Red Velvet Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
This is the latest book in the Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series, which begins with Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. They are set in fictional Lake Eden, Minnesota, where Hannah owns The Cookie Jar, a cookie bakery and coffee shop, frequently finds bodies, and tries to decide which boyfriend she likes best: Mike the detective or Norman the dentist. Her mother and two sisters along with her friend and baking partner Lisa help her solve cases, in between baking and enjoying cookies and other desserts. Recipes are included, but I like to listen to Joanne Fluke’s books on compact disc, so I haven’t tried the recipes yet. There is a cookbook available, Joanne Fluke’s Lake Eden Cookbook. Unlike most mystery series, you can start with any book, as Hannah shows no signs of settling down with either boyfriend, and the main characters continue from book to book. If you’re looking for a light, cozy mystery, Hannah Swensen mysteries are perfect. Appealing characters, small town setting, and a suspenseful scene or two make for enjoyable reading.
Earthly Delights by Kerry Greenwood
The Corinna Chapman mystery series by Kerry Greenwood is an unexpected pleasure. Kerry is best know for her Phryne Fisher series, set in 1920s Melbourne with the exotic and now rich private investigator Phryne. The Earthly Delights books are set in modern Melbourne, in and around an eccentric Roman-style apartment building. Corinna, a former accountant, now bakes artisan bread, and groans everytime the alarm rings at 4:00am. She acquires an unusual young apprentice, and has two actress/model hopefuls as shop assistants. Corinna also has a nose for solving crimes. We meet the quirky residents of her building, vicariously enjoy some wonderful meals, and explore the best and also the poorer parts of Melbourne. I’ve read and enjoyed the first four books in the series and have two more to go. Visit Kerry’s website for more about Corinna, Melbourne, and some delicious looking recipes. The books are:
Trick or Treat
Cooking the Books
Enjoy, and let me know if you try any of the recipes.