Friday, June 21, 2019

Review - Strawberry Shortcake Murder

 Strawberry Shortcake Murder
Title:  Strawberry Shortcake Murder
Author:  Joanne Fluke
Series:  Hannah Swensen #2
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Publisher:   Kensington
Format:  Audiobook
No. of Pages:  320
Date of Publication:  2001; 2011
My Rating:  4 Stars


In her debut mystery, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, intrepid amateur sleuth and bakery owner Hannah Swensen proved that when it comes to crime, nothing is sweeter than a woman who knows how to really mix it up. Now, the flame-haired, tart-talking (and baking) heroine is back, judging a contest where the competition is really murder.

Strawberry Shortcake Murder 

When the president of Hartland Flour chooses cozy Lake Eden, Minnesota, as the spot for their first annual Dessert Bake-Off, Hannah is thrilled to serve as the head judge. But when a fellow judge, Coach Boyd Watson, is found stone-cold dead, facedown in Hannah's celebrated strawberry shortcake, Lake Eden's sweet ride to fame turns very sour indeed.

Between perfecting her Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie and Chocolate Crunchies, Hannah's snooping into the coach's private life and not coming up short on suspects. And could Watson's harsh criticism during the judging have given one of the contestants a license to kill? The stakes are rising faster than dough, and Hannah will have to be very careful, because somebody is cooking up a recipe for murder. . .with Hannah landing on the "necessary ingredients" list.

"Another delicious adventure. . .a superior cozy sure to leave readers satisfied. . .but hungry for more." --Publishers Weekly

Includes seven delicious recipes!


Our lovely amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen is back and has been thrust into an opportunity to solve yet another murder. Hannah is an exceptional bakery owner who already has enough on her plate, literally.
This time around, Hannah is afforded the opportunity to serve as head judge at the town of Lake Eden's first annual Desert Bake-Off. However, Coach Boyd Watson, a fellow judge is murdered. Hannah does two things: she keeps perfecting her delectable recipes, which are shared with readers throughout  the pages of this novel, and she sets out to discover what happened to Boyd.

Meanwhile, Hannah's mother is still die-hard determined to act as matchmaker for her. Hannah may enjoy the company of one of the town's cops, but she also gets to work a bit closer with someone who is proving to be a good friend. It is of interest to see which man she will choose.

I knew from the advice of strong recommendation, that delving into this prolific series would be enjoyable. At only the second book, I already love Hannah. I look forward to devouring each book in the series, which will have twenty-five titles come February, 2020.


Like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke grew up in a small town in rural Minnesota where her neighbors were friendly, the winters were fierce, and the biggest scandal was the spotting of unidentified male undergarments on a young widow's clothesline. She insists that there really are 10,000 lakes and the mosquito is NOT the state bird.

While pursuing her writing career, Joanne has worked as: a public school teacher, a psychologist, a musician, a private detective's assistant, a corporate, legal, and pharmaceutical secretary, a short order cook, a florist's assistant, a caterer and party planner, a computer consultant on a now-defunct operating system, a production assistant on a TV quiz show, half of a screenwriting team with her husband, and a mother, wife, and homemaker. 

She now lives in Southern California with her husband, her kids, his kids, their three dogs, one elderly tabby, and several noisy rats in the attic.  

Joanne Fluke has baked over 500,000 chocolate chip cookies for fans of her Hannah Swensen mysteries since the series debuted in 2000, not to mention countless pies, cakes, muffins and other sweets.  However, it’s not just the desserts that keep readers clamoring for her next novel.  Reviewers have long praised Fluke’s work, with Kirkus Reviews calling her novel PEACH COBBLER MURDER, “her tastiest yet.”  Publishers Weekly said her holiday Hannah Swensen Mystery, SUGAR COOKIE MURDER, is “a delectable culinary romp…[with] wacky and delightful characters.”

Fluke’s CHERRY CHEESECAKE MURDER marked her debut onto The New York Times bestseller list in March 2006, and she followed up that success again a year later in March 2007 with her second New York Timesbestseller, KEY LIME PIE MURDER, praised by Publishers Weekly as “Yummy…Fluke has developed a charming supporting cast—all feel like friends by the time the murder is solved.”

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