Customer Reviews for

Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swensen Series #3)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

So very enjoyable!

Nothing beats a murder mystery that includes an independent female, a little romance and recipes...I love Joanne Fluke's books!

posted by Bloody_Cookie on June 1, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

I think my review's more interesting....

This is the worst mystery novel I've ever wasted my time reading. Instead of leaving it at that, I took it upon myself to finish it (as tortuous as that was for me) to explain to the human race why it's so bad.
But first, let's discuss what a good mystery should be....
This is the worst mystery novel I've ever wasted my time reading. Instead of leaving it at that, I took it upon myself to finish it (as tortuous as that was for me) to explain to the human race why it's so bad.
But first, let's discuss what a good mystery should be. They're subtle and usually fast-paced. Page-turners. You just HAVE to know who did it and why. So you keep reading. The characters are interesting and the murder victim (in my opinion) should be beloved (by the reader!). If the victim is a b*tch or an a$$, then who cares who killed him/her? A good mystery writer can place clues with so much finesse and subtlety that you're probably not aware it's a clue until later.
My first complaint: the characters. They were shallow, two-dimensional and they all got along. The only one that didn't get along with everyone else was Connie Mac, our murder victim, and she was taken out of the narrative early. Even characters that are related, Hannah Swenson and her sister Andrea, speak to each other like stiff, uptight coworkers trying to impress each other with how much they know. Believable characters are supposed to appeal to the reader on a fundamental level so that we can relate to their emotions, thoughts, actions, etc. These didn't.
Second complaint: Unnecessary details. The reader is "treated" to all of Hannah's goings-on. We're with her when she gets out of bed in the morning, when she feeds her stupid overweight cat, when she bakes and delivers cookies for the Winter Carnival, when she takes a shower, ad nauseum. It adds nothing to the plot and slows it down to a crawl. This is not a good combination with 2-D characters, generic dialogue, and a reader's who's not that interested anyway.
Third complaint: Unnecessary dialogue. I've touched on this already, but it deserves a closer look. On page 172 the reader is told how to build a snowman. Well, didn't we just run into a big stroke of luck? Who would've known? Apparently the "awesome" Hannah Swenson had to remind Andrea how to build one, because, she says, "I forgot." Who in the hell forgets? And who cares? We're trying to read a murder mystery, not a snowman-building manual!
Fourth complaint: Joanne Fluke gives her characters the clues, not her readers. People who like (good) murder mysteries like them because they want to see if they can solve the case before the author lets the cat out of the bag. This is also a testament to the writer's skill in crafting a good story. For two or three pages I was one step ahead of the characters in figuring out who the murderer was, but that was only because Fluke felt like (FINALLY) letting us in on it.
This book has a naivete that is almost childish. My biggest beef with this story is its lack of an antagonist, which might've injected some drama. Instead we have a protagonist that everyone likes, everyone likes her confections and everybody knows everybody. It's just a happy ol' winter wonderland in Lake Eden, MN. And that, to me, equals BORING fiction. It reminds me of what would happen if you subtracted everyone in Scooby Doo except Daphne and Scoob, turned Scooby into a 23 lb. orange tabby named Moishe, and added cookies. Now think of a convenient murder victim and a dessert that the victim can fall face-first in when they're murdered, and ta-da! A Joanne Fluke mystery, and it's a fluke it was published at all.

posted by BadFictionsWorstNightmare on June 26, 2010

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  • Posted June 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I think my review's more interesting....

    This is the worst mystery novel I've ever wasted my time reading. Instead of leaving it at that, I took it upon myself to finish it (as tortuous as that was for me) to explain to the human race why it's so bad.
    But first, let's discuss what a good mystery should be. They're subtle and usually fast-paced. Page-turners. You just HAVE to know who did it and why. So you keep reading. The characters are interesting and the murder victim (in my opinion) should be beloved (by the reader!). If the victim is a b*tch or an a$$, then who cares who killed him/her? A good mystery writer can place clues with so much finesse and subtlety that you're probably not aware it's a clue until later.
    My first complaint: the characters. They were shallow, two-dimensional and they all got along. The only one that didn't get along with everyone else was Connie Mac, our murder victim, and she was taken out of the narrative early. Even characters that are related, Hannah Swenson and her sister Andrea, speak to each other like stiff, uptight coworkers trying to impress each other with how much they know. Believable characters are supposed to appeal to the reader on a fundamental level so that we can relate to their emotions, thoughts, actions, etc. These didn't.
    Second complaint: Unnecessary details. The reader is "treated" to all of Hannah's goings-on. We're with her when she gets out of bed in the morning, when she feeds her stupid overweight cat, when she bakes and delivers cookies for the Winter Carnival, when she takes a shower, ad nauseum. It adds nothing to the plot and slows it down to a crawl. This is not a good combination with 2-D characters, generic dialogue, and a reader's who's not that interested anyway.
    Third complaint: Unnecessary dialogue. I've touched on this already, but it deserves a closer look. On page 172 the reader is told how to build a snowman. Well, didn't we just run into a big stroke of luck? Who would've known? Apparently the "awesome" Hannah Swenson had to remind Andrea how to build one, because, she says, "I forgot." Who in the hell forgets? And who cares? We're trying to read a murder mystery, not a snowman-building manual!
    Fourth complaint: Joanne Fluke gives her characters the clues, not her readers. People who like (good) murder mysteries like them because they want to see if they can solve the case before the author lets the cat out of the bag. This is also a testament to the writer's skill in crafting a good story. For two or three pages I was one step ahead of the characters in figuring out who the murderer was, but that was only because Fluke felt like (FINALLY) letting us in on it.
    This book has a naivete that is almost childish. My biggest beef with this story is its lack of an antagonist, which might've injected some drama. Instead we have a protagonist that everyone likes, everyone likes her confections and everybody knows everybody. It's just a happy ol' winter wonderland in Lake Eden, MN. And that, to me, equals BORING fiction. It reminds me of what would happen if you subtracted everyone in Scooby Doo except Daphne and Scoob, turned Scooby into a 23 lb. orange tabby named Moishe, and added cookies. Now think of a convenient murder victim and a dessert that the victim can fall face-first in when they're murdered, and ta-da! A Joanne Fluke mystery, and it's a fluke it was published at all.

    3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted April 7, 2013

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