Wedding Cake Murder

Available February 23, 2016

Thank you to NetGalley.com and to the publisher for the ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

I have been such a fan of Hannah Swenson since her first mystery so long ago. Unfortunately, this is also the first time I’ve been disappointed by one of her tales as well. Since I was reading an ARC on my Kindle, I was able to see that this book was about 45% of recipes for amazing cookies and other sweet treats and about 55% of a murder mystery – so more of a novella instead of a full fledged mystery. I’m beginning to see cracks in the series and I’m concerned that Ms. Fluke may have painted herself into a corner with her words about Hannah and Lake Erie.

What I loved: It was nice to see Hannah’s mother, Delores, flushed out more as an older mother, grandmother, friend, and all around human being instead of the shallow, appearance-first based person she has been painted in earlier tales.

What I didn’t love: Would it have been an issue to have Hannah not win every stage of the competition? I would have also liked to see more interaction with all of the other contestants. When I read prior Hannah Swensen myserties, I pictured Lake Eden to be a smaller town, like Mankato, but still reasonably close to the Twin Cities (kind of like Monica Ferris’ Crewel World series). In this novel, Hannah was described as such a country bumpkin and the town as so remote and unsophisticated. If you have a high rise building with a penthouse and luxury apartments and the hotel in town also has a convention area – it can’t be all that hicky. Maybe I had it all wrong in my mind. I’m also still not a fan of Ross - I think he’s up to something that will play out in future books and hopefully Hannah will go running into Norman’s arms. And don’t get me started on the meddling mother/grandmother/sisters and let’s have our ex-paramours in the wedding party. Ewwwww. Gross.

What I learned: Maybe this place is as backwards as described – after all they keep re-electing a philandering mayor!

Overall Grade: B-

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