The Double Fudge Brownie Murder – REVIEW

2 out of 5 stars

Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke book cover - orange background with brownie with nuts on it

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Synopsis

Hannah is nervous about the upcoming trial for her involvement in a tragic accident. She’s eager to clear her name once and for all, but her troubles only double when she finds the judge bludgeoned to death with his own gavel and Hannah is the number one suspect.

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Review

The Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke is the 18th book in the Hannah Swensen series and frankly, it will probably be the last one that I read. I thoroughly enjoyed the first dozen or so installments in this series. However, I feel like the quality has really dropped over the years and I felt that this one was extremely sub-par work.

There are things in the author’s writing style that after the first dozen or so books has started grating on my nerves. Also, Hannah’s whining and hurt feelings over the fact that a) she’s a suspect when she finds a body and b) when Mike doesn’t share information with her like she thinks he should is annoying me. We’ve been through 17 other books, she should realize by now that yes, if you find a body you will be a suspect. Even if you’re eliminated quickly, you’re still going to be on that list. By now she should also be aware of just how much information Mike can share without losing his job and accept it. Instead, she acts like a petulant, spoiled child each time.

I’m going to stop here and put in a spoiler alert because I can’t figure out a way to discuss this issue I have without spoilers.

*******Spoiler Alert*******

The other reason I just don’t think I can read anymore in this series is because of how the author dealt with the whole love triangle between Hannah, Norman & Mike. Yes, I was tired of the love triangle. Most fans were. But to fix it by bringing in a third guy from about ten books ago and saying that he and Hannah had been keeping in touch all along?! To me, it was totally unbelievable. We’ve never seen Hannah keep in touch with this man in the books in between, so it makes very little sense to me. I seriously expected this man to be part of the whole murder plot line, if not the murderer, then an accomplice at the very least. That’s how unbelievable I found this move.

I really enjoyed the first dozen or so books in this series and I would highly recommend them to anyone who likes cozy mysteries, but after this last debacle, I’m done with it.

A Cookie Before Dying – REVIEW

2.5 out of 5 stars

A Cookie Before Dying by Virginia Lowell Book Cover - Yellow and purple Victorian house in the background, crumpled pieces of paper on grass in foreground

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Synopsis

On a stormy night, Olivia Greyson and her Yorkie discover the body of a man stabbed to death-which looks suspiciously like the intruder seen fleeing the local health food store The Vegetable Plate. Charlene Critch, owner of The Vegetable Plate, has a grudge against Olivia’s cookie cutter shop, but could Charlene be hiding a secret serious enough to kill for?

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Review

A Cookie Before Dying by Virginia Lowell is the second installment in the Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery series.  The plot in this book wasn’t very strong, but it wasn’t horrible.

However, one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to books in a series is a lack of continuity and this book is one of the WORST I’ve ever seen with this problem. It seems that the author couldn’t really decide who owned the diner in town – Pete or Joe. What’s worse is that whomever was doing the editing didn’t bother to fix the issue. There were times when the two names would go back and forth just on one page! I came very close to just putting the book down and not finishing, but in the end, I decided to press forward because I do like the characters in the series.

Other installments in the series do not seem to have as many continuity issues (and the diner becomes Pete’s). And I do like the characters, so I’ll continue on for at least a couple more books.

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