Strawberry Shortcake Murder – Joanne Fluke

This is the second book in Joanne Fluke’s series of Hannah Swensen mysteries with the added bonus of recipes. (Please note that these recipes are with American measurements).  This picks up in some way from the first book, as there are some familiar characters in this case Danielle Watson and her husband Boyd, the school basketball coach. However there is a secret between Danielle and Boyd and when tragedy strikes Hannah is on hand to make sure that the investigation comes to the correct conclusion and not the easiest one for all those concerned.

With the background storyline of a bake-off actually made it quite a fun book to read at the moment, especially with the sudden British love with all things baking. Hannah is seemingly one step ahead of the police, and with the help of her sister, Andrea who seems to want to build bridges from a rather fraught childhood they stumble across secrets and lies about all sorts of people.  Lisa her faithful assistant in The Cookie Jar, who seemingly keeps the business running whilst Hannah is off detecting becomes a more prominent character this time round. Plenty of locals are mentioned and no doubt this leads us to future plots and books.

A cosy crime and in my opinion better than Fluke’s first novel The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. She has found rhythm with this book and for me Lake Eden comes to life, especially with the locations, the people and the cold weather! I look forward to settling down with the third book.

I was not sure whether I was going to actually read this book, I have 6 on my kindle by this author and was left a bit disappointed by her first book. I knew they were cosy crime, and they are of no great literary value but it was not quite up their for me with Agatha Raisin. However this one was more fun, I think because it featured a baking competition which was rather apt as I had seriously got into The Great British Bake Off this year, it struck a chord with me. It will be interesting to see if the next book holds my interest again. 

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