A few weeks ago, my friend, C., from high school sent me a message through Facebook. She had found an author she thought I'd like. The author's name is Joanne Fluke. She's a mystery writer. Her main character is named Hannah Swensen. She owns a bakery in a small Minnesota town and on the side, she solves murder mysteries. Now, I love a well written mystery. I am happy to say I had read and loved every Sherlock Holmes story Arthur Conan Doyle wrote. Most of the time, he'd leave out important clues so it was rare the reader could figure out who was the culprit. I also don't like a mystery writer who gives you so many clues that the reader figures out who did before they even did it!
The Hannah Swensen mysteries are very well written. There are enough clues so that you might figure out who was the murder, but maybe not why exactly, or she might give you enough information to second guess yourself too. There are 11 books to date, plus a mini-novela mystery, plus a 12th book on the way. So far I've read through the 9th book, Key Lime Pie Murder. Each of these books it titled with a baked good, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, Cherry Cheesecake Murder, Blueberry Muffin Murder. The featured baked good is always involved in the murder somehow, ie. in the first one, the dead guy is holding a chocolate chip cookie, in another one, the dead guy is found face down in a strawberry shortcake. There's suspense and humor in the books. The stories are well written, including a cast of supporting characters and evolving story lines.
I think my favorite part of this series is the recipes. While reading, you'll find the characters talking about, for example, the Peanut Butter Melts a lot in a chapter. At the end of the chapter, there you go. A recipe for Peanut Butter Melts. I think it's cute! I also like it because as I'm reading I'm thinking, "wow, those Peanut Butter Melts sound really good!" Each book has an index of recipes in the back. The recipes sound great too! The website is Murder She Baked. I'm really enjoying these books that include two of my favorite things, a good mystery and pastries!
If you're in the mood for a good summer read, check them out. Your public library should have them, but beware! If it's anything like my public library, there's a crazy long waiting list for them! I highly recommend them! Thanks to C. for telling me about this too!