It’s Christmas many years ago, and topping young Hannah Swensen’s wish list is becoming the go-to baker in Lake Eden, Minnesota. But as Hannah finds out, revisiting holiday memories can be murder . . .
With her dream of opening The Cookie Jar taking shape, Hannah’s life matches the hectic December hustle and bustle in Lake Eden—especially when she agrees to help recreate a spectacular Christmas Ball from the past in honor of Essie Granger, an elderly local in hospice care. But instead of poring over decadent dessert recipes for the merry festivities, she instantly becomes enthralled by Essie’s old notebooks—and the tale of a woman escaping danger on the streets of New York . . .
Hannah’s surprised by Essie’s secret talent for penning crime fiction. She’s even more surprised when the story turns real. As Hannah prepares to run a bakery and move out of her mother’s house, it’ll be a true miracle if she can prevent another Yuletide disaster by solving a mystery as dense as a Christmas fruitcake . . .
Features Over a Dozen Cookie and Dessert Recipes from The Cookie Jar!
“Series fans will enjoy learning how the Cookie Jar bakery came to be.”
Bestseller Fluke's diverting 23rd Hannah Swensen mystery (after Raspberry Danish Murder), an origin story, finds college student Hannah home in Lake Eden, Minn., with her grief-stricken mother, Delores, three weeks after the funeral of Hannah's father and Delores's husband, Lars. When several of Delores's women friends come up with a project that will cheer her up, Hannah is all for it. Lonely widow Essie Granger is in the hospital recovering from a fall, and the women decide to recreate the annual Christmas Ball that Essie always loved. In the course of their preparations, Hannah and Delores discover a set of notebooks in which Essie began a mystery novel, and they read a few pages from it each night, unaware that Essie's thrilling tale is based on real events and that everything is poised to come to a head the night of the ball. Series fans will enjoy learning how the Cookie Jar bakery came to be, but others should be aware that the mystery element is slight in an entry with a heavy focus on food descriptions and Hannah's recipes.