Genre: cozy mystery (with lots of recipes!)
Cover: tasty. It is a really bright royal purple, which does not show on this picture.
April is a busy month for Hannah Swensen and her bakery; the warm weather makes folks in Lake Eden, Minnesota, go wild for something sweet. When Hannah hears that the Cinnamon Roll Six jazz band will be playing at the town’s weekend Jazz Festival, she’s more than happy to bake up a generous supply of their namesake confections to welcome the band to town.
Before the festival even begins, tragedy strikes when the tour bus overturns. Among those injured is Buddy Neiman, the band’s beloved keyboard player. Buddy’s injuries appear minor, until his condition suddenly takes a turn for the worse – as in dead. Hannah’s no doctor, but the suspects that the surgical scissors someone plunged into Buddy’s chest may have something to do with it. Hannah isn’t sure just how she’ll unravel the mystery, but one thing’s for sure: nothing’s sweeter than bringing a killer to justice …
You would think I would be growing tired of this series with 16 books in it already, but reading a new one, is like visiting old friends. I love Hannah and her family, and how they all help to solve the new murder mystery, and make new cookie recipes.
Hannah is not very happy. Norman is still engaged to Dr. Bev, and now they have actually picked a date for the wedding! Of course Norman doesn’t love Bev, but he is an honourable man, and he wants to take care of the daughter he never knew he had. Hannah tries to be a good friend, but she is heartbroken, and really misses spending time with Norman. Bev even tries to keep him away from his beloved cat, Cuddles, claiming she is allergic to cats. Hannah doesn’t mind taking care of Cuddles, as her own cat Mooshe, is very fond of her, but she can tell Cuddles misses Norman too.
Hannah and her younger sister Michelle are on their way to the Lake Eden Inn with some fresh baked Cinnamon Rolls, when a major accident happens on the road. Hannah can leave the road just in time, before she gets caught up in the chain collusion as well. Minnesota roads are treacherous at dusk, when the freshly molten snow and mud freezes again, and “foreign” chauffeurs have no idea of the risks. Witnessing the pile up, Michelle quickly calls 911, informing the police, the sheriff, the ambulance and fireservice. They are all needed. Hannah and Michelle walk back to the accident as well, in case they can help some of the victims before the medical aid can get to them. One of the victims is the bus full of the members of the Jazz Band Cinnamon Roll Six, which will be headlining the coming Weekend Jazz Festival in town. And the reason Hannah baked all those delicious rolls. The bus is upside down, and the door is jammed, so they have to try to unblock the emergency exit.
Once inside, everyone is allright, except the keyboard player, Buddy, who has a sprained wrist. And the chauffeur, who is death, and hanging gristly upside down still in his seatbelt behind the wheel.
Even Hannah’s cookie truck is being commandeered to drive the minor injuries to the hospital, so Doc Knight can treat them. Her mother, Dolores, is there as well, and as the kitchen is already closed, she takes command of Hannah’s baked foodstuffs to feed all the wounded and the volunteers and other personnel. With permission of the Inn, as they already paid for the rolls. Even though she does not really like the man, Hannah promises to come back for Buddy, to bring him to the inn after his wrist has been spalked. But before she can do that, her mother finds him murdered.
Hannah has no choice but to start investigating the murder the next day, her mother demands it of her, and has already conspired with Lisa, Hannah’s partner in the bakery and coffeeshop, so Hannah can have the time off. Michelle and Andrea will help as well. They also convince Hannah that she has to quit being so nice all the time, and fight for Norman if she wants him and stop the marriage. And Hannah really wants to. So with her sister Andrea, they go on the road to find out more about Dr. Bev and if Diana really is Norman’s daughter.
I enjoyed this new book, and read it fairly quickly. It helps that there are recipes at the end of each chapter (not only for cookies, also dinner dishes) so I can turn three pages at once and read on. I liked the murder mystery, and fairly quickly suspected Dr. Bev of it (I won’t tell you if I was right, find that out for yourself!). Of course, I don’t like her either, so everything she did or said was suspect. I did not know how Norman was going to react if he finds out that Hannah was snooping in his, or rather Dr. Bev’s, private life. I also liked the fact that Mike encouraged Hannah to take action, though he and Norman are rivals for Hannah, and with Norman married, he would be left over. But I think that Hannah knows by now that Mike would always have and keep a roving eye, which is not a good trait in a boyfriend or fiancée or husband. Yes, I have been rooting for Hannah and Norman to end up together for quite a few books now. She has trouble making up her mind, but she is not sleeping with either of them, unlike some other series I could name.
All in all, this is a series I thoroughly enjoy. I like all the main characters, the cozy setting, the cold Minnesota town and weather, and of course the murder plots. I highly recommend it to all lovers of foody cozy mysteries.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian