Plum Pudding Murder
Kensington, Oct 2009, $24.00
December may be freezing in Lake Eden, Minnesota, but hearts are warm as the residents celebrate the holidays. This year entrepreneur Lunatic Larry Jaeger has created a Christmas shopping mall where he sells trees at cost. There are rides adding to the colonial like atmosphere as well as the Tree Lot store and food court in which the cookies are supplied by Cookie Jar owner Hannah Swensen and her business partner Lisa.
The Mayor has cut short his fishing trip because he is concerned over Jaeger's business practices and as an investor wants to make sure his is safe and as the mayor he wants to keep everyone who goes to the Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot safe from Larry’s financial maneuvering. Larry’s business partner and fiancée gives accountant Luanne the books for Jaeger's Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot to audit; she is up all night to find why they fail to balance. Hannah looks in on her and helps her return the books. When Hannah and one of her boyfriends Norman go to Larry to pick up her check, they find him dead and his large screen TV shot with holes. Her other boyfriend Mike the cop zeroes in on a suspect, but Hannah disagrees. She investigates with the help of friends and family and is almost killed by the real culprit.
Minnesota in the winter as seen through the eyes of the natives is pictured as a freezing, snow filled and wind blown; yet these same natives find plenty of fun things to do to keep from going stark crazy. Thus the cast adds a sense of a vivid seasonal place that anchors the whodunit. This long running amateur sleuth retains the freshness of the first snow of the year. PLUM PUDDING MURDER is brilliantly executed and Hannah’s inquiry seems credible though she should know by now an investigation can prove potentially lethal even when she asks a few penetrating questions out of inquisitiveness that she failed to recognize as dangerous.