Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review: Fudge Cupcake Murder

Author: Joanne Fluke
Title: Fudge Cupcake Murder
Publisher: Kensington Press
Publish Date: Feb 1, 2005
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Bakery owner Hannah Swensen just can't keep her hands out of the batter when murder stirs things up in Lake Eden, Minnesota, leaving the sheriff dead, a deputy accused, and a killer on the loose...For Hannah, life seems to be lacking a certain flavour lately. Maybe it's the local sheriff's election that's got her down. For years, Sheriff Grant's been the iron hand in town. But now, Hannah's brother-in-law Bill is giving the old blowhard the fight of his long, dubious career - and Grant's not taking it well, especially once the polls show Bill pulling ahead. But before anyone can taste victory, things go sour. While Hannah's emptying the trash, she makes a very unappetizing discovery: Sheriff Grant's body in the Dumpster behind the high school where she's teaching her cooking class. And as if that weren't bad enough, the poor man still has fudge frosting on his shirt from one of her cupcakes. The number one - and only - suspect is Bill, but Hannah's not swallowing it. Plenty of people had reason to hate Sheriff Grant. Soon, Hannah's dishing up scandalous secrets, steaming hot betrayals, and enough intrigue to keep the gossip mill at The Cookie Jar going through several pots of decaf. And the closer Hannah gets to the truth, the closer she gets to smoking out a murderer with a very nasty recipe for silencing people...

Review: This is book 5 in the Hannah Swensen series. I devour this series much like I do cookies, and I've made several of Joanne's that are published in these books.

There's a lot of craziness going on in this book.

1. Bill is running for sheriff and Andrea is having a rough last few weeks of her pregnancy.
2. When the Sheriff is found murdered, Bill is suspended and he's driving everyone crazy, especially his wife, since he can't work the case.
3. Moishe is trying to be weened off the regular kitty crunchies to the senior variety, and Moishe isn't going for it.
4. Hannah is trying to figure out the secret ingredient in Ted's mother's Fudge Cupcakes.

So yeah, lots going on...oh and Mike just may be seeing another girl on the side.

I have to say, I've never understood Hannah's affection for Mike. He's pretty much been a big jerk in most books. I'm team Norman all the way. The way he treats her would have had any other woman showing him the door.

I loved the sleuthing in this one. There are lots of secrets and the killer is really not who you expect, though you kind of get nudged in the right direction in the last part of the book. Still I was surprised at the killer. I really thought that the sheriff's murder would tie in with his son's death for some reason...but I won't give you any spoilers.

Again, I always feel like I'm coming home when I read the Hannah books. These are books that are pure fun, and I love the recipes. (Though this one didn't seem to have as many as some of the others)

Rating: 4 flowers

Andrea's Pecan Divines (I had to make them, I'm an Andrea)
2 cups melted butter (4 sticks, one pound)
3 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
4 beaten eggs
5 cups flour (no need to sift)
3 cups chocolate chips
4 cups chopped pecans

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

2. Melt the butter. (Nuke it for 3 minutes on high in a microwave-safe container, or melt it in a pan on the stove.) Mix in the white sugar and the brown sugar. Add the vanilla, the baking soda, salt and mix. Add the eggs abd stir it all up. Add half the flour, the chocolate chips, and the chopped pecans. Stir well to incorporate, Add the rest of the flour and mix throughly.

3. Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets, 12 cookies to a standard-size sheet. If the dough is too sticky to handle, chill it slightly and try again. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes or until nicely browned.

4. Let cool two minutes, then remove cookies from the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.


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