In her third top-of-the-line culinary cozy (after 2001's Strawberry Shortcake Murder), the delightful amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen once again faces murder and mayhem with good cheer. To fight the late February doldrums, Lake Eden, Minn., is about to celebrate its first winter carnival with ice sports on the lake, activities for children and Hannah's delicious cookies from her shop, the Cookie Jar. The whole town is involved, and even Hannah's mother, who usually spends her time trying to get Hannah married, has found a new interest in recreating the home of one of Lake Eden's founding fathers. Connie MacIntyre, bestselling cook book author and star of a popular cable TV cooking show, has agreed to make the cake for the carnival banquet. But when Hannah discovers Connie's dead body in the pantry of the Cookie Jar, Hannah and her sister Andrea join forces to track down the killer, despite warnings by one of her boyfriends, policeman Mike Kensington, to stay out of the investigation. Since everyone who had contact with the abusive Connie disliked her, the sisters have plenty of suspects. Delicious food descriptions and recipes, warm and familiar characters who grow into real people (Hannah's increasing respect for Andrea is a highlight), a vivid picture of the small lake town and a well-crafted mystery provide the ingredients for yet another tempting feast that should satisfy all fans, old and new. (Mar. 5) Forecast: A simple, bold jacket featuring a skull formed by blueberries in a sliced muffin sends just the right message to attract cozy fans. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Hannah's (Strawberry Shortcake Murder) baking plans for Lake Eden's Winter Carnival get stalled when a despotic rival baker is murdered in Hannah's bakery. With her oven declared part of a crime scene, Hannah must find the murderer before she can bake. A delightful confection and a recipe included. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Hannah Swenson should be making a bundle. As sole supplier of cookies for the Lake Eden (Minnesota) Winter Carnival, she and Lisa Herman, owners of The Cookie Jar, are selling Peanut Butter Melts and White Chocolate Supremes as fast as they can bake them. But when the Carnival's star attraction, deceptively nasty Connie MacIntyre-known to cable TV fans everywhere as "Connie Mac," America's Cooking Sweetheart-gets her head bashed in right inside their pantry, detective Mike Kingston seals the store shut until further notice, leaving Hannah literally out in the cold. You'd think that getting The Cookie Jar reopened would be motive enough for her to look into Connie Mac's murder. So should clearing her childhood friend Janie Burkholtz, who, as Connie Mac's assistant and frequent target of her ill temper, is Mike's favorite suspect. Or clearing Norman Rhodes, Mike's second-favorite suspect-at least in part because Hannah just might prefer Norman's friendly, familiar kisses to Mike's more stirring embraces. But you'd be wrong each time, for Hannah seems far more interested in tweaking Mike's adorable nose by investigating a murder he specifically warned her away from. And she succeeds brilliantly, placing herself in peril repeatedly as she breaks into hotel rooms, steals keys, pays after-hours visits to deserted shopping malls-and ultimately unmasks a killer. A more engaging supporting cast and less-routine plots kept Hannah's earlier adventures (Strawberry Shortcake Murder, 2000, etc.) a hair away from soap opera. This one lands her firmly in the suds.