Kensington, Oct 2004, 16.00, 352 pp.
Hannah Swenson owns the Cookie Jar Bakery in Eden Lake, Minnesota. Currently she is working to get ready for the Christmas party and food competition at the community center. Hannah is compiling a book of recipes that the townsfolk are renowned for. Everyone seems to want to be included in the cookbook so Hannah is struggling not to ruffle any feathers by showing every dish entered at the party. She also looks forward to spending time with her date, police investigator Mike Kingston.
Hannah knows that Martin's new wife Brandy Wyn Dubrinksi will make his mother Babs and his former spouse Sherry uncomfortable. However everyone gasps when they see Brandy as she is wearing a $25,000 mink coat that Martin just bought her. While Hannah toils in the kitchen she notices that the door to the back parking lot is ajar. She goes outside only to find Brandy dead with her mother's jewel encrusted Regency serving cake knife in the victim's chest. Hannah begins searching for the real killer.
There should be a warning not to read this book on an empty stomach because the descriptions of food throughout the novel and the recipes at the end will send the pickiest eater on a gorging frenzy. This warm cozy amateur sleuth tale is well plotted and has a sweet eccentric small town support cast, but the main ingredient remains Hannah as she takes another bite out of crime.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner