Monday, September 28, 2009

Carrot Cake Murder - Joanne Fluke

Summertime has finally arrived in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar bakery, is looking forward to warm, lazy days, eating ice cream, and sharing picnics with friends. But when a family reunion takes a deadly turn, it's up to Hannah to find a killer... Between baking up a storm for The Cookie Jar and unraveling the mystery of her cat Moishe's recent strange behavior, Hannah Swensen has a lot on her plate. But she'll always make time for her business partner, Lisa, who's in the midst of preparing for a big family reunion. Everyone is delighted when Lisa's long-lost uncle makes a surprise
appearance. No one has heard from Gus in twenty-five years--and his arrival has everyone buzzing with excitement. Uncle Gus is immediately the hit of the reunion, telling tales of his great success and flashing money for all to see.
He's almost as popular as Hannah's scrumptious carrot cake, which is also Gus's favorite dessert. But the next morning, as the whole family gathers for the group photo, one person is missing. Hannah offers to track down Uncle Gus, but her search leads to a shocking find. Over by the bar at the pavilion, she spots two slices of her infamous carrot cake, frosting-side down on the floor--and Gus's corpse with an ice pick jutting out of his chest! A little snooping reveals that not everyone was celebrating Gus's return. And when Hannah unearths more secrets from Gus's past, she discovers even more people with an axe to grind. Now Hannah's got to sift through a long list of suspects to find a killer--even if it could mean a recipe for her own demise...

In Carrot Cake Murder, Hannah Swensen 10th mystery we have the return of Gus, Hannah’s partner Lisa’s uncle, after a 30 year absence and there are many questions about why he went away in the first place, is he really Gus and is he really as successful as he keeps announcing to everyone. He seems a really suspicious character but when he is found dead Hannah discovers that a lot of people may have had a motive to do away with him and the first suspect that the police considers his Lisa’s dad.
On my review of the last book of this series I had read I mentioned how I was becoming more and more disappointed with the love triangle Hannah is involved in. One of the things that I liked in this story was that Hannah’s love life seems to have faded a bit in the background. Both Mike and Norman appear but more as helpers for the crime investigation or friends than as love interests. However I think that the crime investigation is also treated almost as a secondary thing and it is life in Lake Eden with all the characters we’ve known before and of course Hannah’s recipes that make the book. While that is interesting it seemed to me that the book needed something more to add to the plot and keep us interested.
Grade: 3.5/5

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