Genre: cozy mystery with recipes
Cover: the real book is a very pretty shiny metallic red
This summer has been warmer than usual in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Hannah Swensen is trying to beat the heat both in and out of her bakery kitchen. But she's about to find out the hard way that nothing cools off a hot summer day like cold-blooded murder...
It is still spring in Lake Eden, but it is already hotter than their usual summer. The bad news is that Doctor Bev is back in town, as the fiancée of one of the richest local man, Roger Dalworth. And after the trouble and pain she caused last time, nobody is happy to see her again, least of all Hannah Swensen and her boyfriend Norman. She tried to con Norman into marriage last time, and only Hannah and her sisters’ sleuthing got him out of it.
Roger Dalworth has turned the old Albion Hotel into an apartment complex, and Andrea, Hannah’s second sister, is the realtor who will have to sell them all. But the penthouse especially will be way beyond the budget of most Lake Eden citizens. Andrea invites Hannah to come with her and inspect the apartments, and of course tries to convince Hannah to “upgrade” her own condo with one of those new ones. But Hannah likes where she lives, so she politely declines. Only the penthouse roofgarden is not yet completed, the huge glass dome has not arrived yet, and it is not safe to get too close to the edge of the roof.
There will be a big catered party that night, to pitch the apartments to possible interested home owners, and Hannah has been contracted to provide dessert, a few hundred Red Velvet Cupcakes. So Lisa and Hannah have been busy baking them, but not ordinary Red Velvet Cupcakes, these have a surprise in the middle. And they are a huge success.
Then somebody falls from the rooftop all the way down, and that means the end of the party. But did Barbara really just fall off when she tried to see her house from up there, or did somebody push her? Mike, Hannah’s second boyfriend, and Bill, Andrea’s husband and the chief of police, start the investigation. Barbara does have some severe injuries, but she will make it. She can’t tell what happened though, as she has some brain damage due to the concussion. She keeps telling her brother tried to kill her, and is still trying, but she doesn’t have a brother as far as anyone knows…
Then Dr. Bev ends up dead in Eden Lake, and Hannah is the one to find her. When trying to resuscitate her is useless, Hannah calls the cops, not thinking for a moment she will become the prime murder suspect. Everyone knows that Hannah sure had the motive to kill Dr. Bev…. Mike is acting very cold and formal, and Hannah feels it as a betrayal, but the next day he begs for her understanding, and her help in clearing her own name. He will share with her what he can.
Another good story in this long running cozy mystery series. After every chapter there are some delicious recipes for cookies and such. But o, how I wish that Hannah would choose between Norman and Mike, who both want to marry her. Norman might be a little boring, but he loves her to pieces, and Mike is dashing and handsome but he has a roving eye. And more. She really should choose Norman, or put them both out of their misery, and me with it. Yes, a love triangle, though I don’t think Hannah is sleeping with either of them.
The mystery part was good, although I have to admit I did guess about the who and why of the brother. The murderer of Dr. Bev was kept secret a bit longer, but of course it had to be connected.
I do love this series, and have for quite a few years now. Joanne Fluke has a nice flowing writing style, and I want more and more, I just need to find out what happens with Hannah and her sisters and her mother. In the beginning, I really disliked their mother, Delores, but she has grown on me and she really is changing thanks to the influence of Dr. Knight. Not only the mysteries are good and worth discovering, but their private lives and friendships and everything are so much fun to read about. And yes, I admit, I am glad that Dr. Bev is dead now. But what will happen to her little daughter now?
Another great secondary character is of course Moishe, Hannah’s enormous cat. Lisa, Hannah’s partner in her cookie shop is a sweet girl, and she is always prepared to take over when Hannah has to go out to sleuth. And well, the cookies these girls invent, they sound soooo good.
I do recommend this series if you like cozy mysteries, or even if you just like to bake.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian