Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

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Product Description

Discover the delicious mystery that started it all!

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 limited edition of the very first Hannah Swensen mystery is sure to have readers coming back for seconds?

Hannah Swenson already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother?s attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden, Minnesota?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.

Who would have the sheer audacity?and the motive?to kill the most punctual delivery man Hannah ever had? Topping the list is the high school football coach. What exactly was his wife doing, making the rounds with the milkman? Could Max Turner, owner of Cozy Cow Dairy, have had a secret he didn?t want to share with his top employee? The more Hannah snoops, the more suspects turn up. Why has Lake Eden?s most prominent prodigal son, Benton Woodley, just resurfaced? And what about the mysterious Mr. Harris who seemed interested in buying the property next to the dairy, but then disappeared? This is one murder that?s starting to leave a very bad taste in Hannah?s mouth. And if she doesn?t watch her back, Hannah?s sweet life may get burned to a crisp.

Filled with a healthy sprinkling of humor and a delightful assortment of nuts, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MURDER serves up a great new mystery series and introduces a delicious, down-home sleuth that mystery readers will surely savor for years to come.

Customer Reviews:

  • Pretty Crumby
    I'm a mystery junkie, and I have to admit, this sounded good. But though the writing is fairly smooth and the character and setting are interesting, I just didn't buy it.

    I couldn't see why anyone would let themselves be questioned by a baker with no authority nor why Bill would let her interview HIS suspects. He came off as a complete doofus.

    Hannah as a character became quite annoying. She was sticking her nose into everyone's business, giving unwanted advice, deceiving people, and breaking law after law (stealing evidence, covering up crimes, breaking and entering...). Personally, I think she should stick to her baking....more info

  • Cookies For Breakfast??
    This book was easy to read. The characters were fun and well written. But I couln't believe that Hannah's brother-in-law was willing to have Hannah almost take over the murder investigation. She also seemed to put an awful lot of responsibility on Lisa, her employee, for running her bakery.

    I also felt that Hannah was too critical of her sister Andrea in the beginning of the book. I liked that they were closer and she seemed to understand her sister better by the end of the book.

    Are there really that many people, besides me, who believe cookies can be eaten for breakfast?...more info

  • Delicious Read
    This was actually my second Joanne Fluke mystery read. I loved the Cherry Cheesecake Murder so well I backed up and started with her first book in the series. I just loved it and the whole Hannah story. I love reading a book that I can really get into the characters and one that leaves me wanting to pick up the next one right away. And this one did!...more info
  • Witty character, that's about it though
    Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder has a funny, witty main character. That is really all I can say about the book though. Well, let me take that back. The recipes sounded pretty good.
    Hannah Swenson, main character, is a cookie shop owner who helps her brother-in-law solve the murder of a friend. I found this a little unbelievable because Hannah has no detective work skills/background. The author did have me guessing up to the very end about who the murderer was though. I did like that about the book. It was not predictable.
    If you are looking for a silly, yet fun kind of read, or are a chocoaholic, then pick up Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. If you like books with a little more depth, best to skip it....more info
  • Great mystery series!
    This book is one in a series of fun, easy to read mysteries. They all take place surrounding the heroine's cookie shop in the middle of a small town. The stories are fun and one can usually guess who-done-it before the end. The mysteries are accompanied by side stories that run through all the books and keep you coming back for more. In between the chapters are amazing recipies for desserts. I have tried several of them so far and have nothing bad to say! The only thing I don't like about this series is the wait for new books. It takes a while for the newest book to get into paperback, which is the only way I will buy mysteries....more info
  • Uh-Oh; should have a disclaimer...
    Don't attempt reading if you're trying to be true to a diet! Ejoyed the story about a young woman who has her own business as a cookie maker. Gets involved in a mysterious murder and still manages to be "cookie-mom" to the entire town! Recipes included are divine! There's a great attention to detail, that can be tedious, and she's pretty impressive as a "wanna-be-sleuth", so much so that she makes the local detective appear dim; but I call this a dessert book... one you can enjoy without too much concentration and have a good taste in your head when you're done!...more info
  • I love an independant woman
    I loved this book! It is a great little mystery. I love how independant Hannah is. She is happy being on her own, she loves her life and the way she lives it. I also loved the way that she included recipes of the cookies she made, my mouth watered just hearing her describe them. Great book!...more info
  • A Delectable Little Mystery
    As the first novel in Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen Mysteries, we are introduced to a whole set of characters. Hannah, owner of the Cookie Jar, a bakery in Lake Eden, MN that she started when she left college because of a family emergency. Her sister Andrea, a part-time real estate agent/part-time Mom. Hannah's brother-in-law Bill, a police officer that is working towards a promotion to detective. And Hannah's mother, who is trying everything in her power to make sure Hannah doesn't die an "old maid"!

    One day, Hannah discovers that the delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy has been murdered right outside her shop, as he was following his morning schedule. And he was eating one of her famous Chocolate Chip Crunkie cookies when he was shot!! Bill is assigned to the case and enlists Hannah's help to do a little undercover detective work.

    Although the story was easy to read and the characters were very enjoyable, elements of the mystery weren't all that plausable. The answers to certain questions fell together a little too easy and certain clues were just too good to be true. But despite this, I enjoyed the book. And to top it off, Fluke included numerous cookies recipes that look absolutely delish! That's reason alone to give this book 4 stars!!...more info
  • Addictive as chocolate cookies!!!
    I love mystery books and I love pastries so I didn't need much encouragement to start reading this series. But once I started I was hooked up. I love it! The cases are very interesting and intriguing but what really steals your heart are the characters. You can relate to them (especially to Hannah) and they are so real that you want to know "What happens next" in their lives.

    Joanne Fluke's stories are so good that you always want more... books and recipes!
    ...more info
  • A very Fun Read
    I truly enjoyed reading this book. I found the characters to be very believable; people I would like to know. Ms. Fluke hooked me at the very beginning - which is very important to me. There were enough twists to keep the story interesting and the story moved along at very good pace. I would definately recommend this book. I plan to read the other books in this series and look forward to more in the future....more info
    I never knew cookies could be such fun. I loved this mystery for
    the mystery and the recipes. YEAH Definite winner....more info
  • Guilty Pleasure for Sure!
    Oh, I love Joanne Fluke's novels! I also had the pleasure to correspond with her through emails so I quickly became a huge fan after we chatted a little bit!!

    This book is great; you actually come to care about the character...when you're tired of romance novels and want a mystery that's fun and light hearted pick these up!! I thought no book could be as good as 'A Is For Alibi', by Sue Grafton, but I was wrong, in my opinion these are just as good!!

    Please pick one of these books up; it doesn't matter where you start, you will get to know Hannah, the main character, well in all of them. Happy reading!...more info
  • A Fun Read
    I picked this book up at the library on a whim. The promise of sweet treats and mystery was intriguing! I really enjoyed the characters, the flow of the story, and the atmosphere that was created by the author. I admit to copying the recipes too, because they sounded so good! I have since read several others in the series, and enjoyed them just as much....more info
  • Chips Ahoy for Mystery!
    Hannah Swenson is going to become the new "mystery detective" for the culinary set. The warmth of the recipes, the relationships in the town and the attention to detail make this an enjoyable read from beginning to end. A fantastic new series to read and re - read for a lifetime....more info
  • Yummy Read!
    I spotted this book as a passerby in a bookstore. I actually did judge a book by its cover..both front and back! I thought this was an excellent book. It keeps you in suspense until the very end. It also will test your sweet tooth! Every cookie or dessert mentioned in the book; the recipie is provided for you so you can actually make the deliciously described treats yourself! Will follow this series until the end!!!...more info
  • A good feel read
    This was a lovely feel good book.The characters were adorable especially Hannah and Mom and of course the cat.Im from England and I just loved the sense of place.I felt I could smell the cookies and feel the bone chilling coldness experienced in Minnesota.The mystery was good but really it was the wonderful feeling I had whilst reading the book.The only sad thing is I now have to wait till March for the next one...more info
  • Reprint
    First, of all this is a reprint of Fluke's first novel in this series. But to get all us fans to rebuy it in hardcover, she's thrown a new novella at the end. Is the book worth the price of the new story? Probably not. The new story is cute and certainly entertaining, but not worth $16. Now I really like this series and figure this is my contribution to make sure she writes more, but I feel its a little manipulative of both Fluke and publishers to do this to us. You can certainly go check this out at the library and read the new story in a hour or so.

    If you haven't read any of these books yet, or not this one (Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder), this is a great way to get two for the price of one. Or if you like hardcovers since this was never originally released in hardcover. But the new story is a typical short story - fun to see more of your normal characters, but the story is pretty straightforward. You do get quite a few new recipes.

    The new short story features a runaway named Candy who Hannah takes in and figures out where she came from to reunite her with her family.

    As to the book itself, Fluke has great characters. The main character is Hannah, who runs a cookie shop. In this book, we first meet her and the cast of charactesr that make Lake Eden, MN. I love the Minnesota small town setting. Her milk delivery man is murdered behind her shop and Hannah sets out to find out who did it. Her brother-in-law is a brand new detective, who asks for help. His wife, Hannah's sister, Andrea, also gets involved. The family and friendship dynamics of this book are great as well as the mystery itself. Plus Fluke has some of the best recipes I've ever seen. They are simple to use and VERY good. Definitely things you actually want to eat rather than just "gourmet" recipes. This also starts the "two boyfriend" circle, about which I've said numerous times, Hannah needs to make a decision about! But in this book, we first meet both of these men. Definitely worth the time to read if you haven't!...more info
  • Bomber Jacket of Black, Butter-Leather; James Dean & Hannah Swensen. Who is Joanne Fluke?
    This being the pilot to the series, I was pleasantly surprised that it exposed the maturity of an author with confidence in her craft and main character.

    Fluke did have at least one other novel published prior to this pilot reaching the market, which indicates to me that she had been seriously writing prior to her well-earned success with her Hannah Swensen series. I noticed Fluke's earlier book as I was schmoozing through a used bookstore in Grand Junction, Colorado. Observing this mystery's deep, dark cover featuring a hard-boiled female PI, I easily concluded that it was not a cozy. Having seen that book, having read the CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MURDER (after having read and reviewed 4 other novels in this series); I feel like a couple corner pieces in a jigsaw have been snapped into place. Oh.

    Bashing my head into a light bulb swinging across my myopic field-of-vision, I received the bright idea to Investigate Amazon's wealth of pages, and of course I found the title of this "mystery" novel, along with several other mysteries written by Fluke, outside the Hannah collection. A book search under Joanne Fluke's name coughed up 23 interesting items readily available on Amazon. Well DUH is me! One of these was the used book I had seen in Grand Junction. It was titled, DEADLY MEMORIES, and was published by Zebra Books, February 1995. You can check out several of these Fluke hard-boiled's here! Amazon's buying page for DM's has 2 interesting customer reviews, too (though please note that, as my reviews indicate, I do not see the Hannah series as being "silly," as one of the CR's on DM's described; I see it as light and delightfully funny, with a somewhat disguised depth). I'll have to add some of these "Fluke's-darker-side novels" to my Listmania on her Hannah series, along with the page for the latest release, CHERRY CHEESECAKE MURDER, coming soon.

    Returning to an investigation into the Hannah pilot, I'm happy to say that I saw her as a stronger woman with more character depth and complexity in CCCM than she appeared to be in the other 4 offerings I've reviewed. Somehow her strength in CCCM seems to emanate from an ironic undercurrent of being wounded, a current which permeates the plot and seems to source from a childhood with a fluky mother who was sunny or dark in inexplicably instant transitions; from an ugly, embarrassing, betrayed intimacy with a married professor; and from Hannah's being too literally Einstein-ish to be popular as a girl.

    Speaking of Einstein, until I read this pilot, I hadn't quite realized that both Hannah and Fluke would probably rank well above genius level on intelligence scales. Of course, to be an established, successful novelist, a certain amount and type of creative genius is essential, and each author has his/her own talent and voice which has to comes from somewhere besides the ozone.

    In CCCM, Hannah steps off the page with her second-hand bomber jacket in primary sensual focus, reeking of a leather-scent-with-significance in ID-ing a tough but wounded James Dean type rebel... who blows her cover by nurturing friends and family at every turn of subplot with freshly baked cookies. Love it!

    This novel reads with a deeper, more serious & sensual style than the other Hannah offerings (I like both styles, and the way they evolved, and I'm definitely itching to get my hands on the latest hardback).

    - If you want to know the real Hannah, before she ironically became so popular as a cozy mystery diva, read or reread this pilot to the series.

    - If you want to know the precise ways Hannah became seated cozily into two romantic interests who amazingly and believably tolerate each other in a genuinely friendly manner, read or reread this pilot.

    - If you want to see how Hannah began her amateur sleuthing (which is as or more professional and intelligent than any Sherlock or police person walking the pages of fiction) by helping her brother-in-law earn his detective wings, read or reread this pilot.

    Bill's respect for Hannah's intelligence, and his wisdom and security as a male and as a policeman, work together in an endearing way as he asks for and receives Hannah's help solving a murder, as he works with her willingly and humbly, not as an equal, but literally as her assistant. This situation is indeed believable, even though it may be rare that a man in Bill's position would be confident enough in himself and in Hannah to set up this situation. What a guy. What a gal.

    Truthfully, I do know a few highly intelligent policemen (patrolmen as well as detectives who have solid confidence and no ego problems) who could have honorably and humbly done what Bill did here without batting an eye. My ex-husband and his cohorts were this confident and this smart, though they were and are all well beyond Bill's novice situation at the outset of this mystery pilot.

    In the novel's resolution, when Hannah doesn't get full credit for what she's done, except privately from Bill and those who know, this reader was sad, in a way, yet could easily accept this subtly complex situation for what it was. Ultimately, for me, this added cream-cheese frosting on the cake of Hannah's mystique as a James Dean, butter-leather, black Bomber Jacket Persona.

    Somehow that rebel/outcast persona gradually dissolves as the series progresses. It doesn't have a chance under the chocolate-chip, bitter-sweetness of Hannah's ongoing Cookie Jar business; her entertaining, satisfyingly developing relationships with Mike and Norman; and the deepening of a complex intimacy with just the right amount of snarly conflict, between Hannah and her family and friends.

    I hope you're as awed as I was when I took time to study the mood contrast of this pilot, to each novel in its series; when I allowed myself to see the amazing assimilation of a rebel-loaner into a fun community, without that rebel losing her cause, her individuality, or her integrity.

    If real life were that way maybe I wouldn't be such a recluse. Freshly baked cookies, though, are the key and the clue. I can have the warm and fun community in Fluke's world. In real life I have my cocoon and my cookies, my perfect best-friend-and-husband, my 3 kitter-cats, a few true friends, and a family of endearingly bull-dog-ish characters. And, I have my escapes into worlds of fiction, by reading, and by writing my unique utopias into novels. Such a deal.

    I'm still in awe of Hannah's bomber jacket, and I wonder where it is now. Have I forgotten or missed a puzzle piece of one of Fluke's plots which mentions it again in books beyond this pilot? I'm going to have to reread every book in this series to observe and honor the James Dean image as it does a gradual, classic fadeout.

    So, what will Hannah wear to her wedding? Will she clone herself a twin in order to have it all?

    Curiosity A-Foot,
    Linda G. Shelnutt...more info
  • Lovely entertainment
    I purchased the book because it's by another Minnesota native, and I also liked the concept of cookie recipes in a murder mystery. Certainly the venue of a favorite bakery makes a splendid center for the gathering of information and gossip. This rather clever choice of a central source of community information reminds me of the Lois Meade series : Murder On Monday (Lois Meade Mystery) and Weeping on Wednesday (Lois Meade Mystery), etc. by Ann Purser.

    The book is a delightful depiction of Minnesota as it's often viewed by others. The nurses I worked with in New York City knew exactly one thing about Minnesota, it's COLD!! The author perpetuates our snowy image and the Minnesota Nice character of its people in her little town of Lake Eden. It's a delightful place to spend time.

    The central characters are charming and enjoyable. For one thing while they don't all get along completely, they aren't so horribly dysfunctional that it's a total soap opera. Each has his or her own strengths and weaknesses and each supplies something to the others and to the story that moves things along. Furthermore, they all manage to grow as individuals as the story progresses, something that's refreshing to see.

    The mystery itself was well constructed. I was totally led astray by every red herring and only suspected the true murderer when the main character did. That's pretty rare for me.

    An added plus is the introduction of recipes throughout the book. I have yet to try them, but I definitely intend to; they'd make lovely Christmas gifts for those who already have everything anyway and who are often too busy to do their own baking. I look forward to it.
    ...more info
  • Read It, ReadIt, Read It!!!!
    This book was the first in the series that I read by Joanne Fluke and ever since I have been coming back for more. I have never been dissapointed with any of her books. I have even used some of the scrumptious recipes in the books. I am anxiously awaiting the release of her next book "The Fudge Cupcake Murder".
    It's a book you will absolutely love....more info
  • Straddling the fence on this one.
    Although I enjoyed the story and the characters, for somebody who just 'happens' upon a dead body and might even be categorized as an amateur sleuth, Hannah follows this case with the tenacity of a dog with a bone. She asks questions and follows leads as though she's assigned to the case instead of someone who's just supposed to keep her ears open and pass along any information to her brother-in-law (who really IS assigned to the case). Since moving back home, Hannah's reconnection with her family and the opening of her business, The Cookie Jar, are both wonderfully written, humorous, at at times exasperating. This series has potential, but let's hope that the author scales back a little bit on Hannah's involvement in future cases. For someone who has no law enforcement experience, she's just too involved to make it believable....more info
  • Definetly a great series
    Definetly a must read for mystery lovers or people who are not big fans of the genre. Hannah Swensen is the red haired heroine who bakes cookies and all kinds of sweet treats in her bakery, The Cookie Jar. When Hannah discovers that Ron LaSalle was shot behind her bakery in his Cozy Cow delivery truck she takes action. Helping her brother in law Bill Todd, she finds clues that lead her to the killer. Then she and her sister Andrea find the owner of the Cozy Cow Dairy, Max, shot also they unravel some delicious clues that just might lead her to find out who the double homicide killer is and bring them to justice. WARNING: do not read if you are hungry....more info
  • That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles....
    Hannah Swenson, the owner of a successful cookie shop called The Cookie Jar, is also a proficient amateur sleuth. When a popular local ex-football player is killed behind her shop, she is determined to find his killer. Will she succeed? Read to find out.

    This is truly an outstanding novel. The setting is in the chilly autumn of rural Minnesota. The author does a magnificent job of describing the biting cold and the blowing snow of a prairie autumn.

    The characterization is superb. The characters seem to leap right off the page and grow flesh and bones. They could be people in your own home town, friends and acquaintances of yours. Each one is carefully detailed to make them seem real and to draw the reader into their stories.

    The plot is thrilling. The author kept me guessing until the last moment to find out the identity of the killer. The plot took several twists and turns leading me to dead end guesses repeatedly thus adding to the fun and building up to the shocking conclusion.

    But the real star of this novel is the atmosphere. It's sheer coziness at its very best. One can smell the fresh coffee and taste the warm cookies as one shivers in the Minnesota wind. It's the perfect book to cuddle up with on a chilly autumn day and lose oneself in utter bliss. Also, many recipes are included so you can enjoy baking Hannah's delights as you wind your way through this thrilling mystery.

    This book is a must read for any fan of cozy mysteries and just plain good story telling. This is a novel that will stay with you long after you close the pages. Highly recommended.

    This collector's edition also contains a short story entitled, Candy for Christmas. This is the story of a young runaway whom Hannah finds in the deep cold of the Minnesota Christmas. Hannah sets out to learn the girl's story and to help her reunite with her family. It is a wonderful story filled with many of the same elements of delights found in the novel. It's inclusion in this edition is a real treat. It too contains many recipes to add to your enjoyment. So after your meal of mystery, don't forget the candy for dessert!

    Smash B ...more info
  • Give me Strawberry Shortcake Anytime
    Having read the second book in this series first, I've yet to finish this book because it drags far too long at the beginning. Even though the main characters are developed in this book, you really don't miss that much when starting with book two. Truthfully, I was considering purchasing more of the books in this series but I'm hestiant now after delving into this first book. I do however love having new recipes to try and enjoy the weaving of a murder mystery for a quick "summer" fiction book....more info
    I read a lot of books covering a very wide range. Many of the books I read are of a serious nature, e.g. history, biography, travel, natural history and technical topics. Every so often I do read fiction and one of my favorite genres, along with fantasy, is the cozy mystery. For the most part these little mysteries are short easy reads and many of them become series. This allows me to get to know the characters, their locations and little quirks. These are my relaxation books and I truly love them.

    Joanne Fluke has started a new series with this offering, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and I was absolutely captivated after the first few pages. The setting is in a small town in Minnesota and the heroine, Hannah Swenson owns and operates a small coffee shop which specializes in cookies. Hannah, a bright young lady with a sharp tongue, inquisitive and bright mind finds herself with a dead body in a truck parked in the ally behind her store. Of course, as with most small towns, everyone knows everyone else and Hannah instantly recognized the local young man who delivers milk and dairy products. And so the hunt for the murder begins. It must be noted that Hannah Swenson is a person who has an over active curiosity and in fact is down right noisy; in a delightful way of course. If you want more of a plot outline, read some of the other review, or better yet, read the book jacket which has seemingly been done a couple of times here.

    The author's style is quite readable and the story moves at a very nice pace. This particular work contains many of the features I enjoy; no, actually require in the cozies that I read. Great attention to detail, a cast of rather quirky and non-quirky characters, little blood and gore and a mystery solved through sheer brain power and observation are all a part of the mix I enjoy. I suppose this harks back to my reading of Christy, Doyle and their ilk. I also look for progressive and logical clues and absolutely hate it when the author, usually out of sheer desperation, throws in a ringer into the last chapter to "solve" the case. If I am not given progressive clues throughout the book, it holds little interest for me. On the other hand, if I am able to figure out who done it during the first couple of chapters, I never touch the author's books again. This writer and story teller has given me just what I want with this story, and given it in spades.

    Now I must confess that I like food and I like animals. This novel provides much cookie lore, recipes and wonderful descriptions of their creation. Hannah has a loveable cat that she shares her life with and I must say that this author knows her cats. I also enjoy just a touch of romance thrown in, and again the author has delivered in this department. Hannah has a mother who is determined to get her married off as soon as possible and presents her with an unending selection of eligible men. Another cozy reading requirement, which while not absolutely necessary, but is nevertheless appreciated, is the inclusion of humor, and again, the author comes through. We get the added bonus of having some very nice cookie recipes sprinkled throughout the book. I know this is not an original ploy, but to be honest, a person can never have too many recipes for good eats. Cats, cookies, cute and smart girl, odd characters and a mystery...what more could you want?

    This work was simply a fast and fun read. I see that there have been quite a number of books added to this series since this first one was published and I plan to go through each and every one of them. For those that enjoy this particular genre, you could do much worse. I suspect that we will be seeing more and more of this author in the coming years.
    ...more info
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
    The description of Lake Eden and it's inhabitants. Joanne Fluke did a great job of creating a small town atmosphere. The small town atmosphere, along with the cookie bakery and cookie recipes gives the book a very 'cozy' feel. I also liked that even Moishe (Hannah's cat) had a personality of his own.

    There wasn't a lot of action or exciting events throughout the book. The 'excitement' didn't occur until the last 10-15 pages of the book and even then I thought it could have been better. Also, the characters weren't really all that believable. It seemed like all the characters had the same personality and they were all too nice.

    I really like the idea of this series. 'Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder' wasn't a bad read but there's a lot of room for improvement. ...more info
  • A cute, light read
    I'm normally a slow reader, but I finished the 400 page new edition, with a short story and a excerpt of Carrot Cake Murder, in a week. CCCM (Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder) is about a woman, Hannah Swenson, who owns a bakery, but at the same time has to help her brother-in-law, an almost-detective, figure out who killed Ron LaSalle, Hannah's dairy delivery man, after he is found dead behind her bakery with chocolate chip cookies in his hand.

    -Very easy to read, most chapters are exactly 10 pages, so it's not long at all.
    -Hannah is extremely likable
    -Recipes to the foods talked about in the book are included
    -Cute plot
    -Keeps you guessing.
    -Great ending. The murderer wasn't revealed until the very end.

    -Too many characters. I found that I would sometimes come across a name and go, "Who's that?"
    -Predictable. A new suspect is found and then cleared in a chapter or two. Somehow, Hannah is able to get all the information she needs without a problem. Everything seems to work out "just right."
    -Not very intelligent. Right before this, I had read an Agatha Christie murder, and they are definitely not the same kind of murder mystery. But still, it's nice to have mysteries like these to keep you from getting too crazy!

    But overall, it was a great book, and I'm very eager to read the next one, Strawberry Shortcake Murder. I just hope that not all of her books are carbon copies of each other, just with different desserts. But judging from the little blurb on the back, I doubt it.

    NOTE: If CCCM was your first Hannah Swenson murder, which it should be, as this is the first one in the series, do NOT read the excerpt from Carrot Cake Murder in the back of the newest edition. It gives away some information about relationships. It won't tell you about the murders or the murderers in the other books, but there is some information not given in CCCM. You'd think the publishers would've realized that before they put it in the book, but oh well. I DO recommend reading Candy for Christmas-it was adorable!...more info
  • This is only the beginning!!
    The book was a pleasurable read.........Hannah Swenson, 30 year old unmarried lady, and owner of a coffeeshop/catering business called "The Cookie Jar", is a great character...filled with wit and charm....oh, and what a baker she is!! Living in a small Minnesota town of Lake Eden with her cat, Moisha, she discovers the body of Ron, a young man who often makes her deliveries of goodies to her customers....he was found sitting in his truck with a bullet hole in him.... It's highly unlikely that any policeman would ask a civilian for help in a mystery, but that's what her brother-in-law, the sheriff spite of that, it was a cute read with good dialogue and likeable characters..........Loved how Hannah's mom was always trying to play "matchmaker" looking forward to more reads and more tasty cookie recipes to try!...more info
  • A delectable debut!
    Twenty-nine-year-old Hannah Swensen was content spending her days as a student pursuing a degree in English. Sure, she had some ups-and-downs with the opposite sex, including a tumultuous relationship with a philandering professor, but life as a student was carefree and fun. However, when her father dies unexpectedly, Hannah is called in for reinforcement by her sister Andrea, expected to help her mother put the pieces of her life back together in Lake Eden, Minnesota. But Hannah isn't complaining. Packing up her belongings, she heads to her small, rural hometown of Lake Eden, where she promptly turns her love of baking into a business by opening the uber-popular bakery, The Cookie Jar. The Cookie Jar sees various visitors on a daily basis, all looking for a sugar rush in the form of some of Hannah's most delightful treats - from Pecan Chews to Lovely Lemon Bars. But when the shop closes, Hannah returns to her condo to cuddle up with her scruffy kitty, Moishe - much to her mother's chagrin. In her mother's opinion, Hannah should already be married and producing grandbabies for her. But Hannah's plans are much different. She's comfortable with the life of a successful singleton, and doesn't plan on changing for anyone. But then, tragedy hits. Ron LaSalle, a deliveryman from the Cozy Cow Dairy, who delivers milk to The Cookie Jar on a daily basis, is found murdered behind Hannah's shop - shot between the eyes, with Hannah's popular Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around his lifeless body. Hannah can't imagine discovering anything worse so early in the morning - or any time for that matter. And, as the local tragedy begins to sink in, Hannah realizes that, due to the placement of her crunchy treats, her cookies may end up with a bad rap, that could easily slow down business for her thriving shop. Determined to save the reputation of The Cookie Jar, Hannah, along with the help of her sister Andrea's husband - and resident police officer - Bill, decides to do a little investigating of her own to track down the killer, and restore comfort and safety to the small town, and the people who reside there. But as Hannah begins opening her ears a bit more to learn about the goings-on surrounding the dead man and his cohorts, she begins to realize that many more people than she ever expected are armed with a motive. And, when she stumbles - literally - upon the body of a second victim, Hannah realizes that the murderer wasn't just killing at random - he or she had an ax to grind, and felt that murder was the way to solve every problem at hand. The thing the murderer was unaware of, however, was how determined Hannah would be to finger the culprit, and help her brother-in-law achieve the promotion he has been craving since he joined the force. Now, amid baking crunchy delights for various organizations and parties throughout town, Hannah must find a way to bring the killer to justice before another victim is discovered. But as she muddles through a tangled web of injustices and crime, Hannah realizes that, if she doesn't want to get burned, she'd better stay out of the kitchen.

    Perhaps I can blame it on my addiction to FOOD NETWORK, or my love of Rachael Ray, but I am totally, head-over-heels in love with culinary mysteries of all kinds - especially those revolving around baking sweet desserts. So when I heard about Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series, I just knew that I had to take a bite out of the debut. From page one, I found myself head-over-heels for Hannah. Not only is she an independent female character, but her love of both animals, and desserts make her a grande dame in my eyes. Hannah's no-nonsense, frills-free appearance and thoughts make her appear down-to-earth, and approachable. While her ability to find time to run a successful business, and track down a killer make her a model multi-tasker. Hannah's interactions with everyone from her overbearing, bossy mother; to her slightly pudgy, cookie-addicted brother-in-law Bill are laugh-out-loud funny; while her discussions regarding spousal abuse and money troubles with various townspeople really show a sympathetic side to her character, which only makes the reader like her more. Fluke manages to present amazing character development for just about every person who waltzes into The Cookie Jar, making the reader feel as if these are our own neighbors; however, she makes it difficult to pinpoint who the exact killer is by creating motives for so many different people. Fluke's addition of seven delicious cookie recipes make this debut even more worth it, as readers have the opportunity to experience some of Hannah's decadent desserts firsthand. A delectable debut!

    Erika Sorocco
    Freelance Reviewer ...more info
  • Nice, light read, tasty sounding recipes, poor character descriptions
    The books in the series are a nice light read. The mysteries won't leave you scratching your head for very long unfortunately and frankly speaking as a person in the same age range as the main character, she is very dated. You can tell an older woman is writing a young character. Kinda reminds me of the clothes my mother would buy me or something, just not quite right for my age. As one example, Mike the heart throb love interest is described as having a mustache, um no one since Tom Seleck on Magnum P.I. has made a woman swoon while sporting a mustache. All in all the series is pleasant and fun, just keep telling yourself the books were copy righted from 1980-1985 instead of in the 2000's that should help make the characters seem more realistic and less cliche....more info
  • VERY slow for a murder mystery.
    I love mysteries and suspense novels--this is not much of one. I also love cooking, so thought the culinary aspect of the book would be cute--not so much so. Above all, this book is sloooooooooooooow as molasses...had to struggle to finish (and even the end was blah--couldn't make myself care "who-done-it"!)....more info
  • Great read for dessert lovers
    Being a dessert lover, reading the Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series is a must. Set in a small town with a variety of small town character personalities adds to the coziness of the mysteries. Hannah herself is a very likeable herione. Some might find her outspoken at times or maybe even "butting" in where she dont belong, and truth be told in other books I have not always been attracted to these type of characters. There is something about Hannah that draws me though. Maybe it is the fact that she bakes lovely creations, and I can just taste them as I read through the recipes included in the books. Perhaps it is her cat, Moishe,me being such a cat lover. I dont really know, but I just find Hannah a person that I would love to get to know.
    Her sister, Andrea, and her mother are not like Hannah at all. In this book it seems that Hannah is feeling her realtionship out with her sister. Where as in later books, Hannah and her sister seem to get closer. Also, another relationship that involves Hannah is her love interest. I keep wondering if she will end up with the dentist or the policeman. I thought by the end of this book it would be the policeman, but reading the next book in the series it seems something shifts. I have not read them all, but this is certainly one point of the books that keeps me interested.
    Dessert lovers and cozy mystery lovers will certainly find this series a joy to read.
    One note...I do not have the hardcover edition of this book that was not too long ago released. As some of the other readers have said this is a re-release in hardcover with an additional short story added. I read this book last year, but I had a hard time finding a new paperback copy because I believe it was out of print. I ended up getting a used copy, but I bought it before this hardback edition came out. I said all of this to say, that with this edition out it is easier to find, as I had to search high and low for a copy about two years ago. ...more info
  • Nice start to a series
    Occasionally I will randomly pick a book 1 of a series and give it a go, and this time it paid off. I really liked the main character, and appreciated the fact that she wasn't perfect. It's always nice to read about someone a little more down to earth and realistic, someone you could actually picture meeting. The plot was well-paced and interesting, and the first book got my interested enough to go out and buy further books in the series! And while I have not yet tried any of the recipes in the book, they do look like they would be delicious and fairly easy to make. ...more info
  • Want a cookie with your murder?
    Do you ever get tired of the tense, serious, dry murder mysteries that lurk in the "New Hardcovers/Paperbacks" of bookstores or are highlighted at the "Employee Recommended" displays of Borders or Barnes and Nobles? Yeah, me too.
    I first learned of this author by seeing someone on the train reading one of Joanne Fluke's books and thought, "What a yummy name! I wonder what it's about." And when I saw that the book was a sweet treat of mystery and home town coziness, I thought it might make a pleasant departure from the pseudo-serious books I had been reading.
    Hannah Swensen has a sweet job--literally. She owns the local cookie store, The Cookie Jar. However, her well-mixed day encounters a lump when Ron LaSalle, a dairy delivery man, is killed with a shot in the head. Hannah's brother-in-law, Bill, is assigned to solve the case for a dual purpose: to find the man's murderer and to get himself promoted to detective. He asks Hannah to ask around town to find clues. Hannah, curious as ever, is eager to assist.

    For you cookie lovers out there (me included), you get not only a good mystery, but you also get five cookie recipes definitely there to appease your palette when Hannah talks about making or selling her cookies. Chocolate Chip Cookies, of course, are the highlight, as are Regency Ginger Snaps, Black and Whites (fudge cookies), and Oatmeal cookies. (I actually haven't made any of them yet, but they sound delectable.)
    Once you have a yummy treat in hand along with your book (you won't want to read this while hungry), you can fully indulge in the scrumptious setting, the nutty characters, and the smooth plot (okay, enough food metaphors). Seriously, Joanne Fluke is able to do what few other authors (Jan Karon and her 1-9 Complete Mitford Series (Paperback) (Mitford Series, Volumes 1-9) being the first to come to mind) and create a cute, quirky town replete with colorful characters. It is obvious that Fluke has lived in Minnesota as she talks about the cold weather, hooking up a truck to an outlet to start it, and other idiosyncrasies (such as how many Minnesotans don't own winter art). Fluke's characters are quirky and homey. Hannah, our protagonist, is pleasant, concerned, and friendly but also is far from perfect. She is also blunt, a loner, snoopy, and willing to bend (if not break) the law to solve a crime (I am not personally endorsing this, just bringing it up). Nonetheless, it is easy to root for Hannah and cheer her on in the quest to find Ron's murderer. Lisa, Hannah's assistant at The Cookie Jar, is quick to learn but ready to sacrifice a full scholarship to care for her dad. Andrea, Hannah's middle sister, is a career woman, not quite comfortable playing mommy and wife and knowing she wasn't what she ought to be. Other quirky townsfolk appear within these pages that will definitely solidify the home town feel.
    Lastly, the mystery is very well done and follows a logical pattern. Hannah asks the questions I would ask but isn't suddenly a super-sleuth. Furthermore, there were plenty of twists and turns that made solving the mystery fun and actually mysterious.

    The book has moments where it is clear this is one of the author's first novels. Wording is one of the biggest giveaways, but also Fluke will skip over details that made me halt and have to figure out what she was talking about or suddenly summarize conversations once her characters have said all the important information. Also, the characters may irritate readers as they tend to fall into one of two categories: good guys (Andrea, Norman, Hannah) and bad guys (Coach Watson, Benton Woodley, Max). Other characters know more than their areas of expertise would suggest (i.e. Andrea, a real estate agent, suddenly becomes an anesthesiologist as she knows about the effects of the wrong mixture of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, and oxygen).
    Other parts of the book take quite a leap of imagination to believe. One of the biggest and most unbelievable is why would a supposedly good detective (Bill) have his sister-in-law (Hannah) do most (if not all) of the investigating of a murder mystery? Wouldn't Bill have gotten in trouble with the police station? And wouldn't this undermine his ability to do his job? Another is: how can Hannah get away with asking everyone and his/her mother about the murder with no one in this small town figuring out that Hannah is investigating Ron's murder? And the last great one: with all the cookies that Hannah passes out, how does she ever make enough money to cover her overhead costs?
    Lastly, showdown with the bad guy was straight out of a Nancy Drew book, and the conclusion was off the wall and cheesy.

    Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
    Very sparse scatterings of da** and he**.
    Hannah mentions her sexual activity from before her move to Lake Eden (although nothing is directly mentioned). A hypothesis about the murderer includes a possible affair. Photos are found that are of women in compromising positions.
    Ron is killed with a bullet to the head. A fist fight is brought up between a bouncer and Ron. A total of two men are killed.

    While certainly no meaty mystery (like Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie, and others that I have not begun to indulge in) and having its share of faults (amateur writing, 1-D characters, and some unlikely assumptions), this book is nonetheless a treat. If you like cookies, a town filled with quirky people, and a small mystery all blended together, then this treat is for you....more info
  • Who Murders for Cookies?
    In the first book in the Hannah Swensen mystery series, we meet our sleuth, an owner of The Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota. In her first case, she stumbles across the dead body of a long-time friend and delivery man for her bakery and feels the need to investigate his suspicious death. As her brother-in-law is a police officer, she finds that she has a lot more inside information (add to this fact that she lives in a small town) and she is able to piece together this mystery and solve the murder before too many people get hurt.

    I love all of the books in this series but felt that this book was a bit hard to follow. Being the first, I was glad that I kept reading the other books in the series as this one was a bit harder to "get into" than some of the other books. I enjoyed the character development in this book and felt that the relationships between the characters were more interesting than was the mystery. I found it difficult to keep track of all of the characters at the beginning, and found it somewhat annoying that in the dialogue they repeat each other's names quite often. Other than that, I enjoy the books and the yummy recipes included. Do not read these books on an empty stomach or you will quickly begin searching for some sweets!

    ...more info
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
    I received my order quick and in a timely fashion. Thank you. I never get tired of ready Joanne Flukes books, I've now decided to keep them on the shelf, so I've gone from paperback to hardcover in all of them. I've passed on my paperbacks to my cousin and she calls me to rave about them, so Hannah has another fan!...more info
  • Little more cookie, a little less mystery
    The book was very light and fluffy. It just missed the mystery aspect a little too much for me. There was not really much suspense but still a cute book. ...more info
  • Who Murders for Cookies?
    In the first book in the Hannah Swensen mystery series, we meet our sleuth, an owner of The Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota. In her first case, she stumbles across the dead body of a long-time friend and delivery man for her bakery and feels the need to investigate his suspicious death. As her brother-in-law is a police officer, she finds that she has a lot more inside information (add to this fact that she lives in a small town) and she is able to piece together this mystery and solve the murder before too many people get hurt.

    I love all of the books in this series but felt that this book was a bit hard to follow. Being the first, I was glad that I kept reading the other books in the series as this one was a bit harder to "get into" than some of the other books. I enjoyed the character development in this book and felt that the relationships between the characters were more interesting than was the mystery. I found it difficult to keep track of all of the characters at the beginning, and found it somewhat annoying that in the dialogue they repeat each other's names quite often. Other than that, I enjoy the books and the yummy recipes included. Do not read these books on an empty stomach or you will quickly begin searching for some sweets! Enjoy!

    A Cozy Lover...more info

  • That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles....
    Hannah Swenson, the owner of a successful cookie shop called The Cookie Jar, is also a proficient amateur sleuth. When a popular local ex-football player is killed behind her shop, she is determined to find his killer. Will she succeed? Read to find out.

    This is truly an outstanding novel. The setting is in the chilly autumn of rural Minnesota. The author does a magnificent job of describing the biting cold and the blowing snow of a prairie autumn.

    The characterization is superb. The characters seem to leap right off the page and grow flesh and bones. They could be people in your own home town, friends and acquaintances of yours. Each one is carefully detailed to make them seem real and to draw the reader into their stories.

    The plot is thrilling. The author kept me guessing until the last moment to find out the identity of the killer. The plot took several twists and turns leading me to dead end guesses repeatedly thus adding to the fun and building up to the shocking conclusion.

    But the real star of this novel is the atmosphere. It's sheer coziness at its very best. One can smell the fresh coffee and taste the warm cookies as one shivers in the Minnesota wind. It's the perfect book to cuddle up with on a chilly autumn day and lose oneself in utter bliss. Also, many recipes are included so you can enjoy baking Hannah's delights as you wind your way through this thrilling mystery.

    This book is a must read for any fan of cozy mysteries and just plain good story telling. This is a novel that will stay with you long after you close the pages. Highly recommended.

    Smash B ...more info
  • A delightful amateur sleuth makes her debut
    Hannah Swensen makes her debut in this culinary series. Hannah, a thirtyish spinster, is under constant pressure from her mother to get married. It's obvious that Hannah is a candidate for sainthood, as she is more than patient with her mother's constant telephone calls and criticisms. What's more, she's a great baker, and she nicely provides us with terrific (the best I've ever seen!) instructions on how to bake all those high-calorie cookies mentioned throughout THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MURDER. There's even an index at the back of the book so you can easily locate the recipe you want. What a woman! And she has a great cat. The scenes showing Hannah's relationship with her cat Moishe are heartwarming.

    Oh, the mystery. Yes, there's a mystery, and it's even logical that Hannah would be involved in snooping around town (she wants to help her policeman brother-in-law solve the case and earn a promotion). Unfortunately, I felt Hannah was a bit slow to figure some things out, as certain things were clear to me quite early in the book. However, for the most part Hannah was a clever amateur detective, and I remained glued to the story until the last page. I very much look forward to the next book in this series, and I think most cozy lovers will find this series delightful....more info

  • Boring and Predictable
    I wanted to like this book. I listened all 9 hours of it hoping it would get better. Silly me. I found it boring and very predictable. I don't think I'll waste my money on more Hanna books....more info
  • A wonderful cozy series, and with recipes!
    This is the first book in the Hannah Swenson mystery series, and I really enjoyed it. The small town setting in rural Minnesota was a treat, and the characters are believable. I can't wait to read more about them. Hannah is a wonderful, no nonsense heroine. She owns a cookie and coffee shop, and the people that she meets coming through her door are varied and quirky. The recipes in the book look great, and I'm going to at least try a couple of them. In this book Hannah keeps stumbling on dead bodies in her usual quiet community, and she agrees to help her Police Detective brother-in-law catch a killer. With the help of her somewhat flaky sister, she manages to find the murderer. The book that I read had an additional novelette called "Candy for Christmas". This was fun too. Lots more great recipes, and a cute little mystery to boot. The action for this story is about two weeks after the end of the first book, so the timing flowed. Hannah and her sister try to identify a wayward teen that Hannah caught camping out in her shop. It was a nice little Christmas story....more info
  • A series beginning
    I enjoy the mystery genre and decided to try this cozy set in a small lake town.

    Hannah Swenson is the proud owner of the Cookie Jar where she experiments with ingredients and creates original cookies. She came back to Lake Eden when her father died and to help her mother. She decided to stay and has worked hard to create a thriving business.

    Hannah gets involved in helping her brother-in-law, Bill, a local policeman hoping to be promoted to detective; solve a murder when she discovers the body. This premise seems a bit far fetched but the thought of Bill is that Hannah will be a better gatherer of gossip and getting people to talk when they are enjoying coffee and cookies in the Cookie Jar.

    The characters are not quite developed fully but you get an idea of their personalities. I am hopeful that the author going forward will further flesh them out and more fully develop the relationship between Hannah, her sister and her mother.

    Overall it was an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series. ...more info
  • My mouth is watering for the next installment.
    Nothing like curling up with a great book & drooling through the pages. I could smell the cookies baking as I read along, trying to come up with my own killer, and laughing when I listened to her thoughts about her marriage-for-Hannah mother & envisioned Moishe's (her pet cat) antics when "Mom's" name arose. Hope to see Hannah back with the locals & new recipes. I'm busy in the kitchen now trying the cookies out....more info
  • Great Book
    i love this book and the series that follow it. Joanne Fluke is a great writer and I can't wait for her next book to come out next year. She keeps you interested from front to back with a series of turns and twists in the plot. Great characters that you fall in love with....more info
    This book is the perfect example of what a true cozy mystery is suppose to be.

    These mysteries are COZY and INTERESTING and GOOD!!! They are perfect!!! I could not ask for a better mystery!!! Not only is the setting and atmosphere cozy, but the clues, story line, and pacing are perfect! This author definitely has talent!!! The clues are perfectly and cleverly crafted and lead to the mystery solving. And the characters - you feel like you know them!!! I love this small town and all the characters. Not just the main characters, but the other characters have purpose and meaning in this book.

    Hannah opened up a cookie shop, with the encouragement of her sister, Andrea.

    Hannah finds the milk truck delivery driver dead in his truck. She is determined to find out why he was murdered.

    I also loved the cookies and coffee and cold weather! And I enjoyed the sisters' relationship.

    This book is a very high 5....more info
  • I hope the series gets better
    Often times, the first book in a series is a little rough and in need of improvements. This series is no exception. The problem is that it needs a LOT of improvements in order for this reader to keep going with it. I have read other reviews that felt the book was unrealistic. "Cozy mysteries" often are somewhat unbelievable but the characters and story are what keep us reading.

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder was boring and actually rather annoying at times. First of all, the characters are one-dimensional. The main character, Hannah, is supposedly witty and outspoken. However, she came across as dull and not overly bright to me. As other reviewers pointed out, we rarely see her doing any baking so I wouldn't call this a culinary mystery at all. There was very little humor throughout the whole book. Any humor I found seemed more like people that were trying to be funny than people who actually were funny. I think I laughed once the whole time.

    The most memorable part of Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is not the story or the characters but the annoying parts. Other reviewers have pointed out the tedious dialogue. If only two people are in a room, do they really need to address each other by name everytime they say something? I didn't know it was possible for dialogue in a book to sound staged. It is like watching a very poorly acted play. Also, the other people in the book are constantly complimenting Hannah to the point that I was wondering why they were all kissing up to her. Also irritating were the drawn out details. Who cares that she turned on her turn signal as she turned left onto the road? In a series like this, the books normally get more padded as you go. But that padding is usually something that pertains to the story or the characters. It sounds like Fluke knows what is supposed to go into a cozy mystery but just doesn't know how to put it all together.

    I will read the next book in the series only because I know that series like this one often start a little rough. Hopefully, things will improve but I'm not holding my breath....more info

  • A Complete Delight.
    Hannah Swenson's life is going well. Her cookie shop is successful, and she's content living a single life with her cat as company. But then she finds her delivery driver from the local dairy murdered behind her story. Assisting her brother-in-law, she starts investigating. But everyone seems to have an alibi and no motive.

    This book was a complete delight from start to finish. I loved the small town Minnesota setting. Hannah's relationship with her family had me laughing and feeling for her at the same time. The other characters were enjoyable, too, and Hannah is a very likable heroine. Her cat adds charm to the story. I was hooked on the plot from the very beginning and was as frustrated as Hannah when she hit a dead end. Her cookies sounded absolutely wonderful, and I can't wait to try the recipes. Definitely don't read this book while hungry!

    As soon as I can get my hands on the next book, I'm going to start reading it....more info

  • This satisfies your sweet tooth and a hungry mind
    This was my first culinary mystery ever and I am really glad to have stumbled on this hybrid of murder and cooking, as it was the perfect fusion of two totally random reading topics. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is Joanne Fluke's 1st mystery in the series and I strongly suggest starting from the beginning. It is followed by Strawberry Shortcake Murder, Blueberry Muffin Murder, Lemon Meringue Pie Murder, Fudge Cupcake Murder, Sugar Cookie Murder, Peach Cobbler Murder and finally the Cherry Cheesecake murder. As on can see there is a while rainbow of delectable culinary treats combined with scavenger hunts for clues, guilty suspects and perfecting the next batch of cookies. And may I also add that as silly as the books sound, they are delightful in their own light, with colorful lovely cover art and some really delicious recipes inside. I made sure to get all the books so that I can read them in order without waiting around.

    The main protagonist, the small town sleuth and our main heroine is Hannah Swensen. As the proud owner of her own bakery and coffee shop in Lake Eden she makes up new cookie recipes, tries to avoid her mother's phone calls, and always has the funniest allegories about her fat orange cat, Moishe who sounds like my own orange stinky fur ball, Pacey. Hannah is single, strong minded and drinks a lot of coffee as she gets tangled up in a local murder, her chocolate chip cookies at the crime scene and the killer on the loose, ready to strike out again. She stumbles into helping her sister's husband Bill who is the local Sheriff into finding out who killed Ron, the local delivery man because no one the small cozy town dislikes him and the sooner she finds the motive the sooner she finds the killer.

    This was a cozy, light and easy on my busy head book. This can be read in one or two sittings, but I never rush myself as I like to take time with my books, and then of course I feel the need to bake all the recipes included for treats such as Chocolate Chip Crunches, Ginger Crisps, Pecan Chews, Black & Whites, Chocolate Covered Cherry delights, Sugar Cookies and Lemon Bars. I enjoyed meeting all the characters of Lake Eden, as Hannah patiently snooped around, but I felt that she did more work than the sheriff! If this was a real life case, I would have deemed him lazy as she solved more clues than him.

    Overall this was a lovely, breezy and entertaining read as everyone who came into contact with the Cookie Jar could have been guilty. I must say that all my theories about the killer bit the dust, but I hit one nail on the head, yeah well that's for me to know and for new readers to find out. Great story with no boring moments but I just wish the characters were fleshed out more, but I bet the following books will take care of that. I can't wait to sink my teeth in the next books, as I love strawberries. Enjoy this double treat, I know I did....more info
  • Great books!
    What can I say, I'm a Joanne Fluke junkie! I love her Hannah Swensen series. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder I believe is one of the first. They are all quick easy reads, and are suitable for teens and maybe some more intelligent pre-teens. There is absolutely no foul language, and the romance thing between Mike and Norman is enough to keep everybody guessing and rooting for their favorite (mine is Norman) If you like who-done-it's,want a light easy but riviting read, Joanne's Hannah Swensen's series are for you! Perfect beach books, or being snowed in books. Plus the recipes! I've tried a couple from each book and they are wonderful. Easy to follow and easy to make. Although I have learned that you need to invest in a standing mixer to save your poor arms from falling off. All in all you will not be wasting your money when you buy one of her books. Thoroughly enjoyable, every one. ...more info
  • Chocolate Chip
    I really enjoy Hannah Swenson's Murder Mysteries. They are down to earth with her characters & they make for great reading...more info


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