Candy Cane Murder

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Overview

`Tis the season for trimming the tree, caroling, baking cookies, and curling up by the Yuletide waiting for Santa to drop down the chimney. But in this festive collection of holiday whodunits, murder is also paying a visit.

"Candy Cane Murder" by JOANNE FLUKE

Bakery owner Hannah Swensen feels a little stuffed in her elf costume-but it's too late to count calories. Lake Eden's annual Christmas gala is upon her and eager children are waiting. Wayne Bergstrom, owner of Bergstrom's Department Store, happily ho-ho-hos...

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Overview

`Tis the season for trimming the tree, caroling, baking cookies, and curling up by the Yuletide waiting for Santa to drop down the chimney. But in this festive collection of holiday whodunits, murder is also paying a visit.

"Candy Cane Murder" by JOANNE FLUKE

Bakery owner Hannah Swensen feels a little stuffed in her elf costume-but it's too late to count calories. Lake Eden's annual Christmas gala is upon her and eager children are waiting. Wayne Bergstrom, owner of Bergstrom's Department Store, happily ho-ho-hos his way through the festivities in his Santa suit. But when a trail of candy canes leads to his corpse in a snow bank, Hannah must find Kris Kringle's killer.

"The Dangers of Candy Canes" by LAURA LEVINE

When a wealthy suburbanite takes a lethal tumble off his roof while installing a giant candy cane, the roofing contractor being held responsible for murder asks freelance writer Jaine Austen to investigate. But solving this untimely holiday death means delving into the cutthroat Christmas decorating wars among scheming neighbors with dirty secrets in their stocking. It takes a fruitcake hiding a weapon and a stunning confrontation to expose the mastermind of this holiday murder.

"Candy Canes of Christmas Past" by LESLIE MEIER

Twenty-some years ago, Lucy Stone arrived in Tinker Cove, Maine, and discovered her knack for solving mysteries when she met Miss Tilly, the town librarian, whose mother took a fatal fall down the basement stairs one Christmas Eve. The "accident" left a cloud of suspicion on Miss Tilly's father and a slew of other suspects. The only clue was a glass candy cane found smashed to bits by the victim's body. Now Lucy must learn the mystery of theglass candy cane as she unlocks the doors of Christmas past, exposing secrets, scandal, and a killer who got away with murder.

Whether a gift for yourself or that special someone on your list, there's no better way to spend the holidays than with these tantalizing mysteries of murder.

Includes over 15 scrumptious holiday recipes!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Three big-name cozy writers contribute candy cane-themed novellas to this entertaining yuletide anthology. Levine's series heroine Jaine Austen (Death by Pantyhose, etc.) spots a wealthy suburbanite's killer in the unfortunately skimpy "The Danger of Candy Canes," where the subplot about a troubled teen is more compelling than the actual mystery. Hannah Swensen (Key Lime Pie Murder, etc.) experiments with new Christmas cookies (recipes included, of course) and gets to the bottom of a Santa slaying in Fluke's complex "Candy Cane Murder," which includes several plausible suspects and a surprising twist-an impressive feat in just 150 pages. Meier's powerful "Candy Canes of Christmas Past" takes heroine Lucy Stone (Bake Sale Murder, etc.) back to December 1983, when, newly arrived in Tinker's Cove, Maine, she found herself investigating the circumstances of a decades-old local death and struggling with her own financial and domestic difficulties. Fluke and Meier ably make up for Levine's shortcomings to create a sweet holiday treat for mystery lovers. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Three popular mystery authors each present a charming Christmas novella in this holiday volume. In Fluke's "Candy Cane Murder," bakery owner Hannah Swenson stumbles across a dead Santa Claus. Several holiday recipes are included. In Laura Levine's "The Danger of Candy Canes," freelance writer Jaine Austen helps a business acquaintance beat a murder rap while finding four suspects along the way. And Leslie Meier's homemaker sleuth Lucy Stone makes an appearance in "Candy Canes of Christmas Past," finding herself tangled in family secrets after an innocent yard sale find leads to much more than she bargained for. Expect demand from fans of these light and cozy mystery series.


—Rebecca Vnuk
Kirkus Reviews
Santa gets bludgeoned, neighbors knock neighbors off their light-festooned roofs and householders nearly blow themselves into next year cooking Yule dinner in this triple-decker helping of holiday cheer. Fluke gives her regular sleuth the starring role in the saga of Santa's sad demise. Hannah Swenson finds skinflint department-store magnate Wayne Bergstrom with his neck broken after playing St. Nick at the Lake Eden Inn's gala. Even her boyfriend, Detective Mike Kingston, knows Hannah's going to investigate, although he tells her for the record to leave it to the professionals. Levine's Jaine Austen, a freelance writer who can resist anything but temptation, is in a holiday tizzy trying to clear Seymour Fiedler, proud proprietor of "Fiedler on the Roof Roofers," of the charge that he doctored the roofing tiles that led to irascible Garth Janken's untimely demise. And Meier takes Lucy Stone back in time, as Christmas with her grandson Patrick reminds her of her first Christmas in Tinker's Cove. Their house on Red Top Road was a mess, she was pregnant with her second child and her husband Bill tried to fix the pilot light on their cantankerous stove, causing an explosion that burned his arms. When librarian Julia Tilley comes to her rescue, Lucy in return tackles the mysterious death of Miss Tilley's mother. Like a box of holiday chocolates, this recipe-studded assortment gives all readers a crack at their favorites.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758221995
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Series: Hannah Swensen Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

LAURA LEVINE is a comedy writer whose television credits include The Bob Newhart Show, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, The Jeffersons, Three's Company, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Her work has been published in The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and is currently working on the next Jaine Austen mystery. Readers can reach her at Jaineausten@aol.com.

Leslie Meier is the acclaimed author of twelve Lucy Stone mysteries and has also written for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband, where she is currently at work on the next Lucy Stone mystery.

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Read an Excerpt

CANDY CANE MURDER


By JOANNE FLUKE LAURA LEVINE LESLIE MEIER

KENSINGTON BOOKS

Copyright © 2007 Joanne Fluke
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-2198-8


Chapter One

It was a dream, one of those bizarre fantasies she'd laugh about when she woke up. But not even in her worst nightmare had Hannah Swensen ever imagined she'd be transformed into an elf.

"Are you ready, Aunt Hannah?"

It wasn't a dream. That was Tracey's voice. Hannah mouthed a word she hoped wasn't in her six-year-old niece's vocabulary and then she answered the question. "I'll be out in a couple of minutes, honey."

The holiday season calls for a generosity of spirit, Hannah reminded herself as she pulled on bright green tights and struggled into the matching tunic top. The bottom hem of the tunic had long points of cloth attached like screaming red pennants hanging down around her waist. Each one was tipped with a jingle bell, so if by some miracle someone failed to notice her, the bells would announce her presence.

Her footwear was next. Hannah pulled on slippers with rollup toes in a shade of red so bright it hurt her eyes. She topped it all off with a pointed cap with more jingle bells in the same brilliant red, and avoided the mirror with the same dedication Transylvanian villagers had used to ward off vampires.

"Aunt Hannah?"

"I'm almost ready, Tracey."

"What's thematter? You sound funny."

"Elves are supposed to sound funny, aren't they?" Hannah tugged down the bright red points on her tunic. Perhaps it would stretch out and fit a little better.

"I guess. Better hurry, Aunt Hannah. It's six-five-six and Santa's supposed to be here at seven-oh-oh."

"Right." Hannah gave a fleeting thought to how much she missed the big hands and little hands on analog watches and risked a glance in the mirror. Her image hadn't changed for the better. The red of her hair was engaged in a full-scale war with the red of her cap, women who were more than two pounds overweight should avoid form-fitting tunics with bells that called attention to their figure faults, and with the possible exception of those who had fitness club memberships and actually used them, women over thirty should be wary about skipping in public. It was Santa who was supposed to jiggle like a bowlful of jelly, not her!

"Aunt Hannah?"

"Coming." Hannah tore her eyes away from the wreckage of her self-esteem. If a dozen determined designers had gotten together for the sole purpose of creating an outfit that would be most unflattering for her, they couldn't have done a better job. She took a deep breath, grabbed the basket of miniature candy canes she would strew like rose petals in Santa's wake, and opened the dressing room door.

All thoughts of how dreadful she looked were erased as she caught sight of Tracey's beaming face. Playing Santa's elf for an hour wouldn't kill her. And since the large silver basket she was carrying had to contain at least a thousand miniature candy canes, there was an upside to the evening. She'd have plenty of candy left over to make Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies at The Cookie Jar, her bakery and coffee shop, tomorrow.

"You're perfect, Aunt Hannah!" Tracey said, taking her aunt's hand. "All the kids are going to love you."

And with that vote of supreme confidence, Hannah and her niece headed for the temporary stage that had been erected in the dining room of the Lake Eden Inn to wait for Santa to arrive.

"I see Mom!" Tracey said, peeking through the crack in the curtain. "And Aunt Michelle's there, too. They're getting the kids lined up."

Hannah walked over to take a look. She spotted her two younger sisters waiting in line with the children from the Winnetka County Children's Home. They had been bussed out for an early dinner and a gift from Wayne Bergstrom, who was playing Santa tonight. The children would go back to the Home right after their visit with Santa and then the adult Christmas party would begin.

Tracey glanced at her watch. "It's seven-one-three and Santa Wayne isn't here yet. I wonder why he's late."

"I don't know," Hannah answered, "but make sure you don't call him Santa Wayne in front of the kids. You know that Wayne is one of Santa's temporary helpers at Christmas time, but the other kids don't."

"Don't worry, Aunt Hannah. I won't tell."

Hannah took another peek through the slit in the curtains. The children in line were beginning to fidget. If Wayne didn't get here soon, Michelle and Andrea would have an insurrection on their hands.

And then it happened. Both Hannah and Tracey began to smile as they heard sleigh bells in the distance. From previous Christmas parties at the Lake Eden Inn, Hannah knew that Wayne carried a half-dozen sleigh bells attached to a red leather strap. They usually resided in one of the big patch pockets of his Santa costume, but he took them out when he came in the kitchen door and jingled them to build anticipation for his arrival, and as a signal for his elf to join him in the kitchen.

Hannah took one last look at the line of children. All talking, coughing, and wiggling had ceased. Instead there was silence, perfect stillness of voice and body, large and small.

And every face wore an expectant smile. Santa was coming and even the teenagers who had seemed so jaded and blasé only moments before were now caught in the grips of heady expectancy.

"Better take your place, Tracey," Hannah whispered, giving her niece a little push toward the thronelike chair where Wayne would sit. Since some of the little ones had been afraid of the big, red-suited man with the white fur and the booming voice in years past, Sally had asked Tracey to stand next to Santa and reassure them.

When Tracey had taken up her position, looking like an angel with her shining blond hair and white velvet dress, Hannah gave a little wave and headed off to the kitchen. Her least favorite part of the evening was about to begin, the part where she skipped behind Santa and scattered cellophane-wrapped candy canes as he wound his way through the crowded dining room and up the steps to the stage. When Santa reached the top step, the curtains would open to reveal Tracey, Santa's throne, and the huge decorated Christmas tree. And once Wayne was seated and his elf had navigated the steps and taken her place by the Christmas tree, Michelle and Andrea would bring the children up, one by one, to greet Santa and receive their presents.

When she pushed open the swinging kitchen door, Hannah spotted Santa Wayne at the counter, perched on a tall stool and drinking something in a cup. Sally stood next to him, frowning.

"Something's wrong?" Hannah asked her, and it came out more statement than question. Of course something was wrong. Sally wouldn't be frowning if everything were perfectly all right.

"Wayne's got laryngitis and my hot peppermint tea isn't working. We're afraid he'll scare the kids when he talks to them."

Hannah realized that was possible, especially if Santa sounded gruff. "I could make an announcement."

"What kind of announcement?" Santa Wayne asked in a rasping voice that left no question about his ability to speak in normal tones.

"I could tell the kids that you ran into some thick fog over Greenland and you had to sing 'Jingle Bells' really loud so your voice would bounce off the ice caps and Donner and Blitzen wouldn't fly into them."

"That's the dumbest thing I ever heard!" Santa Wayne rasped.

Hannah shrugged. "I know, but I think it'll work. Do you want me to do it?"

Santa Wayne and Sally exchanged glances. "I guess it's better than nothing," he said, settling the question.

Smile. Scatter left, scatter right, Hannah told herself, trying not to pant as she skipped. She'd only covered about half the distance and she was already out of breath, puffing faster than the caterpillar smoking a hookah in Tracey's volume of Alice in Wonderland.

Uh-oh! There was Mike, her sometime boyfriend! Hannah put on the best smile she could muster and tried to pretend she was having the time of her life. The fact that those portions of her anatomy she often wished were smaller and firmer were bouncing up and down and sideways like a loose bar of soap in a shower stall didn't help. No one who saw her could possibly call her graceful. The best she could hope for was that they might consider her a good sport.

Only a few more yards to go. Hannah concentrated on skipping forward and peppering her audience with candy canes. At least she'd finally figured out why the green leggings she wore were called tights. It was because they were tight. Extremely tight. So very tight that she felt like a sausage about to split open on a blazing hot barbecue grill.

The ordeal was almost over and Hannah stopped to toss another few candy canes as Wayne climbed the steps to the stage. Then the curtains opened and the audience applauded as he gave Tracey a smile and sat down in his chair. He patted his knee, and Tracey climbed on to whisper in his ear. It was a sweet and heartwarming scene, and Hannah was grateful that everyone in the audience was watching Santa with Tracey as she climbed the steps to the stage and took her place to do what her Grandma Ingrid had always called speak her piece.

"Santa almost didn't make it tonight," Hannah spoke the words she'd been rehearsing in her head, "so let's give him a big round of applause to show how glad we are he made it here to the Lake Eden Inn."

The audience broke into loud applause and once it had diminished in volume, Hannah continued with her story. "Did you know that there was an awful storm at the North Pole when Santa started his Christmas journey?"

"No!" several children shouted, and Hannah gave them a smile. "There was, believe me. Santa didn't think he was going to make it, but do you know what he did?"

"No!" This time the response was louder and Hannah went into her story about the polar ice caps and the fog as heavy as green pea soup. "So Santa had to sing all the way to the coast of Newfoundland to keep his reindeer from crashing into the ice caps. And he sang so loudly and so long, he strained his voice."

The younger children in line were nodding gravely. They'd believed her, just as she'd known they would. "Would you like to hear how funny Santa sounds?" she asked.

There was a clamor of yeses and not all of them came from the children. Some of the adults were getting into the spirit of the evening, too.

"Would you please say Ho Ho Ho for us, Santa?" she requested, turning toward him.

"Ho, Ho, Ho!" Santa Wayne exclaimed hoarsely, and some of the children giggled. That drew a good-natured laugh from the adults and Hannah figured she'd done her part. There was only one more thing to mention. "So you won't be afraid of Santa's scratchy voice, will you?"

"No!" several children shouted and almost all of them shook their heads. Her mission was accomplished and Hannah skipped over to take her place next to the mound of color-coded presents. The Santa, Tracey, and Elf Show was about to begin.

Hannah and Tracey knew the drill. They'd even rehearsed it with Sally. Hannah would hand Tracey the appropriate present, Tracey would carry it to Santa, and Santa would give it to the child on his lap. Norman Rhodes, Hannah's other boyfriend, would snap a picture for posterity. Then Michelle would escort the child to the rear of the line as Andrea brought the next child forward.

The smallest children were at the front of the line and Hannah studied the mound of presents. They were arranged by age group. All she had to do was work from left to right and everyone would get an age-appropriate present. The packages were also color coded. If they were wrapped with gold and green paper, they were for the girls. The boys got presents wrapped with silver and red paper.

The next few minutes were busy. Hannah chose the gifts, Tracey gave them to Santa, and Santa presented them. The children were delighted and Hannah was really getting into the spirit of the season by the time she picked up the last present. It was over. And she hadn't died of mortification. Perhaps the mirror in Sally's dressing room had waved the wrong way and caused her to look larger than she actually was. And perhaps all that skipping had jumbled her brain and affected her ability to separate reality from wishful thinking.

There was standing applause as the children, all of them clutching their presents, were led out the door to their waiting bus. And then the curtains closed and Hannah fanned herself with her tasseled cap. Except for a few dropped candy canes and one toddler who would absolutely not sit on Santa's lap and screamed bloody murder despite Tracey's, Hannah's, Andrea's, Michelle's, and Santa's best efforts, all had gone smoothly.

Sally was waiting for them in the wings and she handed Santa Wayne another cup of hot tea. "That was even better than last year! Sip some tea, Wayne. Your throat must hurt from talking to the kids."

"Thanks. Hurts." His voice was as scratchy as sandpaper and he gave a rattling cough.

"I don't like the sound of that," Sally told him. And then she turned to Hannah and Tracey. "You were wonderful, Tracey. And Hannah ... your speech about Santa's sore throat was just the thing."

"Whatever," Hannah said, waving off the compliment even though she thought it had been pretty good herself.

"Here's your receipt for the presents, Wayne." Sally passed him a folded sheet of paper. "Mayor Bascomb did it through the Lake Eden Boosters this year."

"My receipt?"

"You know, the one you need for your corporate taxes. Mayor Bascomb said to tell your accounting department that the Boosters got their nonprofit status in June last year. He'll fax you a copy of the paperwork for your files."

"Right." He shoved the receipt in his pocket and turned to Hannah. "I'll need the rest of that candy. I'm playing Santa at the store tomorrow."

What a cheapskate! Hannah thought. And being a cheapskate was probably how rich people got rich in the first place. Wayne Bergstrom owned Bergstrom's Department Store, the busiest and most profitable retailer at the Tri-County Mall. He had displays of miniature candy canes at every checkout counter, the tubs stacked one on top of the other like red and white striped pyramids. There was no reason he needed to take what Hannah had come to think of as her leftovers.

"Here," Hannah said, handing over the basket.

"It's her basket," he said, gesturing to Sally. "Dump the candy in my pocket." Then he held open one of the massive pockets on the jacket of his Santa suit, and waited for Hannah to dump them in.

"I'll drop off the elf costume at the store tomorrow unless you want it now," Hannah told him. "It'll only take me a couple of minutes to change."

"Keep it. We couldn't sell it anyway now that you stretched it out. You can use it again next year."

"No flying pigs around here," Hannah muttered just under her breath, and she was rewarded by a startled chortle from Sally. When Sally had asked her if she would be Wayne's regular elf for future Christmas parties at the Lake Eden Inn, Hannah had responded with, Sure, when pigs fly!

With Sally struggling to maintain her composure, Hannah was just searching around for a topic of polite conversation when Sally's husband, Dick, walked up.

"Good job, Wayne." Dick clapped him on the back. "The kids loved you. Go change out of your suit and I'll mix you a Peppermint Martini."

"Tempting, but not tonight," he answered in his husky voice. "Got to rest my throat."

"Hot water, honey, and lemon," Hannah advised him. "It's like making hot lemonade. Then pour in a little brandy and top it off with grated nutmeg."

"Does the brandy help?" he asked her, clearing his throat with obvious difficulty.

"Not really. Your throat still hurts just as much, but after three or four cups, you don't care anymore."

PEPPERMINT MARTINI

Hannah's 1st Note: These recipes are from Richella and Priscilla, Dick Laughlin's bartenders at the Lake Eden Inn. Dick says if you don't have martini glasses, you should run right out and buy them. Both Dick and Sally swear that these martinis taste a hundred percent better in martini glasses.

5 ounces good grade vodka 2 ounces white crème d'menthe 1/2 ounce peppermint schnapps

Combine in a shaker and shake with ice. Strain into two martini glasses and garnish with miniature candy canes hooked over the rims of the glasses.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from CANDY CANE MURDER by JOANNE FLUKE LAURA LEVINE LESLIE MEIER Copyright © 2007 by Joanne Fluke. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Candy Cane Murder Joanne Fluke....................1
The Dangers of Candy Canes Laura Levine....................153
Candy Canes of Christmas Past Leslie Meier....................275
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

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(21)

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(13)

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(12)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I liked it...Joanne Fluke is a fave

    I liked this book...my favorite was Joanne Fluke, as always. Laura looks promising too. I might like to try a book or two...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    As usual, Hannah has an interesting way of living and dealing.

    As usual, Hannah has an interesting way of living and dealing. One should read the entire series in the order of wriing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    super novellas

    Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke
    Love this book because it not only is about the Christmas holiday but there are 3 stories in total, with recipes.
    The murder/mystery parts are just the added topping to make these a good gift for anyone this year.

    Hannah is helping Santa pass out gifts to the children and is dressed up in an elf costume.
    Santa is very hoarse but makes it through the presents. He doesn't make it through the night.
    Her sister and family come to aid her in gathering information as to who killed Santa.
    Love logic they use. Love the ability to swap out ingredients to make your own cookies.


    danger of candy canes by laura laveen
    Los Angeles around Christmas: A man dies when he is stringing up Christmas candy cane.
    Jane's cat Prozac hates holidays and destroys everything to do with it.
    She starts investigating about the roof-he forgot to pay his insurance premiums.

    LA girlfriends is a mentoring program that Jane looks into while asking neighbors about the
    man who fell off his roof. It is a program where a woman is hooked up with a girl without a
    mother and they do fun things together. They head to Santa Monica pier-I visited there once
    several years ago, quite fascinating. Things get worse as the hour goes by.
    Back to the investigation: the neighbors name others as being an enemy so she's got a lot
    more people to talk to. She's very crafty when it comes to getting information that is useful.

    candy canes of Christmas past by leslie myers
    Lucy and Bill in their house in Maine with Toby their child
    Mrs. Telly, whose oven they used to make Christmas cookies, Lucy gave her a glass candy cane and they talked of things that happened in the past. Lucy hopes to find out what happened to her mother, could've been TB.
    Bill is fixing up the house to save money from having a contractor do it.
    The tradition to read a story every Christmas makes her cry as her mom sent her to book.
    Spritz pressed cookies, handmade crochet afghans, open houses are just some of the things that occur in the New England area around the holidays.
    Lucy gets the older people to help her solve the mystery by listening to stories they have of days gone by.
    After Bill almost burns the house down they are consiering going back to New York as they can't make a go of it there.
    The neighbors come to the rescue and even his parents help in a way they had no idea was much needed.
    She solves the mystery from a book her husband gave her

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 22, 2009

    Great Staff

    I shop at the Bellingham store and find the employees of this store to not only be knowledgeable but pleasant.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    It's A Tasty Read!

    This book is an excellent mixture of comedic conversation, original characters, light romantic confusion and a great murder with a real twist. Set in an usual setting that you feel you would like to run in and enjoy. A great book to read at Christmas......or anytime. If you haven't started reading this series I recommend you start at the beginning with "Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder"

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  • Posted March 15, 2009

    Good, then bad

    Having never read anything by Fluke, I picked this up for the recipes and some standing in line reading for the holiday season. I was surprised that this was a novel with three stories (I didn't look at it very closely), but thought it might work. I loved the first story by Fluke and really enjoyed th last story by Meier, by the story by Levine left much to be desired. However, I am now a Fluke fan and have purchased Sugar Cookie Murder to read next winter.

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  • Posted March 3, 2009

    Mystery

    This was an easy read and helped pass the time, while snowbound.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2009

    any of Joanne Fluke's books

    I am a big fan of Ms. Fluke's writing. I very much need a light -hearted, but exciting mystery/romance book that isn't too gory or too mushy. Also, I can safely leave her books lying around and not be afraid that the kids will start reading something they shouldn't.<BR/> I would ( and HAVE ) recommended her books to my friends.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great cozy anthology

    ¿Candy Cane Murder¿ by Joanne Fluke. Wayne, the owner of one of the most profitable store in town, is playing Santa for the children at the orphanage. He has laryngitis so he goes home after his performance. Hannah found him in the snow, the victim of a murderer. Naturally, Hannah, owner of The Cookie Shop, can¿t resist sleuthing and there are many suspects because the victim was a target who had a lot of enemies.--------------- ¿The Danger of Candy Canes¿ by Laura Levine ¿ Freelance writer Jaine Austin is asked by her friend and client Seymour Fielder of Fielder on the Roof Roofers, to help him prove his innocence in the death of Garth Jenkins. He did a reroofing job at their home but when Garth went up there to put up Christmas decorations, he stepped on a loose tile and fell to his death. Jaine knows Seymour wouldn¿t leave any tiles loose around so she agrees to investigate and finds the dead man had enemies ranging from his neighbors who he played tricks on to get what he wanted to his law partner who he was blackmailing. Jaine learns sleuthing is dangerous to her health.------------------ ¿Candy Canes of Christmas Past¿ by Leslie Meir. Lucy Stone of Tinker¿s Cove, Maine looks back to the first Christmas season in her new home, a fixer-upper on the verge of being condemned. She meets the town librarian who invites Lucy and her son Toby over to bake cookies. The librarian Miss Tilley confides in her that she always wondered if her abusive father killed her mother by throwing her down the stairs. Lucy promises she will find out the truth that¿s how Lucy began solving mysteries.---------------- All three of these holidays novellas are fun, enjoyable to read and each has a mystery that takes some hard thinking to solve. This work would make a great holiday present for a sweet tooth amateur sleuth.----------- Harriet Klausner

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