Hannah Swensen dropped out of graduate school to return home to Minnesota when her father died. She opened a cookie store chiefly run by her lone employee Lisa, moved in with her one-eyed cat, and (to the dismay of her ferociously matchmaking mother) settled down to a satisfying life of thirtyish spinsterhood.
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The morning her non-domestic, real-estate-agent sister Andrea drops off her daughter for babysitting (again!), Hannah discovers former high school star-athlete Ron dead in his dairy delivery truck with a bag of her cookies by his side. "Who would want the universally beloved Rod dead?" is asked by everyone in this first mystery of a recipe-filled series.
Was it the single-mom cosmetics saleslady protecting the identity of her baby's daddy? Was it Ron's perfectionist former coach? Was Andrea's mysterious real estate client really a travelling hitman? Or was the murderer simply an irate customer with a grudge against skim milk?
As Hannah gently and tactfully probes the double lives of her neighbors (she starts trailing a telltale lipstick print on a throwaway coffee cup found at the maniacally punctual Ron's last delivery), uncovering scandal after scandal, she reveals village life that reminded me more of 1955 than the year 2000. For all Hannah's snooping, though, she still has plenty of time to cater those club functions that barely keep her "quaint little shop" afloat AND meet two eminently eligible bachelors! This book is homespun, retro, and corny. And the recipes are full of mistakes.