Book Review: Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

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Christmas Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #23)Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am finally caught up on the Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series by Joanne Fluke. I finished reading Christmas Cake Murder, the 23rd of 24 books, published in the last year. The next one is in ARC form and I’m hoping to get my hands on it soon as I’d rather not wait until early 2019 when it’s formally published. Overall, I’d give it 4 stars as it had a lot of the traditional elements we normally love in these books, but the mystery was very different.

The book takes place before the first one in the series actually took place. It’s the beginning tale of how Hannah got started at The Cookie Jar. The story is a reflection on all the major characters we’ve come to love and shows us what happened when Lars, Hannah’s father, passed away. We also see how Delores reacted, what drove Andrea to become a real estate agent, and how Michelle was in high school. It was lots of fun and helped provide us with some wonderful and tender moments about this beautiful family.

It was also a bit repetitive for regular readers as we knew 25% of this content already. I can overlook that tho, as I like the setting and relationships. The other big piece of the book was a different sorta mystery where a local citizen, Essie, has an accident (truly, an accident) and is in the hospital. Hannah finds her journal and reads the book Essie had been writing. Is it about herself? Someone else in Lake Eden? Completely made up? We find out in the last chapter as the entire time we’re meandering along, we’re clueless, too. Once we find out, it’s nice closure for this book but doesn’t really connect to all the others in the series in terms of the mystery. Part of me was hoping to learn a fun fact about a new connection among the town’s inhabitants. I sadly didn’t.

That said, normal recipes look good. Everything else is spot-on. But it’s just a re-cap book with a little bit of new content… I judge it on that merit rather than give it a poor rating because it didn’t have a mystery. That was never what Fluke intended… and I’m glad I had this chance to read a bit more about Hannah’s younger years. It’s worth a read but not necessary to read in order. It could even be read first. Okay, off to find an ARC of the latest book. Wow… I completed another series (just about, don’t deny me this fact please – LOL)!

View all my reviews

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 https://thisismytruthnow.com, 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.

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14 thoughts on “Book Review: Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

    The Cozy Pages said:
    October 16, 2018 at 10:01 PM

    You and Noriko were are well catching up with Hannah! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    AJ said:
    October 16, 2018 at 11:23 PM

    Ooo I like the idea of learning about a younger Hannah!

    Liked by 1 person

    robbiesinspiration said:
    October 17, 2018 at 12:41 AM

    Another lovely read, Jay. Good review.

    Liked by 1 person

    Patty Magyar said:
    October 17, 2018 at 6:17 PM

    I haven’t read many in this series but this one could be fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    carhicks said:
    October 19, 2018 at 9:15 AM

    I have this one to read, it might be good for me as I have been very sporadic with this series and usually just read what I pick up at booksales etc.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      October 19, 2018 at 10:38 AM

      It does feel like sporadic happens a lot on this one. It was for me too. Until recently so I could catch up.

      Liked by 1 person

    Cris said:
    October 20, 2018 at 10:45 PM

    I keep watching Net Galley for the chance to review the next one… want to find out how her relationship situation gets resolved!!

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      October 20, 2018 at 10:45 PM

      I know. It’s missing. I don’t want to wait til January!!!!

      Like

        Cris said:
        October 20, 2018 at 10:49 PM

        Me neither! Let me know if you see it out there… I’ll do the same!!

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        October 21, 2018 at 8:18 AM

        Definitely.

        Like

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