Kensington, March 2004, 22.00, 307 pp.
In Lake Eden, Minnesota, Hannah Swenson owns and runs the only bakery and cookie shop in town and business is booming thinks to her excellent baking concoctions. She is helping her brother in law Bill run for town sheriff and is a volunteer teacher for those who want to learn how to make desserts. One night after class, she goes to throw out the garbage only to find the murdered body of the incumbent sheriff Jim Grant.
Her boyfriend Mike takes over as acting sheriff and places Bill on admin leave because he is a suspect having had a public fight with Sheriff Grant the day he was killed and offering no alibi for the time the victim was murdered. Hannah's sister Andrea is due to give birth in a couple of weeks and insists that she and Hannah have to clear her husband's name. Bill wants Hannah's help because she has solved homicide cases before but once she proves he isn't the killer, he expects her to back away. Hannah, who likes sleuthing is determined to find the killer, a decision that could kill her.
FUDGE CUPCAKE MURDER is one amateur sleuth mystery that should not be read on an empty stomach because there are mouth-watering recipes and descriptions of desserts in almost every chapter that are so good it will kill the Atkins crowd. Joanne Fluke has written a heartwarming cozy with characters caring and looking out for one another. Readers might guess the killer's identity but that will not take away from the delight they will feel when reading this simply super caper novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner