Thursday, January 5, 2017

REVIEW: Peach Cobbler Murder

Peach Cobbler Murder
Author: Joanne Fluke

I don't often read cozy mysteries with a dessert theme because it always makes me crave food I can't eat (I'm on a limited sugar/carb restricted diet for medical reasons). But I make an exception for the Hannah Swensen series. There might be a lot of cookie-talk in the books because Hannah owns a bakery...but the series is so fun to read, that I don't mind reading about all the foods I can't have. Most of the recipes included in the books are desserts (I've made a few yummy selections for my family), but there are also usually some main courses and appetizers included as well.

Peach Cobbler Murder is the 7th book in the series. The Basics: The Cookie Jar is in financial straits when a new bakery opens up just across the street. Shawna Lee Quinn and her sister Vanessa run the Magnolia Blossom Bakery. Hannah can understand business...competition is the way things work. But, she doesn't have to like Shawna Lee flirting with Mike Kingston, local cop and one of Hannah's love interests. Hannah's business partner Lisa is getting married and Shawna Lee never shows up with the cobbler for the reception dessert table. Mike is a no-show as well. Later that night, things go from bad to worse when Hannah discovers Shawna Lee dead in the Magnolia Blossom Bakery. Hannah finds herself a suspect in the murder. Can she prove that she didn't kill Shawna Lee? And...who did?

I enjoyed this book, as I have the rest of the series. The mystery is engaging, not too obvious and the pacing is good. The recipes looked quite yummy as well. Hannah continues to be caught between two love interests though.....she can't make up her mind between Mike the Cop and Norman, a local dentist. After reading 7 books with her still being wishy-washy (especially after reading the last chapter in this book), I hope that Hannah is either going to choose one very very soon or just dump them both and get a new love interest. I have avoided reading any reviews of books later in the series as I don't want any spoilers. There are 20 books in this series....with a new book coming out in February. So I have a lot of reading to do! :) The books are fun, quick reads so don't be intimidated by the thought of 20 books.....they really are fun to read, light-hearted, and fast paced enough to keep a reader's attention from the beginning to end of the series. While it isn't completely necessary to read the books in order, some of the character interactions and relationships would be better understood by starting with book 1. But, someone could jump in at any point in the series and have enough background information to understand events just fine.

I'm moving on to book 8 now to see if Hannah gets any closer to answering the Mike/Norman conundrum. My goal is to catch up with this series. Only 13 books to go...ha ha!

Peach Cobbler Murder was made into a "Murder, She Baked'' movie on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. I enjoyed the movie -- but there were a few changes in the plot. Sometimes I'm not quite sure why they change plot points when they adapt a book for film. The changes were not huge....just minor differences here and there. None seemed like they were really necessary changes though. But, the directors know that business much much better than I do.....I just enjoyed the movie and told myself to stop comparing the book to the movie. The book is always better than the movie version....that doesn't mean that the movie can't be enjoyable! There are 4 Murder, She Baked movies based on the Hannah Swensen series. I highly recommend them! Very well done and enjoyable, even if there were changes made to Joanne Fluke's story.

Joanne Fluke also writes suspense novels in addition to the Hannah Swensen cozy series. To find out more about the author and her books, check out her website here.  And if you like cozy mysteries, check out the Murder, She Baked movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries!

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