Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Series #17) [NOOK Book]

Overview

It's been a sleepy summer for the folks of Lake Eden, Minnesota. In fact, it's been a whole four months since anyone in the Swensen family has come across a dead body—a detail that just made the front page of the local paper. And that means Hannah Swensen can finally focus on her bakery. . .or can she?

Life is never really quiet for Hannah. After all, her mother's wedding is a little over a month away and guess who Delores put in charge of the planning? Yet just when Hannah ...

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Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Series #17)

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Overview

It's been a sleepy summer for the folks of Lake Eden, Minnesota. In fact, it's been a whole four months since anyone in the Swensen family has come across a dead body—a detail that just made the front page of the local paper. And that means Hannah Swensen can finally focus on her bakery. . .or can she?

Life is never really quiet for Hannah. After all, her mother's wedding is a little over a month away and guess who Delores put in charge of the planning? Yet just when Hannah believes her biggest challenge will be whether to use buttercream or fondant for the wedding cake, she accidentally hits a stranger with her cookie truck while driving down a winding country road in a raging thunderstorm. Hannah is wracked with guilt, and things get even worse when she's arrested. . .for murder! But an autopsy soon reveals the mystery man, his shirt covered in stains from blackberry pie, would have died even if Hannah hadn't hit him. Now, to clear her name, Hannah will have to follow a trail of pie crumbs to track down the identity of the deceased, find a baker who knows more about murder than how to roll out a perfect pie crust—and get herself to the church on time. . .

Indulge In Joanne Fluke's Criminally Delicious Hannah Swensen Mysteries!

Red Velvet Cupcake Murder

"Culinary Cozies Don't Get Any Tastier Than This Winning series." —Library Journal

"Loaded with mouthwatering recipes and clever plotting, the latest Hannah Swensen mystery delights." —RT Book Reviews

"If your reading habits alternate between curling up with a good mystery or with a good cookbook, you ought to know about Joanne Fluke." —The Charlotte Observer

Cinnamon Roll Murder

"Fans of this wildly popular series will not be disappointed. Fluke has kept this series strong for a long time, and there is still plenty to enjoy for foodie crime fans." —Booklist

Devil's Food Cake Murder

"Fabulous." —Publishers Weekly

Apple Turnover Murder

"The ever popular Fluke writes engaging cozies with one part great characters, one part gentle story, and three parts the best recipes in the genre." —Library Journal

Cream Puff Murder

"Entertaining and sprinkled with tempting recipes. It's a sweet treat of a novel." —The Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/06/2014
Early in bestseller Fluke’s witty 17th novel featuring bakery owner Hannah Swensen of Lake Eden, Minn. (after 2013’s The Red Velvet Cupcake Mystery), Hannah finds yet another dead body—that of the unidentified man she hit and apparently killed while driving on a highway during a summer rainstorm. Of course, it was an accident, but Hannah winds up arrested and arraigned. After one of her two suitors, dentist Norman Rhodes, bails her out, Hannah learns that the stains on the victim’s shirt are not blood but blackberry pie—and an autopsy reveals that he was dead before her car hit him. Hannah is now free to look for a killer, as well as look into the case of a runaway who has been missing for years. Tempting recipes at the end of most chapters, including one for fresh blackberry cookies, will appeal to anyone who loves to bake. Author tour. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-04
Lake Eden's favorite baker, Hannah Swensen (Red Velvet Cupcake Murder, 2013, etc.), finds herself on the wrong end of a police investigation. Dodging lightning on an icy road, Hannah finds herself facing a driver's worst nightmare: Her car hits something, and all of a sudden, there's a body lying on the pavement. Hours later, her mother's fiance, Doc Knight, delivers his terrible findings. The man she hit was alive when Hannah struck him, and he died on impact. Sheriff Bill Todd orders Hannah's arrest and fires Deputy Sheriff Mike Kingston for refusing to bring her in. Eventually, Hannah winds up in the Winnetka County jail, where she spends three days, surrounded by friends and family (and three nights covered in a fuzzy blanket supplied by boyfriend Norman Rhodes), before Judge Colfax grants her bail. Once sprung, amateur sleuth Hannah is faced with an unusual case. She knows who the killer is, but who's the victim? Armed with scant physical details—height, weight, approximate age and a diamond set in one of the man's teeth—Hannah sets out to find out exactly whom she killed. The investigation, of course, requires multiple dinners in Hannah's cozy apartment, where she and Norman, her mom and Doc, her sisters Michelle and Andrea (the latter is too mad at her husband, Sheriff Bill, to eat at home), and even Mike brainstorm over plates of Smothered Chicken and Oodles of Noodles as Hannah's cat, Moishe, and Norman's cat, Cuddles, play "chase." It's amazing how little a vehicular homicide charge changes Hannah's life in Fluke's good-natured 19th.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758280398
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Series: Hannah Swensen Series , #17
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 3,894
  • File size: 961 KB

Meet the Author

Joanne Fluke
Joanne Fluke

Like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke was born and raised in a small town in rural Minnesota, but now lives in sunny Southern California. She is currently working on her next Hannah Swensen mystery.

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Interviews & Essays

Joanne Fluke
BLACKBERRY PIE MURDER
Exclusive Q&A for BN.com

Hannah's mother, Delores, changes her mind so many times about what food she wants served at her wedding! Is Delores based on anyone you know in real life?

Delores does change her mind frequently when it comes to her wedding preparations. In that respect, and only in that respect, she's a lot like my Grandmother. When it was Gammie's turn to host a ladies luncheon with her friends, she went into a regular tizzy about which dessert we should serve. She'd begin to deliberate at least two weeks before the affair. Of course Mom and I would help by suggesting things we knew she liked and, at that time, she would decide on one. The next day she'd come down the stairs for breakfast and say she'd been thinking about it and she'd changed her mind. One time that I remember in particular, Gammie didn't reach a final decision until the night before the luncheon. And then she chose the first dessert that we'd suggested!

You may have noticed that someone else in the Swensen family also has trouble reaching a decision. Both Mike Kingston and Norman Rhodes have proposed to Hannah, but she still hasn't married either one of them. Will Hannah eventually choose? I don't have a clue. She hasn't told me yet!

If you were planning a wedding reception dinner, what would you make for dessert?

If I were planning a big event like a wedding reception dinner I'd choose something easy, something that could be made in advance and served rapidly, something attractive, and something that I thought almost everyone who attended would enjoy. One of my very favorite desserts is something that fits into all those categories. It's mixed and sugared berries in a tall, fluted dessert glass with a generous dollop of my cr?me fraiche on top. Since my recipe for pseudo cr?me fraiche can be prepared hours before serving, I would put these desserts together in advance, refrigerate them, and then simply sprinkle the top with a little brown sugar. (The recipe for my homemade cr?me fraiche is in Strawberry Shortcake Murder.)

In the bonus scene you wrote for the exclusive B&N edition of BLACKBERRY PIE MURDER, Hannah's sisters are helping her prepare for a dinner party. Do you have any helpers who you call on when you need an extra set of hands in the kitchen?

I do have an extra set of hands in the kitchen whenever I prepare for a large celebration. The hands belong to my son, John, who's an excellent cook in his own right.

The night before Thanksgiving, I baked the pies: both pumpkin and pecan. John peeled the potatoes and put them in salted water in the refrigerator. He also made the dressing. (In my family, we call it "stuffing" if it's inside the turkey and "dressing" if we bake it in a casserole dish or a crockpot.

We started the next morning at 6AM by getting the turkey ready to roast and boiling the potatoes for the Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes. We also prepared a wheel of cooked, chilled asparagus with a side dish of dressing. We got out my phalanx of crockpots (I have 6 at last count). My Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes went in the biggest crockpot and the dressing in the second largest. We prepared my Green Beans with a Twist, a baked yam dish, and my Holiday Rice. Then we set the tables lined up all the crockpots and serving dishes for our buffet, and had 5 minutes to spare before the first guests arrived.

It was fun, but it was also a lot of work to prepare the traditional Thanksgiving feast for 36 people. The moment the last guest left, I put the leftovers away and went to bed. John told me that he went home and did the same.

(Most of these holiday recipes are inSugar Cookie Murder.)

In the special B&N edition of BLACKBERRY PIE MURDER, Hannah makes Scottish Shortbread from a recipe she got from her grandmother. Do you have a favorite recipe that's been passed down throughout the generations in your family?

I have several favorite family recipes and I've used most of them in the Hannah series. My Grandmother's Buttermilk Pie is one and I used it in Blackberry Pie Murder. Then there's my mother's Lemon Meringue Pie, which is in Lemon Meringue Pie Murder. I also have Gammie's Molasses Crackles (Strawberry Shortcake Murder) and Mom's Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies, which are inChocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

I'd better stop with that. I have too many favorites and writing about them is making me hungry. It's breakfast time right now and I might just have dessert for breakfast!

Do you memorize the specific measurements for your recipe or do you measure by taste?

My grandmother was the only one in our family that could bake without using a measuring cup. We had a flour canister, a big one, and she would reach in, scoop out handfuls of flour and dump them into the mixing bowl. The same went for sugar. I don't think Gammie measured anything including any liquids in the recipe. I remember asking her how she could tell the amount of flour and sugar to use. She replied, "That's simple, honey. You just add until there's enough." Mom and I never quite picked up Gammie's trick of not measuring and we relied on measuring cups and measuring spoons instead.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 69 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(16)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2014

    Honestly.....who else is sick to death of the Mike and Norman sa

    Honestly.....who else is sick to death of the Mike and Norman sandwich? For a smart woman, Hannah is dumb when it comes to men. After 19 books of this back and forth tennis match PLEASE....let it end!! It's all a big to do about nothing on the trumped up charges against Hannah. Fluke wants us to buy into her next book afraid we are tiring of her triangle (we are!) so she has it continued.....it was not much of a mystery to continue in the first place! Hannah gathered the evicence needfed to prove her innocents so why even throw in a court date? The other Judge will be back in town by then and throw it out as was mentioned early on if he hadn't been on vacation. This was my least favorite book and they have been going downhill. Hannah's mother, Dolores and her never-ending "can't make a decision" on her wedding food, deco's, bridesmaid gowns, etc, every few days is annoying. I was waiting for one of the daughters to tell her to get herself a wedding planner and quite wasting their time! But....nobody ever says anything negative to anyone in these stories. This is not a real family....too perfect down to not making waves or even thinkiong of hurting anyone's feelings. I'd like a good shouting match once in a while and some truth spoken. Too much filler about the up coming wedding and Moishe exercsing and even the recipes are not as inspiring as they once were a long time ago. If I could write an ending, I'd have Norman tell her and Mike off and walk out and find someone else to marry. he's the perfect catch but I guess not perfect enough for Hannah and you don't hear her mother or sisters telling her what a catch he is and she better marry him or lose him . Mike is a bad boy....we all know them but apparently hannah is too dumb to see that if she ended up with him she'd spend every minute worrying about who he may be with other than her. So it goes.........

    Please, Ms. Fluke, either end the series or get Hannah married and have her and Norman solve mysteries as husband and wife. What's the hold up? Even their cats love each other.


    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2014

    I have really enjoyed this series up to this book.  The plot was

    I have really enjoyed this series up to this book.  The plot was silly and felt like Ms. Fluke was under a deadline and had to write something.  It felt like the ending was missing, not just a cliffhanger.  Too contrived.  Also, having read the books since the beginning, it is past time for Hanna to decide whether to marry Norman or just let him go and find someone to make him happy.  For goodness sake!  He bailed her out of jail and put his house up for collateral and she's still undecided?  He is definitely too good for her.  Mike is a womanizer and everyone but Hanna,who is supposed to be a smart and independent  woman, sees it.  Enough already!  

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    I kept thinking that the end of the book was missing!  I love th

    I kept thinking that the end of the book was missing!  I love the series, but this one was very disappointing.  

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    It was an okay book. Disappointed that the story did not conclud

    It was an okay book. Disappointed that the story did not conclude at the end and the reader was just left hanging. Also, getting very weary of the two boyfriend scenario. It isn't realistic and is making these books less and less readable for me.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2014

    Hannah has been left hanging..recipe for a good storyline but no

    Hannah has been left hanging..recipe for a good storyline but not thoroughly incorporated and can not be baked  because necessary  ingredients left out also oven wasn't  at right temperature.  In other words Joanne Fluke n  did not finish her product!

    Recommend sending back to kitchen!    Post Haste!  Finish the Story  Don't leave us hanging with Hannah!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    Thats it..?

    Was this the whole book?! Feels as if therr are a few chapters missing on this one. Very disappointing if this is it..

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    Disgusted

    Is this a new mode of writing? James patterson now Ms. Fluke.No Ending? What gives? I am glad I got it from the library and was HAPPY I didn z't buy it. NOT WORTHY OF YOUR TIME AND YOUR MONEY... ..SKIP IT


    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    book was good up to end every left you wanting to know what happ

    book was good up to end every left you wanting to know what happen not my favorite in Hannah Swenson series

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2014

    I have read every book in this series. I am saddened to say that

    I have read every book in this series. I am saddened to say that this is the last one I will purchase. I was really hoping after several comments to the author on her Facebook page that she would finally end the love triangle. This was the worst book in her series thus far. It had tons of potential. I could tell who the killer was at the get go. It just did not feel like the author was into this series anymore. There is no more excitement or any kind of relationship going on between Hannah , Mike, and Norman. Honestly what man would let any woman go on dating another man without wanting the other one out. She needed to choose several books ago who she was going to be with once the proposals happened. Sorry, but I am over this series.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2014

    Hannah needs to choose a man. No normal men would hold out this

    Hannah needs to choose a man. No normal men would hold out this long. A lot of space is used for recipes which makes the actual story short. I wish the stories were a bit more developed and longer. I read them but am getting bored

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2014

    Not up to her normal standard

    I have read and enjoyed all of the previous Hannah Swenson murder mysteries. I did not find this one to be as entertaining as the rest. I especially did not like the way the book ended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2014

    Ending missing?

    This left you thinking that chapters were mussing


    This book left you thinking that chapters were missing. Left you hanging. Not one of her best. Also when is she going to chose between Norman and Mike? Seriously? Not really even a one star.






    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2014

    It wasn't all that bad, but where is the ending?

    It wasn't all that bad, but where is the ending?

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    I was enjoying the book until it ended abruptly with no conclusi

    I was enjoying the book until it ended abruptly with no conclusion. I thought I was missing part of the book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    Bad

    Horrible

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    Ending?

    Does the book really end with Hannah waiting for her trial and not knowing what happens? Seemed very abrupt. I gave a one star because of the ending.
    ND reader

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Not her best work

    I have loved this series until now. I thought the book was disjointed and did not fliw very well.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Hannah is having a busy summer as she is planning her mother's w

    Hannah is having a busy summer as she is planning her mother's wedding. However, when she accidentally hits a stranger on the side of the road, then she has more to worry about than just the wedding. Even though there was pouring rain at the time, Hannah is arrested for his death. Now Hannah will be working to clear her own name. 

    This is Hannah Swensen's 17th book in this series. After this many books, Hannah's family feels like your own. You also know that you'll always be welcomed with cookies whether you are visiting her home or shop. I also enjoy visiting with her friends and would love to be invited to one of her impromptu dinner gatherings. I enjoy the reading the recipes and like the fact that she gives tips to the less experienced bakers. 

    Although the mysteries themselves are interesting, I find myself more curious about  Hannah's love life. This is a quick read that will leave you wanting to go bake something.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2014

    Check this one out from the library, it's not worth the cost to

    Check this one out from the library, it's not worth the cost to buy it! Or at the very least, wait for it to hit the .99 rack. I'm real disappointed in her last few books. I'm by no means a natural Sherlock Holmes so when I can figure out the ending of a book a few chapters in, it's pretty sad. The last few books have been this way, but I keep reading in hopes that Hannah finally decides which guy to stop stringing along. That whole story line...please. **insert eye roll** She's lost a lot flair and the book was fairly repetitive, the cats, her weight, Norman, Mike....ok...and the damn recipes take up so much space I'm convinced she gets paid by the word, who else could drag out recipe instructions for three pages? (I read it on my Nook). Just save your money and go to the library folks. :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Ok

    I do like her stories. BUT I won't buy anymore. I'm not looking for a cook book!
    I'm paying for a novel, way too many pages taken up with recipes!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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