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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Delight
Hannah Swenson's life is going well. Her cookie shop is successful, and she's content living a single life with her cat as company. But then she finds her delivery driver from the local dairy murdered behind her story. Assisting her brother-in-law, she starts investigating. But everyone seems to have an alibi and no motive.
This book was a complete delight from start...
Published on 26 Nov 2002 by Mark Baker

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder - Book 1
This is the first book in the long running Hannah Swensen mystery series and introduces us to the characters in the small town where Hannah lives, Lake Eden in Minnesota. Hannah runs a popular shop, The Cookie Jar, and works with her assistant Lisa Herman. Hannah's sister Andrea is married to Deputy Sheriff Bill Todd, who is aiming to be promoted to detective and Hannah's...
Published on 9 Aug 2012 by S Riaz


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Delight, 26 Nov 2002
By 
Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Hannah Swenson's life is going well. Her cookie shop is successful, and she's content living a single life with her cat as company. But then she finds her delivery driver from the local dairy murdered behind her story. Assisting her brother-in-law, she starts investigating. But everyone seems to have an alibi and no motive.
This book was a complete delight from start to finish. I loved the small town Minnesota setting. Hannah's relationship with her family had me laughing and feeling for her at the same time. The other characters were enjoyable, too, and Hannah is a very likable heroine. Her cat adds charm to the story. I was hooked on the plot from the very beginning and was as frustrated as Hannah when she hit a dead end. Her cookies sounded absolutely wonderful, and I can't wait to try the recipes. Definitely don't read this book while hungry!
As soon as I can get my hands on the next book, I'm going to start reading it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder - Book 1, 9 Aug 2012
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
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This is the first book in the long running Hannah Swensen mystery series and introduces us to the characters in the small town where Hannah lives, Lake Eden in Minnesota. Hannah runs a popular shop, The Cookie Jar, and works with her assistant Lisa Herman. Hannah's sister Andrea is married to Deputy Sheriff Bill Todd, who is aiming to be promoted to detective and Hannah's mother takes every opportunity to find a suitable husband for her and interfere in her life. One morning, Hannah discovers the body of the dairy delivery man shot dead in his van - Ron la Salle was a local football hero, who seemed to be without an enemy in the world. Immediately, Hannah throws herself into helping her brother in law, Bill, solve the mystery and gain his promotion.

There are a lot of plus points to this series - the author has given Hannah some human traits, such as being slightly caustic and unfeeling at times, rather than being the usual paragon of perfection shown in these types of cozy mysteries. This makes her seem more realistic, as do the family and friends she is surrounded with, which flesh out her character. On the minus side there is the other staple of such cozy books - a pet with seemingly human feelings, in this case a huge cat called Moishe, which the author gives far too much time writing about. Also, the fact that Hannah seems to follow up leads which, to the reader, seem obvious and yet she always seems to reach before Bill gets there. Of course, this leads to the question of why Bill would allow his sister in law so much information about a case and I also found myself less than totally convinced about the therapeutic uses of cookies in all emergencies.

Saying all that, this is a fairly typical mystery with the added interest of cookie recipes at the end of chapters and a bonus novella at the end of the book, "Candy for Christmas", which is set shortly after this book and deals with the story of a teenage runaway hiding in the shop. Along with the mystery there is a hint of romance to come, with Hannah having two possible suitors - local dentist Norman or the mysterious and handsome new detective from Minneapolis, Mike Kingston, who has a tragic past. If you like romantic cozy mysteries, you will probably enjoy this and the first book is always a good place to start. The second book in the series is Strawberry Shortcake Murder: Hannah Swensen Mystery Series, Book 2.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cookies and coffee with a side order of cozy mystery, 27 Nov 2009
By 
I was reading this as light relief during times of sleepiness, headachiness, and general weariness. It was like the book version of 'Pushing Daisies', which was rather nice. No dead people coming back to life, but where there was Ned, there is Hannah, and where there was The Pie Hole, there is The Cookie Jar. Hannah Swensen is a nice normal woman, living with her cat Moishe, fending off her mother's attempts at matchmaking, and happily running her little bakery-cum-coffee shop with her assistant Lisa. But when friendly local milkman Ron is found dead in her alley, surrounded by Hannah's cookies, she turns sleuth to help her deputy sheriff brother-in-law solve the case.

It wasn't particularly well written, let's be honest - and some of the speech was so clunky it was painful - but it was a sweet little story nonetheless. It comes with plenty of delicious cookie and candy recipes to try, and the last third of the book is actually a separate, festive Hannah Swensen novella. When a young runaway called Candy breaks into The Cookie Jar to escape another cold night on the street, Hannah and her friends have to use their sleuthing skills to find her family and give her a happy Christmas. Pure fluff, but enjoyable enough for me to go straight ahead and order the next book, the equally scrummy-sounding Strawberry Shortcake Murder!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars HATEFUL HANNAH AND ALL SHE HATES, 9 Feb 2011
By 
Eleni - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I like cosy mysteries and I really wanted to like this one as well, but I simply could not. The obvious reason is that it is very badly written, and I don't think that being light reading justifies that.

For me a good mystery should have at least three good qualities; gripping and interesting plot, atmosphere, and last but not least well developed, convincing, likable characters. Sadly the "Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder" is unsuccessful in all three areas.

The plot is interesting but far from gripping; cookie expert and coffee house owner Hannah Swensen, discovers the body of former high school star athlete near her store and decides to investigate the murder. She then starts to aggressively question 'suspects', lying, intimidating, snooping, stealing, sometimes impersonating police officers, and breaking the law any chance she gets. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to follow the plot, as the 'suspects' are too many, they are briefly presented and we get very little information about each character, so it is impossible to remember them. Also very few information are provided for Minneapolis where the story takes place. There are practically no descriptions and no imagery, hence no atmosphere.

However, my main problem with this book is Hannah Swensen; she is nasty and obnoxious, so I just could not like her enough to care about what happens to her. Hannah is an unattractive, overweight, disagreeable character who has problems with her mother and has something negative to say about everyone she meets. Seriously, the book should be called "People & Things Hannah Hates"; she hates (yes, that is the word she uses!), tea, tea sandwiches (both cucumber and watercress), table manners, caviar, good wine, well decorated rooms, antiques, fashion, cosmetics, traditional mothers, modern mothers, poetry, and many, many more. Naturally, she is judgmental, rude, and sarcastic with every other character, which makes sense as all characters apart from Hannah and her cat, are presented as ridiculously stupid, useless, and always in awe of her brilliance.

The book includes some nice cookie recipes, that are spread around the book and thus difficult to locate, but interesting and well written nonetheless. In addition, it includes a short story about a teenage runaway who takes refuge in Hannah's store and some more things Hannah hates.

In total a disappointing book that I consider waste of time and money. If like me, you like gripping cosy mysteries accompanied by tasty recipes, you might like to try Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mysteries and Scrap-booking Mysteries series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read. Great recipes, 25 Feb 2014
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The first of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries. We get to know the setting, the main characters and off course lots of cookie recipes. The plot is good, you can keep guessing until the end who the killer is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read., 23 Feb 2014
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Thoroughly enjoyed meeting Hannah. Looking forward to trying out the recipes. Good story line, not slow, not too many characters, but got to know the regulars. Now on with the second book, Strawberry shortcake, and enjoying that too!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (book) and... YA books rule!, 15 Jan 2014
Dear Readers...

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MURDER was a gift from a friend of mine who loves reading as well. After take a look at the synopsis I said to her that she had done the best choice, she put together things that I love: chocolate and mystery.

Honestly, I appreciate so much YA books even being a 35 year-old woman. I have read different kind of stories, but YA stories are very special for me. They are sincere; they have a fairy tale atmosphere and I feel close to the characters (male or female character, it does not matter). I decided to explain because I wrote others reviews with the same topic (TAKE A LOOK AT ME NOW, CHARLOTTE STREET and BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES).

Joanne Fluke, author of CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MUDERER, tells us a story of Hannah Swensen, The Cookie Jar's owner and a fantastic baker, her cookies are really popular in Lake Eden. One beautiful morning, the deliveryman of Cozy Cow Dairy was found dead behind her store. This fact intrigues her and she follows the clues of this murder. Of course, she has a little help of her brother-in-law, Bill, who is officially investigating the crime.

Lots of suspicions, laughs and mystery are mixing in this story. Joanne Fluke puts the readers inside the Hannah's mind in a softy way. Suspense and humour walk side by side. You cannot miss this reading, even if you are an adult.

Let your mind free, jump into a new adventure.

Look out! You will want to eat many cookies in this journey!

More reviews: [...]

Inessa Silva
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 23 Nov 2013
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Honestly I was surprised at how much I have enjoyed this book. The first but not the last Joanne Fluke book I will be reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars do like this author, 18 Oct 2013
By 
A. Maddison (England) - See all my reviews
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I really am enjoying this authors series although a bit predictable they are very easy reading and once into the book find it had to put down and when finished look for the next
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2.0 out of 5 stars Cookie Recipes are good, 12 Oct 2013
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A murder mystery with a selection of cookie recipes mixed in at the end of some chapters. I found this a bit distracting as it stopped the flow of the story. One minute you are looking for clues the next its how long to leave a dough to settle for. I also found the characters a bit confusing. It was difficult to gauge their ages which made it difficult to relate to them. Halfway through the book I realised that I had forgotten who the victim was. Then I noticed that so had the town. No one seemed to miss him. Oh dear, someone has died. How sad. Never mind, lets eat cookies.
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery by Joanne Fluke (Mass Market Paperback - 29 Mar 2001)
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