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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2006
I had started to become slightly disillusioned with this series. The past couple of books (The Fudge Cupcake Murder and The Lemon Merangue Pie Murder) were sweet and homely but much more 'baking' than 'murder'.

The Peach Cobbler Murder is much more like the early books in the series, with the murder at the centre being enhanced by the relationships between the characters and homely atmosphere.

Having discovered about 12 dead bodies by now, it was only a matter of time before Hannah would be considered a suspect! This time the unfortunate victim is Shawna Lee Quinn, who has set up a rival bakery across the street from The Cookie Jar.

If you haven't read any of the other books in the series, expect a homely series that harks back to the novels of Agatha Christie (nothing too gory happens!!)

Although you could easily read this book on it's own, I would recommend starting at the beginning with 'The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder'. Suspend all disbelief and enjoy!
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on 10 August 2011
I think I've maybe read too many Hannah Swenson murders in too short a space of time; they're beginning to blend into one another. Is it actually fair for me to recognise whole sentences from one book to the next? (the one about "....too early for a lunchtime cookie and too late for a breakfast cookie.")
Having said that, the murders are all of people one doesn't really mind saying goodbye to, and Shawna Lee is no exception. It's also a neat twist that Hannah finallly becomes a suspect - it's about time Mike tested out how deep his feelings really are.
As always, the story is well-crafted, well-written, but perhaps just a tiny bit too familiar territory?
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VINE VOICEon 8 June 2013
Hannah Swensen is back in Lake Eden and her business is starting to struggle, as a bakery opens up across from her in town and all the locals seem to be over there, doing research and checking out the opposition. Apparently the amount of offers, free baked goods and wonderful Peach Cobbler that are going out mean that the Magnolia Blossom Bakery is busy and Hannah's Cookie Jar is not.

To add salt to this business wound, is the fact that the owner is Shawna Lee, a rival in the affections of one of Hannah's beaus, Mike Kingston. Hannah is trying to remain outside of this jealous bubble that seems to be created every time she sees Mike and Shawna together, and when they both don't turn up for Lisa and Herb's wedding, Hannah tries not to think the worst.

But then when she sees the lights on at the Magnolia Blossom Bakery after the wedding reception, she decides that perhaps she needs to find out the truth. But what she does find is not pleasant, and Shawna is not a threat any more. But someone else must be and Hannah knows that her jealousy makes her a potential suspect so she needs to clear her name.

Along with the help of her ever efficient sister Andrea and her ultimately nosey mother Delores who seems to have problems of her own that both women have to deal with as well as trying to find the culprit of yet another murder in Lake Eden.

A typical Hannah Swensen book which is ideal for those who want a cosy read with a sprinkling of crime and spot of cooking along the way.
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on 9 April 2013
In this instalment a rival bakery opens across the street and Hannah's business suffers as a consequence. But as usual Hannah finds herself investigating a murder. It's a nice light read, and I always find this series enjoyable. However this particular book is a bit weak. For a start it takes ages for anything interesting to happen. Too many pages are taken up with some some silly sub-plot about her cat. I don't mind the cat featuring in the books but seriously this particular sub-plot just feels like filler.

I'm in two minds about the recipes interspersed throughout the book. While it is nice to see what Hannah et al have been baking I don't actually make any of the recipes myself. They really don't appeal to me. Some of them are just processed foods assembled into some sort of dessert, and as such are not really recipes to my mind. However the recipes are just an extra, I buy the books for the stories.

So overall, I do recommend this series if you are into cosy mysteries. This book certainly isn't the worst so far, but it's not the best either. If you're reading the series in order as I am, then it's good enough to find out what happens next. If you're looking for a stand-alone book that has a good mystery then look elsewhere. And if you like the sound of the series, start at the beginning with Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder as it is very character driven and half the fun is finding out what Hannah and friends get up to next.
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on 16 January 2012
This series is very variable in quality, but this one was particularly disappointing. It must be hard to balance ongoing character development against individual plot-lines in a series like this, but this book had more soap opera than sleuthing: the body didn't turn up until after 1/3 of the way through. I'll read on, because some of the earlier books have been good, but I might start looking for a replacement for this series as my source of light-and-fluffy reads.
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on 19 September 2014
I love this series of books. The fact that the same characters appear in each of the books helps to make them comfortable and familiar. The plots are OK - not earth shattering but that does not matter when entering the lives of the Swensons and their friends.
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on 6 July 2013
Good story, nice recipes. One of Joanne Flukes better story lines. Have followed this authors books for a while and will continue to do so. Good bedtime reading
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on 7 December 2013
quite a story, although her mysteries are all similar in format I enjoy reading them. Plot and characters are well thought out.
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on 13 December 2012
An excellent story, love the series and I plan to read them all! Good story line and lots of twists.
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It's no secret to Hannah's friends that Hannah is no fan of Shawna Lee Quinn. But that's especially true since Shawna opened the Magnolia Blossom Bakery right across the street from Hannah's own shop. Business is looking pretty poor, and if things don't change soon, Hannah and Lisa might have to close their doors.
On a happier note, Lisa and Herb's wedding day has finally arrived. So what if Shawna Lee has promised to bring her famous peach cobbler to the reception. It's only a minor dark cloud on an otherwise bright day. But Shawna Lee never makes it to the reception. Running by the bakeries afterward, Hannah finds Shawna Lee's dead body. With one of the best motives in town, Hannah knows she's got to act fast to make sure she doesn't wind up behind bars for a crime she didn't commit. But with most of the town at the wedding, who could have committed the murder?
Reading Sugar Cookie Murder, I thought to myself that Shawna Lee would make a great murder victim. Obviously great minds think alike. While the murder aspect starts out a little slowly, I really didn't mind because there was still plenty going on with these friends. And once Hannah finds the body, things really begin to pick up. Clues lead to a place I never would have imagined, but is absolute genius.
Any fan of the series will be pleased with the latest entry. If you aren't, I do recommend starting at the beginning since you really need to read them in order to gain the full appreciation of the characters. I can't wait to visit with them again.
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