Tuesday, January 17, 2017

REVIEW: Cherry Cheesecake Murder

Cherry Cheesecake Murder
Author: Joanne Fluke

Hannah Swensen, professional baker and amateur detective, is on the case again in the 8th book in this fun culinary cozy series. This is my favorite cozy series, so when snow was in the forecast here in NC, I went right to my best cozy pal to help me weather the storm. Fuzzy socks. Hot tea. And Hannah Swensen. Perfect snowy weather combination for me.

In Cherry Cheesecake Murder a movie is being filmed  in Lake Eden. The entire town is excited about the production. Hannah is hired to provide special desserts for the director and snacks for the production crew. She quickly learns that director Dean Lawrence is a letch and an all-around jerk. She tries hard to put up with his condescending and inappropriate behavior since the movie is important to others in Lake Eden. Things are going really well, right up until the point that Dean acts out a suicide scene during a dress rehearsal. His acting is perfect, right up until he pulls the trigger of the prop gun -- and shoots himself in the head.  Who switched the prop gun for a real one? What motive is there to kill Dean? Sure, he's a jerk.....but is that a reason to make him shoot himself?

As usual, Hannah promises not to investigate......and then promptly investigates anyway. This is an enjoyable visit to Lake Eden, but most of the book is about the filming and background subplots because the murder doesn't happen until page 223. The book kept my interest pretty well despite Dean not kicking the bucket til the last third of the book. Hannah's little love triangle is still going on......Norman and Mike are still hanging around hoping Hannah will choose between then. Plus an old college friend, Ross Barton, is part of the film crew. Add him into the mix because he starts hanging around Hannah too. Geez, Hannah.....make up your mind already! At one point, all 3 men were at her house when she came home.....and she said she was tired and went to bed. LOL. Kinda rude? I hope she makes up her mind soon.....or that the constantly mopey males are shuffled to a less-more minor subplot. With the new book, Banana Creme Pie Murder, coming out in March, there are now 21 books in this series. Having just finished book 8, I am trying my best to avoid spoilers so I don't find out what her choice is, or if the guys just get sick of it and walk off, until I get to that particular book. It's rough avoiding reviews and comments that might tell me too much! :) I have most of the rest of the books on my shelf.....so I'm reading like a wild woman to get caught up so I know how her love life turns out. I am sort of hoping that both Norman and Mike grow a set and start dating someone else -- hopefully NOT the same woman this time. Hannah either needs to reel someone in or cut bait. After 8 books....either pick.....or cut 'em loose.  No real man would ever put up with this......why should book boyfriends be expected to??

Personally if I was in her shoes, I would have a rough time picking too.  Nice dentist.  Good looking cop.  Hmmmm.  I think I would go for the nice dentist who really loves me. The handsome cop would work really long hours, his job is dangerous, and Mike seems to have a bit of a wandering eye. While Norman is totally in love with Hannah and is more stable. He is a bit of a momma's boy, however.  Best choice might be to just pass on both of them, and see what else comes along. More fish in the sea and all that. Maybe the reason why Hannah can't pick is she really doesn't love either of them.

Oh well.....she will do what she does. I'm just along for the ride. On to Book 9 -- Key Lime Pie Murder!  My favorite desssert!!

For those who haven't read any of the Hannah Swensen series, it really isn't necessary to read the series in order. Enough background is given in each book for a reader to just jump in and enjoy. But if you want the whole story on how she got the dentist and cop following her like a couple of puppies, better start at the beginning. The books are about 250-300 pages long.....but quick reads. There are lots of recipes and cooking tips included. All in all, fun reads!!

On to Key Lime pie!! mmmmm.

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