still, my idea, pick Norman! You can’t trust Mike, he has got a roving eye.

The mystery part is great, I never suspected this ending. And the book launch is a huge success. Every one thinks Delores used them as the hero and heroine. Every one, except Norman … but Hannah thinks his great character was used for the hero after all.

For now, my stash of Joanne Fluke is gone, so time to revert back to other authors. Sabrina Jeffries is in my bag, but other cozies are clamoring for my attention. Still, time for some historicals and paranormals first. Although the weekend will be extremely busy, with little to no reading time at all.

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