Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Book Review: Chocolate Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke (Hannah Swensen #24)

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Interesting story, lots of delicious sounding recipes
Cons: Murder very weak, lots of unanswered questions left for next book
The Bottom Line:
Book fans expected
An interesting story
Murder is short changed

Chocolate Pies and Lies

I’ve seen this book coming for a while now.  I was hoping I was wrong, but with each book it was obvious to any fan of the Hannah Swensen series that sooner or later we were going to see the events of Chocolate Cream Pie Murder.

Before we go any further, a warning.  While I will not be spoiling this book, due to how storylines in this series have been developing, it is completely impossible to discuss this book without spoiling events of the previous books in the series.  If you haven’t read them and want to be surprised, please stop reading now.  Up to date?  Then let’s move forward.

Valentine’s Day is coming, and The Cookie Jar is getting ready to cater various Valentine’s Parties with new treats.  Hannah Swensen is throwing herself into this baking in order to not think about the news she’s gotten that Ross was already married, so their wedding was all a lie.  She has told the town of Lake Eden in an effort to curb gossip, and all of her friends are with her.

Which is why Ross sneaks back into town in the early hours of the morning demanding something from Hannah – something she might not be able to give him.  What will happen if she can’t?

Okay, so I’m still being vague.  You need to read this book to see how things unfold.

Yes, there is a murder, but it happens very late in the book.  The result is that part of the book is pretty rushed.  There are some other plot threads that are introduced earlier, and those threads definitely kept me interested as I was reading.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like things were well wrapped up.  We’ll need to read the next book to get all our answers.

And yes, the soap opera of the last few books continues here.

As does all the talk of food.  I swear, it must be possible to gain weight just by reading this book.  By my count, we get twenty-eight new recipes here.  While they mainly focus on desserts like the title recipe, chocolate mint cookies, and a couple of different bundt cakes, we do get recipes for several breakfast muffins, an egg bake, and a spinach salad.  Seriously, this will make your mouth water as you read.

It’s always fun to visit these characters.  I was sorry to see that a couple of the regulars were missing in action here, but most of them popped up.  We even saw some old friends from much earlier in the series return.  I do feel like Ross got cheated here since what has happened over the last couple of books doesn’t seem to fit with the Ross we met earlier.  Yes, it is explained here, but it still bothers me.

Fans who have been reading this series for years will want to get the next chapter in Hannah’s saga.  But don’t pick up Chocolate Cream Pie Murder unless you are one of them.

Need some background?  Here are the rest of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries in order.

1 comment:

  1. I'm on the fence about even starting this series. I loved the one early book I read and I thought the Hallmark movies based on the books were fantastic but I didn't love the sound of the drawn out love triangle or the way things seem to have ended here. Though I must admit I'm super curious!