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First in the New York Times-bestselling mystery series: “A cleverly plotted cozy full of appealing characters and delicious cookie recipes.”—Publishers Weekly
Take one amateur sleuth. Mix in some eccentric Minnesota locals. Add a generous dollop of crackling suspense, and you've got the recipe for this mystery series featuring Hannah Swensen, the red-haired, cookie-baking heroine whose gingersnaps are almost as tart as her comments and whose penchant for solving crime is definitely stirring things up.
While dodging her mother’s attempts to marry her off, Hannah runs The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden’s most popular bakery. But after Ron LaSalle, the beloved deliveryman from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery—with Hannah’s famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him—she’s determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, so she sets out to track down a killer. But if she doesn’t watch her back, Hannah’s sweet life may get burned to a crisp.
“Culinary cozies don’t get any tastier than this winning series.”—Library Journal
Independent-minded Hannah Swenson makes her debut in a cleverly plotted cozy, full of appealing characters and delicious cookie recipes. Returning after her father's death to her hometown of Lake Eden, Minn., Hannah opens her own shop, the Cookie Jar, where much of the town's gossip percolates along with the strong coffee. Early one morning, she finds the driver of a delivery truck shot dead in the alley behind her shop. Hannah's brother-in-law, Bill, the county's deputy sheriff, recruits her to help him chase down the culprit. A surprising number of suspects emerges, but due to her cafe business and catering of local social events, Hannah is admirably placed to hear all, see much and investigate a little. Motives ranging from blackmail to extortion abound, as do descriptions of clothing and shopping. Cat fanciers will appreciate knowing how Hannah found her cat, but separating the wheat of the significant from the chaff of the irrelevant can be challenging. Fluke also stretches the imagination when Bill leaves most of the sleuthing to Hannah and when the sheriff's men fail to discover a second body at the dairy where the first victim was employed. But these are minor lapses in a story satisfyingly packed with plot twists and red herrings. The Pecan Chews recipe is especially recommended.