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Fudge Cupcake Murder    by Joanne Fluke order for
Fudge Cupcake Murder
by Joanne Fluke
Order:  USA  Can
Kensington, 2005 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Hannah Swensen, owner of the Cookie Jar, a shop in a small town in rural Minnesota, spends her professional life baking cookies and cupcakes and selling them to her hometown friends and neighbors. Only occasionally - when a murder occurs in her town - does she put her detecting skills to work.

Aided by her interfering and well-loved mother Delores and her almost ready-to-pop pregnant sister Andrea, she manages to keep one step ahead of the sheriff - or, in this case, the acting sheriff. It's the sheriff who turns up dead in the schoolyard Dumpster. Scandal runs rampant and it seems as though almost everyone is or could be a suspect. As the plot unfolds, Hannah bakes and sells, and life goes on (though not without recipes being offered every other chapter or so). The cookies sound wonderful, but so much white sugar and gobs of shortening kind of turn me off, and I find inclusion of recipes in the text distracting - though I do admire Hannah's search for a missing ingredient in a well-loved recipe.

Hannah is a cool character, full of love and wanting to do what is right. And she has a keen sense of humor, something that helps us all pull through each day. For a few hours of cozy reading, you can't go wrong with The Fudge Cupcake Murder.

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