Thursday, March 13, 2008
Key Lime Pie Murder - Joanne Fluke
I couldn't resist picking this one up as the last one worked so well for me.
It's Tri-County fair time and Lake Eden, Minnesota, is buzzing with more than mosquitoes. Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar, is hot on the trail of a killer whose perfect carnival prize would be getting away with murder...
It promises to be a busy week for Hannah Swensen. Not only is she whipping up treats for the chamber of commerce booth at the fair; she's also judging the baking contest; acting as a magician's assistant for her business partner's husband; trying to coax Moishe, her previously rapacious feline, to end his hunger strike, and performing her own private carnival act by juggling the demands of her mother and sisters.
With so much on her plate, it's no wonder Hannah finds herself on the midway only moments before the fair closes for the night. As the lights click off, she realizes that she's not alone among the shuttered booths and looming carnival attractions. After hearing a suspicious thump, she goes snooping;only to discover Willa Sunquist, a student teacher and fellow bake contest judge, dead alongside an upended key lime pie. But who would want to kill Willa and why? Before long Hannah is sifting through motives and a list of suspects which include a high school student Willa flunked, the hot-blooded brothers of a disqualified beauty contestant, a rodeo cowboy, a baking competitor who failed to win her yearly blue ribbon, and the college professor Willa was dating.
As fair week draws to a close, Hannah cranks up the heat, hoping that the killer will get rattled and make a mistake. If that happens she intends to be there, even if it means getting on a carnival ride that could very well be her last...
Unfortunately this one didn't work so well. One of the things is that it takes too long for the murder to happen. If we didn't know who is going to be killed that would be fine but we do know so we really don't need to spend all that time getting to know a character we know is going to disappear. I felt the same way about the last book but since I enjoyed the rest I didn't even mention it in my review but here it really bothered me.
Then in the book we have a bit more of the Mike / Norman thing. Did I mention I don't like that? Did I mention I like Norman better than Mike? This book did not change my mind. And I want her to decide and get on with her life!
Hannah seemed to have some silly moments. Eavesdropping just in time to hear Mike explain why he seems to cold to victims. Meeting the bad guy and leaving her cell phone on so he can hear her sister telling her he is the bad guy... that was just weird. I sometimes don't hear the phone ringing in my bag much less someone talking. And then that finale with the carnival ride. It almost seemed like a joke...
On the whole I suppose it wasn't terrible. It's just that it wasn't very good either and nothing really stands out.
Note to self: don't read two Hannah Swensen books in a row.