Wednesday, January 5, 2022

CHRISTMAS CARAMEL MURDER : A Hannah Swensen Holiday Mystery by Joanne Fluke


Christmas normally descends on Lake Eden, Minnesota, as gently as reindeer alighting on a rooftop—but this yuletide season, the only thing coming down Hannah Swensen’s chimney is a case of murder. 

Hannah and her pal Lisa have agreed to provide the goodies for the town’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say “Bah, humbug!” a Santa-sized sackful of trouble ensues. Like the fact that Lisa’s husband will be playing Mr. Claus to his ex-girlfriend Phyllis Bates’ Mrs. Claus. Or that before the curtains even go up Phyllis is found dead in the snow—wearing a costume that the real Mrs. Claus would put on the naughty list.

Soon, the suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts while a merry murderer remains on the loose. With clues hard to find, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays… 

Includes a dozen holiday recipes from The Cookie Jar! 


As usual, Joanne Fluke doesn't disappoint. Many people Hannah knows have motive and it's not clear if her partner and friend, Lisa, has an alibi. Or her husband - what is he doing those late nights? I liked the characters (except Phyllis) and their interactions rang true.  I'm waiting for the relationship between Hannah and Mike to move forward (possibly in later books). There's a light paranormal component and many recipes. I think I gained weight just reading about the goodies Hannah, Lisa, and Michelle came up with. Overall an enjoyable Christmas read. 

Christmas Caramel Murder is the 20th in the series. I have not read the rest (so now on my TBR list or next year). It was easily read as a stand-alone mystery. Still, starting at the beginning is always best.