Friday, March 1, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery #15), by Joanne Fluke

Kensington, ISBN 9780785234933, March 2012

Norman Rhodes, Lake Eden's favorite dentist, is engaged to marry fellow dentist Doctor Bev, and no one is happy about it. Even Norman's chief rival for the affections of town cookie maker and amateur homicide detective, Hannah Swensen, is not happy about his friend Norman marrying a woman he thinks is a liar--and whom he's pretty sure Norman isn't in love with. But Norman is nothing if not responsible, and he's the father of Bev's daughter Diana--or so she tells him.

Since this really isn't enough excitement for Lake Eden, the jazz band, Cinnamon Roll Six, scheduled to perform in town, becomes part of a multi-car crash on the ice-slicked highway. Hannah and her youngest sister, Michelle, witness the accident and pitch in to help get the less seriously injured to the hospital, while the ambulances take the more seriously injured. The band's keyboard player, Buddy Neiman, has a sprained wrist, not a life-threatening injury though not minor for a keyboardist. By the end of the evening, though, he's dead--with surgical scissors in his chest.

The amusing thing, here, for fans of the series, is that Hannah's mother Delores is the one who finds Buddy's body.

Hannah has two mysteries to solve--who killed Buddy, and what is Doctor Bev up to? For that matter, who IS Buddy? His blood type on his I.D. doesn't match the blood type the hospital finds when they do his autopsy. Is Doctor Bev really allergic to cats, or is she lying just to get Cuddles out of Norman's house and to prevent Norman from visiting Cuddles and Moishe at Hannah's? And most importantly, is Norman really Diana's biological father?

The investigation of course involves a good deal of skirting the rules and cutting corners on confidentiality, but Mike, their official homicide detective, has become a bit more relaxed about these things as long as it isn't waved in his face. It also, of course, involves Hannah, her partner Lisa, Michelle, and even the middle sister, Andrea, cooking and baking with glee. Recipes included!

This wouldn't be a good place to start this series; there's too much history behind these characters now. If you've enjoyed other books in the series, though, this is a satisfying entry.

Recommended.

I borrowed this book from the library