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Ratings and Reviews (8 27 star ratings
8 reviews
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4.0 out of 5
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

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    22nd book in A Hannah Swensen Mystery series

    Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke is the latest A Hannah Swensen Mystery. Hannah Swensen Barton is wondering why her husband disappeared two weeks ago. To get her mind off the conundrum, she is keeping herself busy baking delightful treats for The Cookie Jar. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and people are clambering for baked goods. Hannah gets a late-night call from P.K. Alesworth, Ross’s assistant at KCOW Television, who is using Ross’ car while his is being worked on. It is a video call and they (Hannah and Michelle) can instantly tell that something is wrong with Ross. They witness him crash the car after muttering something about candies in Ross’ desk. P.K. is rushed to the hospital, but he does not survive. It turns out that P.K. ingested a lethal dose of a drug that caused a fatal heart attack via candy sent to Ross’ office. They do not know is if the killer was targeting P.K. or Ross since P.K. has been using Ross’ office at the station. Hannah dives into the case to get answers. Along the way, Hannah discovers that she did not know Ross as well as she thought. Why did Ross leave? Is he trying to protect Hannah? Hannah wants answers, and she starts with uncovering P.K.’s killer. Raspberry Danish Murder is the twenty-second book in A Hannah Swensen Mystery series and it cannot be read alone. A new reader to the series would be utterly lost. I did enjoy Raspberry Danish Murder better than Banana Cream Pie Murder, but it still does not have the feel of the earlier books in the series. The last few books feel as if they are written by someone other than Joanne Fluke. The book has a nice steady pace and smooth transitions. There is a significant amount of repetition of information (the details of the case). One character gets some information than repeats it to Hannah, then Hannah tells Michelle and then they must share it with Mike and Norman. It was completely unnecessary. The dialogue was stilted, and the characters names were overused. Hannah is unlike herself in Raspberry Danish Murder. She is not the strong, confident woman we are used to, and I miss that Hannah Swensen. She actually worried that Ross left her because she might snore (really). The two mysteries are interlaced with baking, chatting, cooking, drinking coffee (I do not know how they can drink that much coffee) and munching on cookies. Every meal and cookie they bake is described in detail. P.K.’s murder is not the main focus. There is a limited suspect list, and, to my disappointment, the culprit is easily identified. The revelations regarding Ross are more interesting. As more details were revealed, the phrase “marry in haste and repent in leisure” came to mind (I wish the author had not brought Ross into the series). Hannah was quick to marry Ross and she now realizes that the background information he gave her is contradictory (I would say more but I do not want to spoil it for you). There is a dilly of a disclosure and cliffhanger at the end of the book (which will have me reading the next book in this series). There are twenty-nine recipes in the book (too many) and an excerpt from Winter Chill at the end. I give Raspberry Danish Murder 3 out of 5 stars. Raspberry Danish Murder is a book for the die-hard Hannah Swensen fans.
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    Confusing...

    I was very excited to read Raspberry Danish Murder (largely because of the title, not going to lie), but, ultimately, I couldn't plow through it and ended up abandoning it. You may be wondering: what could make a COZY MYSTERY so hard to read? After all, this genre is renowned for being very accessible, and how could a book with the words 'raspberry' and 'Danish' be anything but? Well, first and foremost, the author unleashes a positive BARRAGE of names on the reader. By the time I got to chapter ten or so, I realized I still had no clue who the characters were and what the differences between them were, which has never happened to me before. They all felt interchangeable, and that's clearly not good. That was pretty much the main reason why I gave up on this book. It made me feel very confused and disconnected from the story. It is a shame, really, because the writing wasn't bad, and giving this book such a low rating doesn't feel right (especially given the fact that I didn't finish it), but I have to be honest. I was given a free e-book copy in exchange for a review.
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    Give this one a pass

    The latest Joanne Fluke book is a not a book, it's a collection of recipes, village gossip, with a non-mystery tossed in as an afterthought. In fact, no thought went into this book at all. The writing is juvenile, and repetitive. For the 22nd Hannah Swenson mystery I had expected more; it was very disappointing. Give this book a pass... it's too expensive to buy for what you get, wait until it arrives at your local library, or Kobo gives it away as one of its freebies.
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    More Baking Than Mystery - Again

    Hannah is trying to deal with her new husband, Ross, having vanished while still getting her cookie shop ready for Thanksgiving. Then P.K., Ross’s assistant at the station, dies in a car accident. The police quickly determine that P.K. crashed because of poisoned candies he ate that were sent to the station. Was he the intended target? Or was Ross? Who sent the poisoned candies? Is this why Ross disappeared? As you can see, there is plenty here for a good mystery. Instead, we get an average mystery. Much of the book is taken up with talking about food and baking, used to introduce the almost 30 recipes spread out over the story. There are some good twists in the mystery and the story of Hannah’s life, but the mystery especially is short changed and the ending feels rushed. The characters are fun as always. Longtime fans will still want to visit Hannah, but this is not going to draw new readers to the series.
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    Well written

    I enjoyed this story. This is an easy read and I would recommend it.
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