Friday, February 3, 2017

REVIEW: Apple Turnover Murder

Apple Turnover Murder
Author: Joanne Fluke

My husband saw me reading this book last night and stopped, standing in front of me with a grin on his face. "Hey, are those the books you read that have recipes in them?'' I nodded, and he walked off still grinning. "I guess this means you are baking apple turnovers this weekend!''

Sure, why not! :)

Apple Turnover Murder is the 13th book in the Hannah Swensen series. I like this cozy mystery series. It's light reading, sprinkled with recipes throughout the story. I like to "visit'' Hannah in the evening with a cup of hot tea, my dog in my lap, fuzzy socks keeping my toes warm....just a nice, light before-bed read. The plots are never too complex, and the books are usually quick reads at under 300 pages. Cozy mysteries offer a bit of escape......light reading, some humor, a cute subplot or two, quirky characters, and a murder mystery thrown in. No sex. No cussing. No spurting blood. Think Hallmark Channel movies (which is perfect because Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel has made 4 of the Hannah Swensen books into made-for-television movies).

Sometimes I just need a story where I like the characters and the plot is just light and easy to read. Comfort reading. It's a lot like comfort food for avid readers.

I have to admit I didn't like Apple Turnover Murder as much as I've liked the other books in this series. This book seemed a bit too simplistic, or maybe like it was rushed? I'm not sure exactly. Something was just a bit off for me this time. Hannah is baking a lot of goodies for a large charity gala in Lake Eden, MN. More than 1000 cookies and just about as many apple turnovers are just too much for her to tackle alone, so she gets her business partner, Lisa, and her mother-in-law to help her out. Hannah is, as usual, mulling over her relationship difficulties and losing sleep from overwork and stress. Add in former boyfriend, Professor Bradford Ramsey deciding to be a lecherous jerk, and Hannah definitely has a lot going on. Just when she thinks nothing else could possibly go wrong, at the talent show, Hannah discovers Bradford Ramsey dead backstage.....just after she told him she wanted to kill him. Hannah is back on the case to discover who killed the promiscuous professor.

The mystery portion of the plot seemed hurried this time. The investigation was lackluster, and the ending just seemed staged to me. The interaction between the main characters was obviously building up to something....but the reveal was a bit ho-hum for me. I still enjoyed the book...don't get me wrong. This particular book just seemed a bit meh to me.

I still love Hannah Swensen. And this book was a good build for what I think it going to happen in the rest of the series. I'm forging ahead with the rest of the series. Not every book in a long series can be monumentally exciting. And this is entirely my own opinion. To some, this book may have been awesome. I think I'm just ready for this series to head in a different direction.....the love triangle sub-plot was getting old five books ago. I think there might be light showing at the end of the tunnel though......

The recipes in Apple Turnover Murder sound SO yummy!! I think I need to bake this weekend! My husband excepts apple turnovers!

There are 20 books in the Hannah Swensen series, with #21 Banana Cream Pie Murder coming out February 28th!

As soon as I catch up with Hannah, I think I'm going to check out some of Joanne Fluke's suspense novels. I have heard good things about them. I'm curious to see what her non-cozy books are like! The cover-art looks delightfully creepy on her suspense books! I can't wait to try a couple of them! For more information about Joanne Fluke and her books, check out her website:

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