Coconut Layer Cake Murder review

It’s hard to believe that this is the twenty-fifth book in the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke, a native of Minnesota herself. I’ve always loved the firsthand descriptions given of the various seasons in Minnesota. It sometimes makes me want to be there in the winter, but only if I could get hauled around and not drive in the snow lol. I don’t know how she comes up with all the deliciousness or great titles, but I always pretend I’m enjoying whatever goody Hannah is cooking up. There are plenty of amazing recipes in this book. Maybe one of these days I’ll getting around to making some of them!

My Goodreads review:

Coconut Layer Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #25)Coconut Layer Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading the latest books in the series from about 22 on as arcs, I’d started thinking that someone else might have been doing the writing, because it wasn’t really up to how it used to be in the earlier Hannah books–the conversations were too simple and they used each other’s names way too many times to be natural. But since I just finished book 3 not even a week ago, I felt like it was recent enough to make a good comparison, and honestly this one was almost back to the style of the older books. There was still lots and lots of cookie talk and conversation…but hey this is Lake Eden, a small town that when I started reading these books, I’ve just learned that we get a lot of the people’s personal lives. It might not read like a regular cozy which focuses mostly on the mystery, but it’s awfully typical of small towns where there really isn’t much to talk about except someone’s health, the latest gossip, the weather or yummy food.

Speaking of yummy food, there were tons of great sounding recipes in the book. I have yet to make any of them in the series, but they sure sound good while I’m reading. It’s like I’m eating them in my mind and not gaining weight lol. The mystery did seem a little dragged out with how they had nearly half the police force sitting out the case, since it involved one of their own. But I wasn’t completely sure about who the killer was until Hannah came up with it. There was no cliffhanger ending to this book and to be completely honest, I hadn’t even remembered that there was one. I’m hoping that the future books are taking this path toward being more like the older ones.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are completely my own.

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Raspberry Danish Murder–review

This is the latest book, #22, in the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke. I have to say that this book makes it evident that this author truly loves her readers. I won’t say anymore and I’ll advise like I did with my previous post that if you haven’t read any of the later books, only the older books, you might not want to read the review because it’s hard to talk about a book if certain things can’t be mentioned at all, make sense?

My Goodreads review:

Raspberry Danish Murder (Hannah Swensen, #22)Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book! The ending was just what I was hoping for! I’m trying not to give anything away but even the book descriptions of these last few books in this series are sort of spoiler-like if all a person has read has been the first books. I had only read books in the beginning but I knew what was coming and I was just curious to find out! So I didn’t mind knowing. Now I can go back and read the rest of the series.

If you have not read any later books in this series (from about 18 or 19 on) you might not want to read this review. I promise not to give away the ending but the book can’t be talked about unless I well, talk about it. 😉


It was two weeks after Ross had left and the police had nothing as to why. Hannah was trying to go about life as usual with her sister Michelle staying at the condo with her and her good friends, Mike and Norman keeping her sanity intact.

The Ross mystery continues through the end of this book but something is revealed then that will explain why he’s gone. Hannah’s trip to the bank reveals that she is now a very wealthy woman who is also the new owner of Ross’s car.

When Ross’s assistant eats drugged candy that came from Ross’s desk, both Hannah and Mike start wondering if the candy went to its intended victim or was Ross the intended victim. Was he tipped off that someone might be trying to kill him so he left? Only Ross knows for sure!

In the meantime Hannah and Michelle with the help of Norman and sometimes Andrea continued to look into the murder.

Since Thanksgiving and Christmas were getting closer, the Lake Eden Inn is having a holiday gift convention and Hannah is invited to take a booth (for free) plus be able to keep her profits so that ended up being a win-win for the Cookie Jar, which seems to have plenty of regular help.

In this book we get to see more of Andrea’s daughter Tracey, a 7-year-old who is working on her career path to be a baker like her Aunt Hannah. Cute kid and smart too! Norman is as sweet as ever and I always get a kick out of Mike and his food-dar as the girls call it since he seems to have a 6th sense as to when to show up at the Cookie Jar or the condo for meals or new baked items.

The take down scene was epic and also very funny. I could totally picture it happening since I happen to be a fan of TV movie Hannah as well so it’s easy to picture the on-screen characters doing the scenes in the books. PK’s murder got wrapped up nicely, the perp got hauled to jail and the cookie booth at the convention did extremely well in three days. At the very end, Mike came with some important news for Hannah about Ross.

If you’re as big of a Hannah fan as I am, you’ll do a happy dance, I promise! It’s very apparent that Joanne Fluke loves her fans! I can’t wait for the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance e-copy of this book.

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Banana Cream Pie Murder–review

This is the 21st book in the Hannah Swensen series. If you are a die-hard read-in-order person and don’t know anything about the later books in the series, I would suggest not reading the review. Even the book descriptions for these later books could be considered spoilers. Just lettin’ you know! 😉

My Goodreads review:

Banana Cream Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #21)Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SPOILERS INSIDE but not about the killer–if you haven’t read all or most of the previous Hannah Swensen books you may want to skip reading this review.


Hannah Swensen Barton is on an amazing honeymoon cruise with her new husband, Ross, when at home her mom Delores finds her good friend Tori dead, murdered. Tori also happens to be Mayor Bascomb’s older sister. Of course when Hannah gets home she’s determined to investigate like usual but Mike doesn’t seem to mind as much as he did when they first met.

Meanwhile Hannah’s sister Michelle is now directing the Lake Eden Players’ play that will come out around Thanksgiving and staying with Ross and Hannah. Hopefully Hannah can figure out what happened to her mom’s friend and it’s going to take some checking around in Tori’s apartment which ends up being kind of a fun scene with Hannah, Michelle and Norman doing the snooping.

I had only read the fairly early books but I knew what was coming in this book since I heard that Hannah had gotten married previously. One thing that bugged me a little bit was that Hannah couldn’t figure out how to retrieve her voice mail which seems a little weird for the Hannah I knew in the earlier books. It honestly didn’t detract from the story from me though. I did enjoy the investigation. I always liked the chemistry between Hannah and Mike so I do plan to read the rest to see what happened to drive them apart (obviously Ross but apparently that happened quickly) if they’d ever gotten together to begin with (like they have in the TV movies which I realize have to be different from the books for various reasons).

I always get such a kick out of Delores and now even moreso that she is married to the local doctor. Andrea and Bill have two little girls now, Tracy and Bethie. Bethie is pretty adorable.

The mystery surrounding Tori’s death was really good and Hannah worked her usual magic in finding the killer. I hadn’t guessed who it was until a couple of clues were given towards the end.

Just about every chapter has one or two recipes at the end and boy do they sound scrumptious, especially the one for the banana cream pie. At the end of this book, there is also the first chapter of the next book that you can read.

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