From the New York Times-bestselling author of Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, “another delicious adventure…a superior cozy sure to leave readers satisfied.”—Publishers Weekly
When the president of Hartland Flour chooses cozy Lake Eden, Minnesota, as the spot for their first annual Dessert Bake-Off, bakery owner Hannah Swensen is thrilled to serve as the head judge. But when a fellow judge, Coach Boyd Watson, is found stone-cold dead, facedown in Hannah’s celebrated strawberry shortcake, Lake Eden’s sweet ride to fame turns very sour indeed.
While perfecting her Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie and Chocolate Crunchies, Hannah’s also snooping into the coach’s private life, which yields plenty of suspects. Or could Watson’s harsh criticism during the judging have lethally ticked off one of the contestants? The stakes are rising faster than dough, because somebody’s cooking up a recipe for murder—with Hannah landing on the “necessary ingredients” list.
Includes seven delicious recipes!
“The crime novelist Joanne Fluke has come up with a winning formula…think of a luscious dessert, then add death.”—The New York Times
Following her successful debut, 2000's Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, Fluke brings back amateur sleuth and Lake Eden, Minn., bakery owner Hannah Swensen for another delicious adventure. Hannah has the honor of serving as head judge of the first annual Hartland Flour Dessert Bake-off, which she anticipates will be good advertising for her already popular bakery, The Cookie Jar. Then one of the judges, high school basketball coach Boyd Watson, is found dead, face down in Hannah's strawberry shortcake, and suspicion falls on Watson's abused wife, Danielle. Determined to prove Danielle's innocence, Hannah ignores the warnings of romantic interest Mike Kingston, the supervisor of detectives at the Winnetka County sheriff's station, not to get involved. Tempting descriptions of meals served at the local establishments, mouth-watering recipes and a warm family of characters ward off the vividly depicted bitter chill of a Minnesota winter. While the other characters tend to be stereotypical, Hannah is a believable, down-to-earth protagonist who can't function without her morning coffee, justifies her passion for chocolate as a biological need for endorphins and deals with a matchmaking mother and a needy sister with understanding and humor. Add the ingredients of a cleverly crafted mystery and a realistic portrayal of smalltown life, and you have a superior cozy sure to leave readers satisfied... but hungry for more.