Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries #11)
So Hannah’s mother, Delores, is planing a huge party to celebrate the release of her newest Regency themed book. She has ordered special gowns for her daughters to wear to the event. The only problem? Hannah’s dress is much, much too small.
Only one thing left for her to do: Diet.
While she hates working out, she decides to join her sister, Andrea, in her new exercise regime at the newest gym, Heavenly Bodies. Now why is Andrea working out? Well even though she looks great, with Ronni Ward, three time bikini queen and always after men married or single, Andrea has been feeling insecure.
And she isn’t the only one Ronni is upsetting. Almost every female in Lake Eden is upset with Ronni’s return and her putting the moves on their men.
But Hannah has other things to focus on: such as creating the perfect dessert for her mother’s party, and getting in shape to fit the dress.
As everyone involved has agreed that Hannah’s cream puffs are the perfect choice for the party; Hannah does a few trial runs on flavors. Mike sees them and buys them for Ronni’s party as he thinks they will be just perfect.
The next day Andrea and Hannah head to the gym, using their member key to get in really early. After they have worked hard, they decide to head to the jacuzzi for a reward.
Andrea continues her workout a bit longer as Hannah goes first. There she finds a huge mess from Ronni’s party. Food and drink stuff, both of which are not supposed to be in the pool/jacuzzi area.
But then as Hannah looks further, she finds a dead body. Ronni.
She’s been Murdered.
Almost the entire sheriff’s department is suspended as they either had a relationship with her, like Mike, or was a friend, like Bill. With only two newbies left and having to bring in outside assistance; Hannah decides it is up to her group to solve the crime. She, Norman, Andrea, Michelle, Delores, and even Carrie set out on the case.
Thoughts After Reading:
This is one of the few Hannah Swensen Mysteries I actually enjoy.
I know, a real shocker. I liked this because the end wasn’t predictable. Fluke leads down a path that causes you to think is the end is totally obvious. It has to be this person, it just has to. They are the only one who makes sense.
Fake information is even given by another character to steer you away from who you think it is, but it makes you think even more that the person you are thinking of is the killer.
But then at the end when you have the reveal, you are completely amazed as you discover you were looking in the wrong direction the whole time.
And it isn’t one of those weird, completely out of left field endings either. This one made total sense.
So that was the good. Now let’s look at the bad.
Hannah and Mike’s Relationship
So there is this love triangle between Mike, Hannah, and Norman. And I really don’t know why it is there. Norman loves Hannah and Mike loves having a good time. Mike is a horrible boyfriend as he doesn’t want to commit himself, but have fun with other ladies as well. Norman on the other hand is perfect. Why can’t Hannah see that already. I mean, argh, it just makes me so upset to have to read about how she can’t decide when the answer is clearly in front of her face.
So let’s begin out Mike is a loser countdown:
A) Hannah: “[Mike’s] not mine. I’m not even sure he is partially mine, not when Ronni’s living in the apartment across the hall from him.” (pg. 6-7)
If he “isn’t” yours, and so eager to bounce to the new babe in town; why are you even with him? Just dump the chump already. He’ll move on quickly.
B) Mike: “Sometimes I wish you’d taken me up on my marriage proposal. Then I could eat like this every night.” pg. 66
- First of all, Mike only proposed after he heard Norman was going to. Norman built Hannah her dream house. Mike ran out and bought a ring just because he didn’t want Norman to “win”.
- Second, Mike hardly ever takes Hannah out; instead making her always cook for him, and usually late even though he knows she gets up early in the morning to bake.
- Third, he states the only reason he is sad that Hannah turned him down is because she can’t cook for him every night. Really? Why is there a contest again?
C) Norman: “I love you too. And I know telling you what to do is a lost cause. You never listen anyway. I’ll see you in about forty-five minutes with steak and salad and two types of cookies.” pg. 76
When Mike hears that Hannah is going on a diet, he tells her that will be good she needs to lose weight. Norman asks why she needs to change when she is already beautiful. Mike tells Hannah read this book, investigate like that, blah, blah, blah; Norman shares his advice and then lets Hannah choose whatever she wants. When Mike calls to take Hannah “out” she always ends up cooking for him, with Norman he takes her to the restaurant or brings the restaurant to her.
D) At Midnight Mike Calls and Wakes Hannah Up Having Her Meet Him in The Freezing Parking Garage and Having Her Bring Him Coffee.
Mike doesn’t want a girlfriend he wants a maid and assistant. And he knows she wakes up at like four in the morning and works all day. He’s suspended, he can wake up at four talk to her then and then go back to bed. He’s a jerk. Let her get her beauty sleep!
E) Mike: “I just wanted you to know that there was nothing between Ronni and me. I know it looks bad, but there wasn’t…She needed a friend, a shoulder to cry on. I guess she was using me, but I didn’t mind being helpful…She was always calling me to come over for something and I went because…well…we had a lot in common since we both worked for the Sheriff’s department…I know it is going to come out that I slept at her place a few nights. We’d be watching a movie or something, I’d fall asleep on her couch. She never woke me. She’d go to bed and let me wake up on my own the next morning.” pg. 169-170
Really Mike? Really. So Ronni was your “friend”, the same way Shawna was your “friend”. In fact if Shawna hadn’t also been murdered; he would be messing around with her too.
And all these “she invited me over” crap? In every book 90% of the time Mike invites himself over or shows up on Hannah’s doorstep, like he’d be any different with Ronni.
He’s a jerk so cut him loose!
F) Norman Makes Her a Low-Calorie Breakfast After Spoiling Her with the Incredible House, A Roaring Fire, Soft Bed, Plush Towels, and Two Cats.
Hannah stays the night at the master suite while Norman takes the guest room. It is an incredible and ritzy place. Then to top it off, he makes her an absolutely scrumptious breakfast, carefully measuring everything out so that he doesn’t ruin her diet.
G) Mike: “Hannah…Where have you been? I’ve been calling you every hour since midnight!
Hannah: He’d called her at midnight. Again. Mike wasn’t concerned that she hadn’t had a full night’s sleep since Ronni was murdered. He’d probably wanted her to meet him in the garage again with a thermos of coffee and cookies so that he could give her more instructions on investigative procedure.” pg. 282
Hannah you said it. That is all he wants.
H) Mike: “I should have known someone would tell you, but I didn’t think you’s run to Norman on the rebound…It didn’t mean anything, Hannah. It was just…convenient, you know? She was right across the hall from me and…these things happen. You’re an adult. You know that.” pg. 283
So first you lie, lie about your relationship with Ronni? And then you try to excuse that behavior by saying it “just happened” and “that’s what adults do”?
NO! NO! And NO! Good-bye.
I) Nancy: “Keep your eyes open Hannah. If you find a man who doesn’t think he is the hero, grab him and give him a hug because he’s the only realist in the room.”
Hannah: “[To Norman] Do you think she modeled the Duke of Oakwood after you?
Norman: “After me?…What are you talking about, Hannah?…The Duke of Oakwood is about as far from my character as you can get.” pg. 333
Norman is fantastic. Pick him. Then the two could be the Tommy and Tuppence of the midwest. Besides that, he really loves her.
For more Hannah Swensen Mysteries, go to Carrot Cake Murder
For more mystery reviews, go to The Harlot’s Tale