Friday, February 10, 2017

REVIEW: Blackberry Pie Murder

Blackberry Pie Murder
Author: Joanne Fluke

Hannah Swensen is having a bad time. Her mother is getting married soon but is rejecting all suggestions for the reception menu, and then during a thunderstorm she accidentally runs over a man standing in the road. Nobody recognizes the man. He's a stranger in Eden Lake. Why was he standing in the roadway in the middle of a violent thunderstorm? When Hannah is arrested for vehicular homicide and thrown in jail, her family and friends rally around her to help investigate the case. The investigation leads to the seedy world of prostitution and drugs in the Twin Cities. Hannah wonders what sort of nefarious criminal she ran over with her cookie truck....and what was he doing in Lake Eden?

Well, Hannah definitely managed to get herself into hot water this time. I never thought Hannah would end up in a jail cell....but it was definitely a new plot line for this series. This time Hannah still found a body....but she ran the victim over with her truck. Yikes! lol.

Blackberry Pie Murder is the 17th book in the Hannah Swensen Mystery series. Lots of recipes are included, as usual. Most are cookie recipes because Hannah owns a bakery, but there are some others as well including fettuccine, salmon, pate and two blackberry drink recipes.

A weird love triangle between Hannah and her two love interests, Mike and Norman, is still ongoing. Sigh. This time, Norman does Hannah several huge favors and really steps up to help her.....but yet she still can't make up her mind or really fully return the love he feels for her. And, every time they try to have a private dinner at Hannah's condo, about six other people, including Mike, show up. You would think just once Hannah would understand Norman wants to spend some time with her alone....and she would tell everyone to just come another time. But no....Norman always ends up shoved aside. How on Earth has this man gone through 17 books now without losing his temper or at least telling Hannah that it bothers him? Hannah is even starting to acknowledge that it's weird. She calls the Norman-Hannah-Mike awkward moments at dinners and public events as The Hannah Sandwich. Come on, honey -- either make up your mind or break up with both of them.

I enjoyed this story. I always enjoy Hannah Swensen books. But, I do have to say that having the gang investigating a case involving prostitutes and drugs really seemed like it was pushing it a bit. The story line was a bit more edgy and dramatic. The finding of the body was definitely different. Plus, Hannah finally got into trouble, not directly because she constantly finds bodies, but because she sort of....created a dead body. oops. But....the more edgy plot was done within the confines of a cozy mystery. It seemed a bit out of place. For example, when Hannah and her mother went to the city to interview a prostitute, they offered her a box of cookies. It made me laugh. But hey, everyone loves chocolate cookies, right? Even hardened prostitutes who need interviewed for a case.

So, I did like the fact that this book went a completely new direction, but at times it just didn't work. It felt like Mister Rogers guest starring in an episode of  Law & Order.

The best part of the story? Moishe the kitty discovering the joy of using a treadmill. Made me smile.

I'm almost caught up with this series! Just 3 more books, plus the new one coming out in February! I hope that the Norman-Mike conundrum has an answer by the time I get to the new book, Banana Cream Pie Murder.

No comments:

Post a Comment