Friday, March 4, 2011

Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

A stranger, or a near stranger, has come to town. Reverend Matthew Walters spent some time in Lake Eden as a teen and is now back to fill in for the local Lutheran minister while he's on his honeymoon cruise. Something's not quite right, but before Hannah can figure out what it is Reverend Matthew's been murdered. 

Or was it Reverend Matthew? Perhaps it was his nearly identical cousin Paul, recently released from prison after serving time for a burglary gone wrong. Hannah, along with the usual gang, must determine first of all who was murdered, then why, and finally, by whom.

Don't worry, they get the job done.

This, the 14th installment in Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen (mysteries with recipes!) series, is of a piece with its predecessors. Somehow, it's simultaneously light and fluffy and loaded with fat, sugar, and empty calories. Still, it satisfies. There is the requisite amount of coffee drinking and cookie eating (as always, one marvels at how these people don't all weigh 300 pounds...and how do they ever manage to get any sleep?). In addition to the usual mouth-watering recipes for cookies and cakes and desserts of all sorts this time around there are several recipes for main courses, two of which--Pineapple Casserole and Welsh Rarebit--veer dangerously close to classic white trash fare. But then again, yum.


If you like your cozies truly cozy, with no bad language, all violence happening off-stage, and only the merest hints of sex, then Hannah Swensen's the gal for you.

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