Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Review: Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke (Hannah Swensen #13)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: More delicious sounding recipes and time spent with good friends
Cons: Very light mystery
The Bottom Line:
Just what you'd expect
Hannah baking and sleuthing
Fans will eat it up

Another Cozy Adventure for Hannah Swensen and Friends

I've got to confess, I am a bit surprised at how much I have come to love the Hannah Swensen mystery series.  They are set in the small town of Lake Eden, Minnesota, where Hannah owns The Cookie Jar.  It seems she is always stumbling over corpses, usually next to her newest culinary creation.  These books are ultra light with as much time spent talking about baking as the murder at hand.  And yet when each new book comes out, I rush to get it and smile the entire way through.  Apple Turnover Murder was no exception.

Hannah hasn't known how to handle the fact that Bradford Ramsey is back in town.  The man used her and then broke her heart several years before, and appears to be doing the same to Hannah's younger sister Michelle.  Fortunately, he doesn't seem to remember Hannah.

But Hannah doesn't have much time to dwell on this particular problem.  It's the busy season at The Cookie Jar with wedding showers and other parties to cater.  And that's before they agree to provide apple turnovers for a fundraiser and Hannah reprises her role as Herb's assistant in a magic act for a talent show.  Backstage at the show, Hannah stumbles upon Bradford's body.  The last thing she wants is her past with Bradford to surface.  Can she solve the crime quickly before the entire town finds out?

I did figure out the killer earlier than I would have liked, but I enjoyed every minute spent making sure I was right.  There are a couple of sub-plots that kept me engaged throughout the book.  While one is mostly resolved, both were left open enough that I can't wait to see how they continue in the next book.

And for those wondering, there are only further complications in the ongoing saga of the love triangle between Hannah, Norman, and Mike.  While I have been firmly in the Norman camp for years now, I've got to admit I liked Mike here more than I have in years.

The characters continue to be the big draw for me.  This is book thirteen, and I love them all dearly.  Hannah can get on my nerves occasionally, but who in real life doesn't?  Mike was the one character who seemed to grow here, although the way he included Hannah in the investigation wasn't at all realistic.

There are around 17 new recipes for humans here, plus one for dogs, in this book.  I haven't had any yet, but my mouth watered as usually just reading them.  And they continue to be easy enough that anyone should be able to make them.

Despite being one of the weaker books in the series, Apple Turnover Murder will entertain loyal fans and those looking for a very light mystery.  However, if you haven't enjoyed the last few entries, pass right on by.  This book is more of the same and won't change your mind about the series.

Looking for more?  Check out the Hannah Swensen Mysteries in order.

No comments:

Post a Comment