Cream Puff Murder
Kensington, Feb 24 2009, $24.00
In Lake Eden, Minnesota, Hannah Swensen and Lisa Herman Beeseman co-own the Cookie Jar bakery. Business is booming as the winter cold sends people in for hot coffee and a tasty dessert. However the store is not Hannah’s top priority at the moment because she has to lose weight in two weeks to fit in her Regency costume she will wear at her mom’s book launch party. A desperate Hannah she enrolls in Heavenly Bodies fitness center.
When she goes to use the center’s Jacuzzi she finds the corpse of instructor Ronnie Ward floating inside. Ronnie also served as the fitness instructor to the sheriff’s department. Most men adored her but women despised her because her morals were less than that of an ally cat as she went after any male, married or not.. Hannah’s sometimes boyfriend Police Detective Mike Kingston, her sister’s husband Sheriff Bill, and her other sister’s police officer spouse ask her to investigate since she has solved several homicides and each excuse themselves having a history of sorts with the deceased. The three cops offer advice to Hannah, but she makes her inquiries her way; as she gets closer to the truth the killer gets closer to killing her.
Putting aside the plausibility of Hannah finding the corpse and of the professionals asking a civilian even with the heroine’s résumé to sleuth, rather than a nearby law enforcement friend, CREAM PUFF MURDERS is a delicious amateur sleuth mystery. Besides the mouth watering dozen dessert recipes, the whodunit is cleverly constructed around severable viable suspects including Mike yet none fully stand out in a crowd of haters. Clues abound that eliminate some of the potential culprits as Joanne Fluke provides a marvelous wintry Minnesota mystery.