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    Review of FUDGE CUPCAKE MURDER by Joanne Fluke (see her website)


    Kensington, March 2004

    When cookie caterer Hanna Swensen's brother-in-law becomes a murder suspect, Hanna throws herself into the investigation. Bill was running for Sheriff against the victim and he might lose the race because of the suspicion. What Hanna finds is that Sheriff Grant had plenty of enemies, including both Bill, his own wife, and just about every deputy in the Sheriff's office. Still, she doesn't need more suspects, she needs evidence to clear Bill and, she hopes, to find the actual killer.

    Of course, an amateur sleuth has more to do than follow clues. Hanna has her cookie business to run, a pregnant sister to take care of, a mother who's continually demanding that she settle down, get married, and start producing children, and two boyfriends to balance. One of the boyfriends, Mike, just happens to be the acting sheriff who put Bill on suspension. So, unless she can clear Bill, she's also cut herself off from the man who sends her hormones into overdrive.

    Author Joanne Fluke writes a breasy and page-turning mystery filled with character, co-dependent family life, and a number of cookie and desert recipes--including the Fudge Cupcakes of the title. Although the solution to the mystery is telegraphed a bit obviously, Fluke manages to stage a thrilling rescue and even hints at a way out of the boyfriend mess. FUDGE CUPCAKE MURDER is a fun and well-written mystery.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 4/22/04

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