Book Review: Christmas Caramel Murder by Joanne Fluke

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If you’ve been following my reviews closely for the last few months, you’re probably thinking… how many baking murder books does this guy read? Or how many did that Joanne Fluke author woman write? Well… the Hannah Swensen series is up to ~25 in 2018. I’ve just finished reading #20 entitled Christmas Caramel Murder. I have the next three on my Kindle to read this fall, but I want to be fully caught up so I can get back to many other series I also enjoy. As for this one, it’s a shorter novella version but still packs quite a little punch around Christmas season. It’s a good one to read as you start thinking about the upcoming holidays, but for now, I’m still thinking about Halloween and fall so I wouldn’t allow myself to totally immerse.


It’s written as backstory which was a different kind of read. The first and last chapters are appended to the main story, allowing Fluke to use current relationships in Hannah’s life without confusing readers. Essentially, Hannah’s telling the story to her new husband about what happened the prior year’s Christmas. I stopped myself from trying to find any timeline issues in case something happened in this book that was different since the last few, but the story on the whole is fun, so it wouldn’t matter if it had.

Herb, Lisa’s husband, is playing Santa Claus in the town Christmas play. Lisa is Hannah’s best friend and partner at The Cookie Shop. Herb’s ex-girlfriend has returned to town and is cast as Mrs. Claus, but the naughty kind. Serves her right, she ends up dead! Unfortunately, it looks like Lisa is the culprit because she was jealous when the ex kisses Herb in the play. Throw in a some high school memories, old rivalries, and teachers who want to help keep their students focused, and you’ve got a case full of shenanigans.

I enjoyed the read… less than 90 minutes as it was barely 100 pages once you remove the recipes. Someday I will cook a few from them. I do like caramel, but that’s hard to get right. Next up is banana cream pie murder… my favorite kind of…. PIE. Did you think I’d say murder? Obviously you know me well. 🙂

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. 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.


11 thoughts on “Book Review: Christmas Caramel Murder by Joanne Fluke

    The Cozy Pages said:
    September 21, 2018 at 8:47 AM

    Murders and baking apparently go really well together in the Cozy world! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    Beware Of The Reader said:
    September 21, 2018 at 3:54 PM

    Bwahahaha what a title! And yes caramel is hard to make right 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 21, 2018 at 4:41 PM

      Burn or crystallize. All the time!

      Liked by 1 person

        Beware Of The Reader said:
        September 21, 2018 at 5:20 PM

        Yes and then it’s a hell to clean up the mess!

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        September 21, 2018 at 5:43 PM

        That’s what the better half, significant other, or spouse is for, right?


    carhicks said:
    September 22, 2018 at 9:09 AM

    You are so faithful to this series. I have a couple to read, but not in the mood right now. I will get to them, but maybe I need to go back to the beginning. I know I said that before, but I will do it some time. I am glad that she is able to stay true to her characters and storyline after so many books.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      September 22, 2018 at 9:42 AM

      It’s a huge commitment. 24 books and counting. I think I like the tone and relationships, plus I enjoy small town atmospheres and offbeat humor. I’m serial when it comes to books and shows, too. I’m sure there are some series you flock to as well, right? I need to find a few new ones this fall once I’m caught up here.


        carhicks said:
        September 22, 2018 at 11:30 AM

        Absolutely. There are many that I read every one that comes out and try not to miss. The only thing I find is after about 15 or so books, they sometimes get old so I move on.

        Liked by 1 person

    dtills said:
    September 25, 2018 at 7:38 PM

    SOLD! sounds perfect for the holidays💕

    Liked by 1 person

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