Devil’s Food Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery #14) by Joanne Fluke
So it has been a while since we reviewed a Hannah Swensen Mystery. Let’s do a quick review. Hannah is an annoying baker and cookie shop owner who “investigates” murders as she is the only one in town who is “able” to.
She doesn’t work but manages to keep her shop afloat and solve crimes better than the cops. She has two boyfriends-Mike, a cop with a roving eye, who uses her for food and such; and Norman a dentist who actually cares for Hannah and wants to marry her because he loves her.
Hannah doesn’t really love either one but strings them both on as one is her picture of “manliness” and the other “sensitivity”.
What happened most recently is that the professor who dated Hannah when she was a student of his (but he turned out to be married) moved to Lake Eden and was murdered-Hannah having to solve the crime. Norman was also away at a conference, but when he returned, acted so weird, cold and avoiding Hannah.
He brought back his ex-fiancé, Doctor Beverly Thorndike, who Hannah hates as she wants Norman only interested in her-even though SHE can date another man. Really Hannah? As if that’s fair!
Anyways, Reverend Bob Knudson and Claire have finally been married. They went on a short two day honeymoon, as Rev. Bob couldn’t find anyone to fill in for him. However, he happens to run into childhood friend Matthew Walters, now the same denomination minister, and Rev. Matthew has volunteered to fill in for Rev. Bob so he and Claire can go on a real trip.
Everyone is excited except for Rev. Bob’s mother, Grandma Knudson. She starts to grow suspicious of Matthew and questioning if he really is who he says he is.
Why you may ask? Matthew remembers the sofa being green, when at the time he was staying with them it was red.
Matthew as a kid had a chocolate allergy, while this Matthew has been eating Grandma Knuson’s Devil’s Food Cake nonstop.
Matthew says he is on a four month sabbatical, but Grandma Knudson knows that they don’t let them go for more than six weeks.
And to top it off, Matthew can sing! Ministers can’t sing well according to Grandma Knudson.
Seriously, Grandma Knudson, really? Really, Fluke?? I’m a minister’s daughter and I know tons who can sing. But whatever…
Hannah and Andrea investigate, along with trying to figure out what to do about Doctor Bev. They discover that Matthew is color blind-that explains seeing red as green. Matthew’s major is music and he was given a four month sabbatical. And yes, Matthew outgrew his allergy.
Everyone feels great about it until Matthew’s dead body is once again found by Hannah. All are sad.
The next day Grandma Knudson and Hannah get the surprise of their lives. Rev. Matthew arrives and says the dead body is that of his almost twin-like, resembling cousin Paul.
Yes for some reason Paul pretended to be Matthew. But why? What was he after? Will Hannah find out or die trying?
Meanwhile, we end on a real cliffhanger. Apparently when Norman and Doc Bev broke up the engagement-she was pregnant. She never told him until now, and they are going to move in together so that Norman can get to know his daughter Dinah. This means that the Hannah, Mike, and Norman triangle is over.
Thoughts After Reading:
Besides Grandma Knudson saving the day (priceless) I thought this book was horrible.
These characters make zero sense and just act completely unrealistic.
That ending though, Fluke shocked me with the Norman having a secret baby. I immediately went out and checked the next book out from my local library.
For more Hannah Swensen Mysteries, go to Gingerbread Cookie Murder
For more from Joanne Fluke, go to Vanilla Crackle
For more reviews, go to The President’s Daughter