Saturday, July 6, 2019

Review - Blueberry Muffin Murder

Title:    Blueberry Muffin Murder
Author:  Joanne Fluke
Series:  Hannah Swensen #3
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Publisher:   Kensington
Format:  Audiobook
No. of Pages:  320
Date of Publication:  2001; 2011
My Rating:  4 Stars


Bakery owner Hannah Swensen is back--and the cookies are crumbling--as acclaimed author Joanne Fluke serves readers another helping of murder, mayhem, and mouthwatering mystery. . .

Preparations are underway for Lake Eden, Minnesota's annual Winter Carnival--and Hannah Swensen is set to bake up a storm at her popular shop, The Cookie Jar. Too bad the honor of creating the official Winter Carnival cake went to famous lifestyle maven Connie Mac--a half-baked idea, in Hannah's opinion. She suspects Connie Mac is a lot like the confections she whips up on her cable TV cooking show--sweet, light, and scrumptious-looking, but likely to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

Hannah's suspicions are confirmed when Connie Mac's limo rolls into town. Turns out America's "Cooking Sweetheart" is bossy, bad-tempered, and downright domineering. Things finally boil over when Hannah arrives at The Cookie Jar to find the Winter Carnival cake burnt to a crisp—and Connie Mac lying dead in her pantry, struck down while eating one of Hannah's famous blueberry muffins. 

Next thing Hannah knows, the police have declared The Cookie Jar's kitchen crime scene off-limits. She's a baker without an oven--and the Carnival is right around the corner. Hannah's only alternative is to cook up a plan to save her business--by finding the killer herself. . .

Includes seven original cookie and dessert recipes for you to try!


Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar, is as busy as ever. She is preparing for the Winter Carnival, but doesn't expect the glory she desires. Another woman, Connie Mac, gets top honors for the upcoming carnival. From a distance Hannah never liked Connie. However, when Connie arrives in Hannah's town, the taste in her mouth grows even more sour.

Connie is quite unlikable, and not just to Hannah. Most assuredly to someone, because, before long, she turns up dead - in Hannah's pantry of all places. With the carnival rapidly approaching, Hannah is more than a bit overwhelmed. With Connie murdered at Hannah's bakery, it is now off-limits. Hannah begins to scramble in order to find places to prepare her delectable blueberry muffins and other exceptional delicacies. More than that, Hannah is determined to find out who killed Connie. Just maybe she may get her kitchen back sooner that way.

While everything is going on, Hannah is enjoying the attention of two men in her town, the dentist Norman and the detective Mike. There are things about both of them that Hannah likes so she is keeping her options open. 

Mike is nonplussed when Hannah will not stay away from the investigation. No matter to Hannah however. Ignoring Mike and his demands, Hannah begins questioning everyone about town. Meanwhile, Hannah finds a way to continue to bake and the reader is gifted with several delightful recipes in the pages of this book.

Blueberry Muffin Murder is part of a wonderful cozy mystery series that I have just begin reading. I am excited to be reading it now, and love the fact that there are already two dozen titles, with the twenty-fifth due in 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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