Christmas Cake Murder

 By Joanne Fluke

   Many authors feel that there is a connection between mistletoe and mayhem. Joanne Fluke is a master at this connection. This is the latest in her Hannah Swensen series. Swensen is an amazing cook as well as being a solver of cozy murders. Most of the murders take place in the fictional small town of Lake Eden, Minnesota. The author may have felt that with all these murders the readers would think that there was a crime wave in the rural towns of Minnesota. So this crime had to be different.
   The book opens with Swensen’s mother dealing with depression brought on by the death of her husband. When the idea of planning a Christmas party for an elderly local is presented, her mother seems like the likely person to do it. With the help of Swensen and her sister it appears to work.
   In the process of helping out with a Christmas ball to honor Essie Granger, a local senior citizen, Swensen discovers a crime fiction manuscript about a woman escaping from a murderer written by Granger. As the story turns from fiction to reality it is up to Swensen to unravel the mystery and save Christmas.
   The only problem with this book is that the 14 recipes scattered through the novel sound so delicious, it makes it hard to concentrate on the tale when the stomach is telling the reader to go ahead and get something to eat.

Click here to contact the review author, Carlton McCaslin.