Reviews: Plum Pudding Murder & Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke

10 Jun

I was looking for something light to listen to, and decided to revisit a series that I’d followed until a couple of years back. I’d put this series away for a while, since the repetition was getting too much for me. When I came back, I skipped over book #11 since it wasn’t available for download from my library, and I don’t think I missed anything major.

For those that haven’t read any of these books: Hannah Swensen owns a cookie shop in a small town in Minnesota. Approximately twice a year, she stumbles over a dead body. This is of tremendous concern to her mother, who worries that no one will want to marry a woman with this particular talent. Not to worry, she has two men in her life– the sweet, loveable, supportive town dentist and the sexy playboy of a homicide detective. And oh yes, there’s lots of talk of food, complete with recipes.

This is generally a very comfortable series– not outstanding, but enjoyable.

Plum Pudding Murder (Hannah Swensen, #12)

Plum Pudding Murder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Light and Fluffy and fun for the 12th Hannah Swensen mystery!  It was exactly what I was looking for in a cozy.

The summary for this book is pretty much irrelevant.  It’s a winter setting, so everyone is always cold, rather than a summer book where everyone is always hot.  I’m trying to remember if any of the books were set in fall or spring.  I assume they have those seasons, however briefly, in Minnesota.

Yes, Hannah finds a dead body. She gets into slightly less trouble than usual investigating it, right up until the very end of the book.

I particularly liked that Hannah actually seemed to be making some progress with her dueling suitors, and it is in the direction I’d choose for her. I wouldn’t be surprised for this to all be undone in the next book, which would disappoint me tremendously, but for now I’m happy.

The dessert recipes made me hungry, as usual. One day, I’ll actually try making one of them.

The characters are generally likable, and were their usual selves in this book.

I did have one peeve. There is usually a storyline with one of the minor characters acting suspiciously. This time, it was Norman’s mom. She’s canceling long-standing plans, lying about what she is doing, and generally worrying all of her friends and relatives. I don’t buy that the situation unveiled at the end would have caused her to behave that way. This happens often enough in this series that I just shrugged it off.

The narrator of the audiobooks does a good job.  Listening to her read the recipes is a bit tedious– not her fault, just the nature of the book.

All in all, I enjoyed it enough to go on to the next (and most recent) book.

Apple Turnover Murder (Hannah Swensen, #13)

Apple Turnover Murder

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m really frustrated with this book. I’m equally frustrated with myself for letting it bother me. I really shouldn’t have read this one so soon after the last one, which I enjoyed in part because I’d taken a long enough break that the same old same old didn’t seem so stale.

Nothing happened that hasn’t happened in previous books. The primary problematic turn of events was easily predicted.

This time, the character acting strangely is  nice, steady Norman.    Six months after the events of the last book, where he’s going nuts over his mother’s secretive antics, he’s doing many of the same things.

Sorry, but this is out of character, and he’s a major enough character for that to matter.

I know, the balance between Mike and Norman must be maintained.   But really, why?  It’s gotten old.

If there was anything else going for this book, I might be able to shrug it off.   But Hannah’s old college professor that enjoys seducing young students was just creepy, and not in a good way.

The mystery didn’t draw me in.  I didn’t feel connected to the characters.

Even the recipes seemed meh at best.

I wish I’d skipped this one.


Posted by on June 10, 2010 in books, reviews


Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “Reviews: Plum Pudding Murder & Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke

  1. Amanda

    June 10, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Hi Laura! I’m finally getting around to all those business cards I got in NYC. Just wanted to say it was very nice to meet you. 🙂


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