Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Book Review: Lemon Meringue Pie Murder

Author Joanne Fluke
Title: Lemon Meringue Pie Murder
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: Feb 1, 2004
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Hannah Swensen thought she'd finally discovered the recipe for a perfect life. But her sometime beau Norman Rhodes tosses a surprise ingredient into the mix when he phones to tell her he's just bought a house from local drugstore clerk Rhonda Scharf - which he plans to tear down in order to build the dream home he and Hannah designed.

It seems the plan has been cooking for quite some time, and Hannah is shocked - especially since her ring finger is still very much bare. The good news is that the soon-to-be-torn-down house is full of antiques - and Norman has given Hannah and her mother first dibs.

They uncover some gorgeous old furniture, a patchwork quilt ... and Rhonda Scharf's dead body. A little more sleuthing turns up the half-eaten remains of a very special dinner for two - and one of The Cookie Jar's famous lemon meringue pies.

Now it's up to Hannah to turn up the heat - and get busy tracking down the clues. Starting in her very own kitchen.

Review: Lemon Meringue Pie Murder is book 4 in the Hannah Swensen series. I've been reading these totally out of order, as I can find them at my library and other libraries. The earlier Hannah books are the best, and this one is definitely a great read.

I love Hannah, because this woman is so not right. She's a baker, a little overweight, (as the author likes to drum into our heads, in this book particularly so) she's a bit overbearing and grammar nazi-ish, but because she's so quirky you have to love her.

To me, this book felt like it focused more on Hannah's relationship's rather than Rhonda's murder, though she did do her best at sleuthing. I really felt that she unearthed the killer more by accident than through actual deduction.

This book finds Hannah's mom discovering a dead body in the home Norman purchased to demolish so he could build the dream house that he and Hannah designed. (Don't get any ideas, they aren't engaged or anything like that)

Hannah's diet bugged the hell out of me, again because I've read other books in this series, Hannah's weight and her fashion sense or lack thereof seem to be a really big deal, and I'm not sure why. Also, I don't see why Norman wouldn't propose if Hannah put on weight, you either love someone or you don't

I have also never been able to figure out why and how Hannah didn't make a choice between Norman and Mike. I can't quite figure out why the guys aren't fighting for her or dumping her for dating them both.

Also, I kinda had an idea of who the killer was midway through the book. That isn't really a plus for me, but I loved seeing what was happening to Hannah and Co.

There is also a matter of some stolen money tied into this book, which weaves  two characters, Freddie and Jed, into the mix.

The ending, though I knew who the killer was, had a wow factor.

There's so much weirdness in this series, but for some reason, I read these stories like they are some kind of drug.

As always there are some great recipes in this book. I think it would be fun to live in a town with a bakery that specializes in cookies.

Rating: 4 flowers


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