By Joanne Fluke
Series: Hannah Swenson #10
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation
on March 1, 2008
Summertime has finally arrived in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar bakery, is looking forward to warm, lazy days, eating ice cream, and sharing picnics with friends. But when a family reunion takes a deadly turn, it's up to Hannah to find a killer...Between baking up a storm for The Cookie Jar and unravelling the mystery of her cat Moishe's recent strange behaviour, Hannah Swensen has a lot on her plate. But she'll always make time for her business partner, Lisa, who's in the midst of preparing for a big family reunion. Everyone is delighted when Lisa's long-lost uncle makes a surprise appearance. No one has heard from Gus in twenty-five years - and his arrival has everyone buzzing with excitement.Uncle Gus is immediately the hit of the reunion, telling tales of his great success and flashing money for all to see. He's almost as popular as Hannah's scrumptious carrot cake, which is also Gus' favourite dessert. But the next morning, as the whole family gathers for the group photo, one person is missing. Hannah offers to track down Uncle Gus, but her search leads to a shocking find. Over by the bar at the pavilion, she spots two slices of her infamous carrot cake, frosting-side down on the floor - and Gus' corpse with an ice pick jutting out of his chest!A little snooping reveals that not everyone was celebrating Gus' return. And when Hannah unearths more secrets from Gus' past, she discovers even more people with an axe to grind. Now Hannah's got to sift through a long list of suspects to find a killer - even if it could mean a recipe for her own demise...
This is another quick, fun read in the Hannah Swenson series. Hannah is helping her assistant, Lisa, prepare for a large family reunion in Lake Eden. When long-lost Uncle Gus shows up, I knew it wouldn’t be long until Hannah discovered his corpse!
No one expected Gus to arrive, since no one in the family has heard from him in years, but when he does, he’s a hit. He is also quite wealthy, as he owns a string of successful music clubs. Right away, though, there is tension between Gus and Jack, Lisa’s father. When Gus turns up dead, Jack is the obvious suspect. Because Jack has Alzheimer’s, he can’t quite recall if he did or didn’t attack Gus, and as a favour to her partner and Gus’s relatives, Hannah agrees to solve the mystery.
There was definitely a long list of suspects in this one. It turns out that when he was younger, Gus was not so well-liked by Lake Eden residents! I liked the way that aspect of the plot unfolded. It made for interesting reading.
There was, of course, no resolution of Hannah’s love triangle with Mike and Norman. I don’t understand how she can continue to date both of them, and how neither one of them minds. In fact, Norman and Mike get along quite well, although a competitive streak does emerge from time to time. The more books I read in this series, the more obvious it seems to me that Hannah will eventually pick Norman. I like Mike, but I feel as though I read an awful lot more about Norman than I do about Mike, and Hannah seems to spend more time with Norman. I would be very surprised if she ended up choosing Mike, whenever this triangle resolves itself!
This was fun, quick to read, and light-hearted, making it an excellent summer read! I recommend this one!