Having heard of Joanne Fluke and her Hannah Swanson series, I was mighty excited when I got approved for this book. My friend and author James J Cudney, the fourth, took time from his writing to explain the entire series to get me up to date with the story so far. With all the details in my brain, I stepped up enthusiastically into the pages of the book and I was shocked!!
The writing, though perfect in English, did not attract me at all. There were a lot of characters, all Hannah’s friends, who were supposed to be warm and friendly, yet the warmth did not seep through the pages. There was a distance between them, maybe it was the formal way of writing. I let that go since I had started reading late in the series.
But it were the dialogues which took my breath away. They were so weak that I almost cringed, the dialogues told me the scenes instead of showing it to me. Nothing unfolded, everything was told to me. The story dealt with the bigamist husband Ross’s reappearance into Hannah’s life to get his dirty paws on the money. The was a mystery and a murder which occurred at 80% of the book followed by Hannah’s investigation and deduction. And the book was done.
I love animals and recipes in a cozy series. But this book overdid it with both. Everything felt disjointed in this book. Maybe that was the writing style, don’t know and now, don’t care too.
As an amateur sleuth, Hannah was weak, and this would be my first and last Joanne Fluke book. I finished it in 1 hour flat as there was nothing which pulled me in.
I received an ARC from NetGalley, and Publisher Kensington Books, and this is my journey into its pages, straight from the heart!!
All my reviews can be found here
Most times I keep debating if it is me or the book which causes me to dislike it. Was I not the right audience for the book? But having read books of all genre, I think now I can gage the difference.
Have you read books which made you doubt your dislike for it?
JOANNE FLUKE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, which include Double Fudge Brownie Murder, Blackberry Pie Murder, Cinnamon Roll Murder, and the book that started it all, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. That first installment in the series premiered as Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke was born and raised in a small town in rural Minnesota, but now lives in Southern California.
When The Cookie Jar becomes the setting of a star-studded TV special about movies filmed in Minnesota, Hannah hopes to shine the spotlight on her bakery—not the unsavory scandal swirling around her personal life. But that’s practically impossible with a disturbing visit from the shifty character she once believed was her one and only love, a group of bodyguards following her every move, and a murder victim in her bedroom.
Now, swapping the crime scene in her condo for her mother Delores’s penthouse, Hannah and an old flame team up to solve a case that’s messier than an upended chocolate cream pie. As suspects emerge and secrets hit close to home, Hannah must serve a hefty helping of justice to an unnamed killer prowling around Lake Eden . . . before someone takes a slice out of her!
Publication Date: 26th February 2019
Publisher: Kensington Books
Sorry this book was not what you were hoping for, Shalini. Onto better stories…
I was so excited by this book Marialyce and now I am not… On to coffee and thrillers
Good review, shame the book wasn’t quite your cup of tea! Hopefully, your next read will be better for you.
I am hoping it too.. Reading Julie Houston…
Oh no, I would have had to DNF right away
I nearly did it… 🙄
Ohhhh, join the crowd Shalini!! Last summer I had some guests staying at the BnB who swore that I could not be a book reviewer unless I had read ALL of Fluke’s books. I never had read any. So I got the first two from the library and slogged my way through the first one. UGH!! I thought it was terrible! You know I really like cutesy cosy mysteries but these were terrible. No more of her books for me. Maybe I’m just not a good book reviewer. 😉
Hahaha oooh thank the universe I found you…. I thought I was alone in my opinion. It was pretty bad.. Her books are so expensive on Amazon hence I was so thrilled when I was approved…. Uggghhh… I was literally shocked that she has so many fans… How??
Psst I am a bad reviewer too🙄😉😂😂
Sorry this one didn’t work out for you Shalini. I get what you mean about doubting your dislike for a book. Tend to feel that way with hyped books that I end up not liking. Just read Six Stories and I am really wondering why I seem to be the only who struggled with the writing format.
Me too.. I went back to re read some chapters, just couldn’t take it.. It felt really odd.. Well we can’t love al books
Great review! I’m sorry this was a disappointment for you! I hope you enjoy your next read! 🙂
I had good fun with my next read ❤️
Ah, sorry you didn’t like it. I rated this book higher, but only because I’ve read the series from the start (and I think the earlier books were much better), and things had gone so far downhill that this book was a step back in the right direction!! At this point, I’d love for her to just wrap up the series so fans have some closure.
I will try one of her older ones, maybe that would help me understand the characters more… I agree this series needs to wrapped up.. But she ended with a cliffhanger so there is definitely one more book!!
Aww man. I’ve been debating this series for so long. I keep putting it off as I can’t bear to start a series knowing I have sooooo many to catch up to. And I had a similar issue with another long running series that i can’t remember at the moment. But all late to the series issues aside, the murder should not happen after 50%. Isn’t the whole point of the cozy mystery to have a mystery to solve? 😄
True that… This had weird dialogues too very very formal.. Well I tried, I can remove her books from TBR 😂😂🤣🤣
Lol. Hey, there are many many many more to take the place. I think I will also stop feeling bad about not having got to them 😉
Mercy! and ugh, double ugh. sounds to me like you nailed it. and there are times i look at other reviews and wonder what i missed. well, good then you only spent an hour. and btw, how did you do that? one hour?
Skim read the story… There were only recipes in 60% of the book. Since I don’t cook, I skipped them… The other parts also had them talking of food and pets… 😂 😂
My response to this series was similar to yours. I expected to like it, but was so disappointed! How can a series that vapid be so popular?
Omg I am so glad you think so… This series is so expensive on my amazon… Hence I was excited to be approved for this book. Unfortunately then realized the truth
It’s good you didn’t buy a bunch from the series based on reputation alone.
I stopped reading this series Shalini. The first ones were not bad, but the more recent ones were just not good. I agree with your comments completely.
Thank you… I thought I was alone in my views…. I was quite shocked at the dialogues…
I’m on my third book of series, not read in order. Love cozy mysteries but these books make me think I could write something along the same lines. In other words, nonstop coffee drinking and bakery items eaten, a recipe, or two, after each chapter and a blow by blow of cats racing around a condo a couple times (once was enough, not at all would have been better) and repetitious, nonessential conversations. Thanks for validating my opinion of these books!