There was a killer loose in Lake Eden.
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Published: Re-released July 30, 2019 (First published 2000)
Pages: 310 (Paperback; 451 with extra content)
Series: Hannah Swensen Mystery #1
“Ron was murdered in cold blood and the killer won’t hesitate to take you out if he thinks you’re on to something.”
No one cooks up a delectable, suspense-filled mystery quite like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke’s dessert-baking, red-haired heroine whose gingersnaps are as tart as her comebacks, and whose penchant for solving crimes–one delicious clue at a time–has made her a bestselling favorite. And it all began on these pages, with a bakery, a murder, and some suddenly scandalous chocolate-chip crunchies. Featuring a bonus short story and brand new, mouthwatering recipes, this new edition of the very first Hannah Swensen mystery is sure to have readers coming back for seconds…
Hannah already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother’s attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden’s most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah’s famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can’t get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, 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.
I need to shout a huge thank you to my friends over at Kensington for sending this novel my way! First of all, the new cover is amazing. It’s so bright and cute and it pops so much so that I got comments about it all week! Second, it was almost like they read my mind when they sent me this, that’s for sure.
Real talk, this series is part of the reason I got into cozy mysteries. So, when I was at home browsing the TV, I came across Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and they were playing a marathon of this series and on a whim I watched one and I was hooked from that moment on. The Hallmark Mystery Movies are some of my favorite things to watch because they’re so wholesome and I also think they’re pretty well done, so I immediately wanted to read this series after I watched the movies. Fast forward a long time (because we all know how TBRs are) I kind of forgot about it and then this comes in the mail and I literally wanted to cry! I was actually ecstatic, I cannot explain it.
So, this is the first novel in this really beloved and long running series and while it’s clear this is a debut, the actual meat of the novel isn’t bad at all. I enjoyed myself immensely while reading this, it was my escape from the stresses of life. I went into this knowing completely what was happening and who did it and everything and I still loved this. The actual mystery in itself was really well done, I thought. We had a decent amount of suspects and there were plenty of twists and turns that left me guessing right up until the end. Which was hilarious to me because I feel like I should have remembered the details of the crime after watching the movie but I didn’t remember a thing! Ha!
The author does such a good job of setting up this community and giving it this air of realness. There were a lot of characters introduced, a great deal of community dynamics and relationships, and everything was so cozy and interesting and fun. Also, the novel was a big darker than the TV movie in terms of some of those community dynamics/characters, and I was a bit shocked by it. But in a good way! It’s so complex that the town felt alive and I wish I lived there, really.
Plus, I’m totally bookmarking some of the recipes to try later! They sounded so good and we get a few to choose from, so once I move to my new home I’m going to be baking like Hannah Swensen!
I’m not gonna go into a deep review of this because it’s been around forever and it’s your typical cozy, but I wanted to hop on a gush a bit. It’s so fun and interesting and the writing is really good. I can see why this has been a long standing series and I cannot wait to pick up the next in the series!
Hannah Swensen Mystery (2-5)