Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke.
This was my first introduction to the books by Joanne Fluke and I’m pretty sure that I’ll be reading more in her series. This book is delicious in more ways than one.
Delightfully, this is more than just a murder mystery because there are almost thirty excellent and thorough recipes within the pages of this novel.
You see, the book features and amateur investigator who also happens to be a great cook and the owner of a cookie store. Hannah also has family and friends who are foodies too.
Throughout the book as they socialise and get together, their specialities that are mentioned in the narrative get their own recipes at the end of the chapter.
This is a pretty neat idea and you’ll find recipes for, amongst others:
- Hot Jam Cookies
- Lick Your Lips Pork
- Butterscotch Champagne Cocktail
- SecretSpice Cookies
- Tangerine Dream Cake
Plus of course, Double Fudge Brownies. Each recipe is incredibly detailed (many cover three pages) and there are helpful tips and notes.
But what about the murder mystery?
Oh yes, sorry, I was letting my greed get the better of me. Hannah and her family live in a small, friendly town in Minnesota. She has been involved in a tragic accident – she was accused of vehicular homicide – and finds that the judge in charge of her case has been murdered just before her hearing.
In fact, it is Hannah who discovers the body.
As an amateur sleuth, she decides to investigate the case, not only because of her personal involvement. She also needs to find the murderer because she is a suspect herself.
Any really, Hannah doesn’t need this. Her mother is just embarking on her second marriage, there’s her cookie shop to run and bake for plus the more minor mystery of her kleptomaniac cat. If that wasn’t enough, she also has three boyfriends and has to decide which one is Mr Right.
One criticism I have of the book – and it’s not easy to criticise a book with such delicious recipes – is that Hannah is really rather dumb. The mystery of her kleptomaniac cat is rather easy to solve and yet she doesn’t – and although she’s thirty years old, she has to have her niece show her how to use a cellphone and she needs two sessions just to learn how to text. How she gets one boyfriend, let alone three, is beyond me. And she doesn’t truly solve the murder – the solution is handed to her.
But these small niggles aside, you’ll find that this is an entertaining and absorbing book. It’s compulsive reading and I kept turning the pages – and no, that wasn’t just to see which delicious recipes came next.
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