1 murdered minister
1 mischievous feline
2 nosy sisters plus a dash of incorrigible mother
1 small Minnesota town
Mix together and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 322 pages and you will have yourself a heaping helping of the newest Joanne Fluke/Hannah Swensen mystery Devil’s Food Cake Murder.
In the 14th entry of this series, Hannah Swensen finds herself in familiar territory. While juggling the demands of her cookie store (appropriately called “The Cookie Jar”), trying to figure out what is going on with the two men in her life (Norman and Mike) and dealing with the whims of her mother, Hannah stumbles upon a murdered minister. In Lake Eden, Minnesota, when there is a murder to solve the police are called but Hannah is also on the case. Armed with a constant supply of cookies, Hannah delves into the death of Reverend Matthew with her mother, two sisters, and Norman as her trusty sidekicks. This time Hannah must figure out who Reverend Matthew was and why someone would want him dead. Also, what is going on with Norman? Suddenly he seems distant and moody which is not at all like the Norman Hannah knows. Plus Hannah knows that she is tired by why does she keep finding socks on top of her refrigerator?
Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen mysteries are a light-hearted and fun read even though they do revolve around murder. I look at them as a collection of recipes with a murder mystery thrown in for entertainment. If you haven’t read a Hannah Swensen mystery before you might want to start with the first book in the series Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder to familiarize yourself with the core cast of characters. Fluke’s books are in no way hard-boiled murder mysteries but you may find a great recipe using hard-boiled eggs. I tried out the Pear Crunch Pie recipe on page 154. Pear pie was pretty ambitious for me, I don't bake very often but this recipe was easy enough for those of us who are baking challenged. It was pretty good so I might have to try out more recipes from Devil's Food Cake Murder.
In October Fluke will be coming out with her next book called Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook. This will be a departure from her previous books in that it will contain all the recipes from books 1-10 as well as short tales about Lake Eden.
If you are a fan of culinary mysteries and have read all that Joanne Fluke has to offer grab a Delicious, Decadent and Dangerous bookmark from the Recommendations desk on the first floor.
~Amy, Adult Services