Title: Raspberry Danish Murder
Author: Joanne Fluke
First published February 27, 2018
385 pages, Kindle Edition
In “Raspberry Danish Murder” by Joanne Fluke, Hannah Swensen Barton is struggling to come to terms with her husband’s sudden disappearance. Despite feeling bitter and lost, she throws herself into baking delicious treats for The Cookie Jar’s holiday orders, including a new raspberry Danish pastry.
However, when her husband’s assistant at KCOW-TV, P.K., is found murdered in Ross’s car and desk, Hannah is left wondering if someone was plotting against P.K. all along or if Ross managed to dodge a deadly dose of sweet revenge. With a cornucopia of clues and suspects, Hannah must quickly sift through them all to stop the killer from bringing another murder to the table.
About the Author
Joanne Fluke grew up in a small town in rural Minnesota, much like the setting of her popular book series featuring Hannah Swensen. The community was tight-knit, and the winters were notorious for their harshness.
However, the biggest scandal to rock the town was the discovery of a pair of men’s underwear on a young widow’s clothesline, which caused quite a stir.
Joanne Fluke is quick to point out that Minnesota is indeed the land of 10,000 lakes, but the mosquito is not the state bird, despite popular belief.
Throughout her writing career, Joanne has held a variety of jobs that have helped shape her storytelling abilities. She has been a public school teacher, psychologist, musician, private detective’s assistant, corporate, legal, and pharmaceutical secretary, short order cook, florist’s assistant, caterer, party planner, computer consultant, production assistant, screenwriter, mother, wife, and homemaker.
She currently resides in Southern California with her husband, children, stepchildren, three dogs, an elderly tabby, and a few noisy rats in the attic.
In her latest novel, Raspberry Danish Murder, Joanne Fluke once again whips up an engaging and satisfying cozy mystery. Published on February 27, 2018, Flukes book is the 22nd installment in the Hannah Swensen series.
As a bestselling author of cozy mysteries, Fluke has gained a reputation for blending mystery, suspense, and humor into her compelling stories. The book is set in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and follows baker and amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen, who discovers a body at Lake Edens annual Winter Carnival.
The victim, Ronni Ward, was a gossip columnist who had recently turned her sights on Hannahs shop, The Cookie Jar. With her reputation at stake, Hannah is determined to solve the murder and clear her name.
While the plot may sound formulaic, Flukes talent for creating memorable characters and witty dialogue elevates it beyond the typical cozy mystery fare. Hannah is a warm and relatable protagonist, and her relationships with the other characters add depth to the story.
Flukes descriptions of Lake Eden and its residents also add a cozy and homey feeling to the novel. The theme of the novel is self-discovery, as Hannah confronts some uncomfortable truths about herself and her relationships throughout the course of the investigation.
Flukes writing style is simple but immersive, and she has a knack for pacing a mystery that keeps the reader engaged and guessing until the end. One of the books strengths is how well-developed each character is, even minor ones, and how their actions and motives are intertwined.
Fluke also does an excellent job of balancing the mystery with comedic relief, making the novel an enjoyable and easy read. However, some readers may find the backstory on some characters distracting from the main plot.
While Raspberry Danish Murder may not be a groundbreaking piece of literature, it is an enjoyable read that will satisfy fans of the cozy mystery genre. Flukes strengths lie in her ability to create engaging characters and entertaining plots, and this novel is no exception.
While there is some overlap with previous books in the series, it still provides enough freshness to keep the story interesting. Overall, it is a fun and engaging read that can be enjoyed by anyone looking for a cozy mystery to curl up with on a lazy afternoon.
Rating: 3/5 stars. Despite its minor weaknesses, we recommend Raspberry Danish Murder to fans of cozy mysteries and anyone looking for an entertaining and lighthearted read.
Joanne Flukes storytelling ability is on full display in this novel, and we look forward to seeing what she has in store for Hannah Swensen next.