Title: Cinnamon Roll Murder (Hannah Swensen, #15)
Author: Joanne Fluke
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Personal Copy
Published: March 1st 2012 by Kensington Publishing Corp
My Rating: ♥ ♥
When Hannah learns that the Cinnamon Roll Six jazz band will be playing in Lake Eden, Minnesota, she bakes up a supply of their namesake confections to welcome them. But tragedy strikes when their tour bus overturns on its way into town. But minor injuries for the keyboard player turn deadly when someone plunges surgical scissors into his chest.
The Hannah Swenson novels by Joanne Fluke have been one of my favorite series for a long time, somehow after 14 books I was still anticipating book number 15, The Cinnamon Roll Murder! For the past five years I have religiously picked up her new releases. One often the week of my husbands birthday in October and one the week of mine in March! (How convenient that my favorite books come out on our birthdays??) The love triangle between Norman and Mike (Hannah’s two boyfriends) has never bothered me, despite it’s stretching out an insanely long amount of time.
For fans of these cozy mysteries, they will be pleased to find out that this books follows the rest of the series in sync. We open the book with a bang as Hannah swerves out of the way to avoid a nasty winter accident on the highway. There she and her younger sister, Michelle notice an overturned bus in the median and rush to help. On the bus we meet the band, The Cinnamon Roll Six, and find their bus driver dead in his seat.
Then we follow Hannah to the hospital where all of the accident victims have been transported. Once there, we get reacquainted with all of our favorite characters – even Norman, Hannah’s dentist boyfriend who is now engaged to his former fiance, Dr. Bev who showed up at the end of the last book announcing that her preschool aged daughter was Norman’s. It’s here, after we bump into Norman and Dr. Bev that the book veers from the normal path slightly. Hannah’s mother, Delores, discovers the body of the keyboardest from the band who was awaiting a release for a sprained wrist. It appears he has been stabbed with a pair of hospital scissors! And from here, the usual hunt for the suspect begins.
Unfortunately? It is also here where I realized that either my tastes have changed in the year since her past book was released, or this series is officially past it’s prime. I suspect it’s a little of both. Sure, I still enjoyed Hannah’s character as well as the bulk of my favorite characters. And her cat Moishe was up to his usual hilarious shenanigans too!
But, the writing felt simplistic and even a bit condescending to me, especially in the cooking scenes where they were overly simplistic and descriptive to a point where the author doesn’t give the readers any credits for intelligence. While Hannah and her sisters are baking, they are basically reading you the recipe which is also printed just two pages later. There was barely any interaction between Hannah and Mike, which leads the readers to really feel as though she’s made her decision to stay with the practical Norman, despite the fact that he’s already engaged to someone else. There was very little of either man, nor of Hannah’s sister Andrea in the book. It truly was the Hannah and Michelle show, and they only went into the Cookie Jar two or three times and for only a brief moment. Then, one of the major plots was left hanging.
One definite positive, is that the recipes in this book are as wonderful as ever! I look forward to baking a few of the cookies, and there is one recipe for Cheddar Jalapeño Biscuits that I’m sure will be a hit in my house!
Despite the disappointments, I would recommend this book to dedicated fans of the series like myself! (And I will read her next book as well, just to follow the relationships between Mike and Norman!) However, if you’re new to this series and a fan of cozy mysteries? I would definitely recommend one of the earlier Hannah books like Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder or Fudge Cupcake Murder!