Devil’s Food Cake Murder

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”.

Ugh!

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.

Gasp

Matthew as a kid had a chocolate allergy, while this Matthew has been eating Grandma Knuson’s Devil’s Food Cake nonstop.

Hmm…

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.

Oh well

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.

Boom

Thoughts After Reading:

***Spoiler Alert***

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

Ticker

Ticker

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

So this book is a science-fiction/mystery/historical fiction/steam punk story. Penny Farthing had a heart problem and nearly dies. Calvin Warwick, a brilliant surgeon and her sister’s boyfriend, creates a clockwork heart to keep her alive, a Ticker.

clockwork_heart

This Tin Man-esque type creation has turned Penny into the first of the “Augmented”, altered humans. Ultimately, a cyborg.

cyborg

However, things have changed. Warwick has been killing people in order to create the perfect heart, one that will be even more perfect and able to continue Penny’s life. Since then Warwick has been imprisoned and today will be sentenced for the crimes he committed.

Trial_by_Jury_Usher

Penny, her brother Nic, and her parents are preparing to go down the courthouse; but Penny is running late to meet them at their family’s factory. Penny is even further derailed when her friend, baker, and brother’s girlfriend; Violet messages her that she is baking her favorite sweets. Penny heads over there before she goes back on track.

chocolate

Penny hurries over, almost being hit by some other means of transportation. When she arrives at the factory she in for one heck of a surprise. A bomb.

Iron_man_boom

In the aftermath, Penny discovers that Nic was not in the building, and her parents went on ahead. Penny immediately uses her RiPA messaging system to let them know the two are okay, but hears nothing from them.

thenannygasp

Nic’s old friend Sebastian Stirling; rich, playboy, and businessman arrives to help out They head over to their house where they discover it has been ransacked and a ransom note left behind. They must give up all the Augmentation research or the parents will be killed.

luke-noooo-o

It is now up to them to find the parents before Warwick kills them.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Thoughts After Reading:

It was pretty good although there was quite a bit not covered in this. Such as the history of the area, the time it takes place in, how this society works.

idon'tknowwhatI'mdoing

I didn’t like Marcus, the soldier that helps them, and didn’t want him as Penny’s romantic lead.

IDon'tlikeit

Instead I liked Sebastian Stirling I don’t know why they made him evil.

Really Mike?

Whatever.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

For more historical fiction mysteries, go to The Alchemy of Murder

For more not in a series mysteries, go The Book of Madness and Cures

For more reviews, go to Sew Deadly