Cozy mysteries don’t get any cozier than Joanne Fluke’s, and her latest in the Hannah Swensen series, Coconut Layer Cake Murder, is no exception.
Hannah is a baker and amateur sleuth who’s ordered to take a vacation after a stressful experience. She and her mother leave Minnesota for sunny Los Angeles, intending to help Hannah’s friend pack up her home for a move. But before they can get started, Hannah receives a hysterical phone call from her best friend, Michelle, whose boyfriend, Lonnie, has been named a suspect in a local murder. Michelle needs Hannah’s support—and help cracking the case, of course.
Coconut Layer Cake Murder continues the Hannah Swensen series’ traditions, featuring heartwarming, small-town relationships that are spiced with just the right amount of murder and mayhem. Charming and innocent, Hannah, her friends, and her family are the epitome of feel-good characters who always try to do the right thing. Hannah’s perseverance and sunny outlook, even in the face of dire circumstances, is refreshing. Descriptions of life in Lake Eden, her Minnesota town that’s complete with a cast of eccentric locals, hearken back to easier times.
A rollicking mystery with plenty of surprises, the book also features delicious recipes attributed to Hannah’s hand. They range from confections she creates in her bakery to more savory dishes that she serves to family and friends. Notes within the recipes gesture to characters who’ve tasted them or made their own alterations to them, connecting every entry to the story.
The continued antics of Lake Eden’s quirky characters make Coconut Layer Cake Murder a treat—everything a cozy mystery should be.
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