Book Review: Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

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I am just over half way through the Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series with #14, Devil’s Food Cake Murder, written in 2011 by Joanne Fluke. When I flipped through the Acknowledgments section in the paperback, it noted that Hannah was voted as the most liked non-detective crime solver that year… how interesting! I love the series and think she’s quite fun, but each book seems to get a little lighter on plot and heavier on recipes. I preferred the balance in the earlier novels, yet they are still always a great read… even if I’m now down to about an hour to push through them despite being over 300 pages. When I flip 10 pages to skip the recipe, it breezes by quickly.

cake

In this caper, Hannah finds the dead body of Reverend Bob’s temporary sit-in while he’s on his honeymoon with Claire. Hannah’s mom is watching Claire’s fashion shop all the while trying not to insult the customers when they pick the wrong outfits for their body type. But the biggest change in this Lake Eden puzzle is Hannah’s dating life. She’s waffled between Mike and Norman for 13 books, beginning to see them both wane at her indecision and start seeing other people… well, now there’s a massive decision that will change the events in future books. In one way, I’m glad, as she was stringing them on for far too long. I agree with taking time to play the field, and maybe it’s only been 2 to 3 years in story time, but it feels like a decade!

As for the mystery, nothing extraordinary, and it didn’t really involve many characters we’ve met before except one adorable octogenarian, so it was not my favorite. I still enjoyed all the side interactions in the town, the developing relationships between Hannah and her family, and the set-up for the next book in terms of Hannah’s love life. I’m sticking with it, but I hope there’s more mystery coming soon! 3.5 stars…

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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20 thoughts on “Book Review: Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

    thebookwormdrinketh said:
    June 20, 2018 at 7:50 AM

    Although, I love that the book has recipes, I’m with you! If I wanted recipes I would buy a recipe book… I don’t need so many with my mystery!

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 20, 2018 at 7:50 AM

      Right! Of the 333 page, 160 were recipes!

      Like

        thebookwormdrinketh said:
        June 20, 2018 at 7:58 AM

        Wow!!! Okay, That is DEFINITELY Excessive!!

        Liked by 1 person

        The Cozy Pages said:
        June 20, 2018 at 8:08 AM

        160?????
        Wow. No. More mystery, less food… and I like food 😊
        Although I just started one not realizing it’s 430+ pages which I think is excessive for a Cozy. I wish about 100 of those were recipes!! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 20, 2018 at 8:24 AM

        430 is a lot! I think 300 is good for a cozy!

        Liked by 1 person

        The Cozy Pages said:
        June 20, 2018 at 8:33 AM

        Just checked… last chapter begins at 448 😳

        I agree with 300.

        Liked by 1 person

    Martie said:
    June 20, 2018 at 8:51 AM

    Well I am hungry.

    Liked by 2 people

    Wow! I like cozy’s with recipes but this does sound excessive. She should write a separate cookbook with all the recipes put together

    Liked by 1 person

    Beware Of The Reader said:
    June 20, 2018 at 2:55 PM

    Great review Jay! Too bad it was not your favorite though..

    Liked by 1 person

    Carrie said:
    June 21, 2018 at 3:24 AM

    I haven’t read any of Joanna Fluke’s books yet but this one sounds similar to a cozy I did try. The MC was a cook and every time you turned around she was in the kitchen making something written out step by step by step. Needless to say I was a tad bored and began skimming. Delicious food being mentioned good/writing the recipe and cooking process into the book bad. Save the recipes for after the story is over.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 21, 2018 at 7:18 AM

      The series is great except for the overuse of the recipes. I think the other one you mentioned might be Diane Mott Davidson’s series with Gold Bear Schulz, set in Colorado?

      Liked by 1 person

        Carrie said:
        June 22, 2018 at 4:04 AM

        Haha no but now I know it’s a thing with the chefs apparently. The one I was talking about was Expiration Date by Devon Delaney which was the first of a new series, A Cook-Off Mystery.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 22, 2018 at 7:10 AM

        Good to know. I haven’t tried that one yet.

        Liked by 1 person

        Carrie said:
        June 22, 2018 at 8:45 AM

        It was one Netgalley back at the beginning of the year. I’ll have to think about picking up the second because the story wasn’t bad but it would get tedious wading through the 1/2 cup of this and a 1/4 cup of that to simmer for so long then add the…. you get the point. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    June 22, 2018 at 5:40 PM

    Nice review James. It is hard to come up with so many stories in a series. Glad you are still enjoying it, even if this one was not one of the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    robbiesinspiration said:
    June 25, 2018 at 12:36 PM

    I like the idea of recipes in a book, Jay. I don’t think I will go for this book though.

    Liked by 1 person

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