A little change of pace today with some food flavored murder mysteries.
Who’s Hannah Swensen?
Created by American author Joanne Fischmann, aka Joanne Fluke, Hannah Swensen is the main protagonist of a literary mystery series about a baker who lives in a small Minnesota town and solves crime.
If this seems a little bit familiar to you, maybe it’s because there’s an adaptation on the Hallmark TV channel called Murder, She Baked—a brilliant title IMHO.
Hannah Swensen Books in Order:
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder – Hannah has her hands full trying to dodge her mother’s attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden’s most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah’s famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can’t get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer.
- Candy for Christmas (short story) – Lucy Stone must learn the mystery of a glass candy cane that was found smashed to bits by a corpse’s body to unlock the doors of Christmas past—and find a killer who got away with murder. Whether a gift for yourself or that special someone on your list, there’s no better way to spend the holidays than with these tantalizing mysteries of murder.
- Strawberry Shortcake Murder – When the president of Hartland Flour chooses cozy Lake Eden, Minnesota, as the spot for their first annual Dessert Bake-Off, Hannah Swensen is thrilled to serve as the head judge. But when a fellow judge, Coach Boyd Watson, is found stone-cold dead, facedown in Hannah’s celebrated strawberry shortcake, Lake Eden’s sweet ride to fame turns very sour indeed.
- Blueberry Muffin Murder – Preparations are underway for Lake Eden, Minnesota’s annual Winter Carnival–and Hannah Swensen is set to bake up a storm at her popular shop, The Cookie Jar. Too bad the honor of creating the official Winter Carnival cake went to famous lifestyle maven Connie Mac. Things finally boil over when Hannah arrives at The Cookie Jar to find the Winter Carnival cake burnt to a crisp–and Connie Mac lying dead in her pantry
- Lemon Meringue Pie Murder – It’s summer in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Hannah Swensen is looking forward to her younger sister coming to stay. But before the family reunion can begin, disaster strikes when Hannah discovers the body of a local resident in a neighbor’s basement. The only clue is one of Hannah’s luscious lemon meringue pies, left on the kitchen counter with a slice missing.
- Fudge Cupcake Murder – But when Sheriff Grant’s body winds up in a dumpster behind the school where Hannah Swensen had been teaching her weekly cooking class, things go very sour. To make matters worse, the poor man still has fudge frosting on his shirt from one of her cupcakes. The only suspect is Bill, but Hannah’s not swallowing it. Can she use a particularly nasty recipe to smoke out the murderer once and for all?
- Sugar Cookie Murder – The annual Christmas Buffet is the final test of the recipes Hannah Swensen has collected for the Lake Eden Holiday Buffet Cookbook. The recently divorced Martin Dubinski arrives at the buffet with his new Vegas showgirl wife. His ex-wife, however, seems as cool as chilled eggnog. And when Hannah’s mother’s antique Christmas cake knife disappears, its discovery in the décolletage of the new–and now late–Mrs. Dubinski puts the festivities on ice.
- Peach Cobbler Murder – At the helm of The Cookie Jar bakery, Hannah Swensen has a mouth-watering monopoly on Eden Lake. But when a rival store opens, tensions begin to bubble. The new Magnolia Blossom Bakery, owned by Shawna Lee and Vanessa Quinn, is grating on Hannah’s nerves and cutting into her profits. Things go from bad to worse when Hannah finds Shawna Lee shot to death in the Magnolia Blossom Bakery.
- Cherry Cheesecake Murder – Hannah Swensen and her bakery bask in the glow of Hollywood glamour when Main Street becomes a movie set. And although tensions simmer as the cameras roll, no one expects the action to turn deadly … until it’s too late.
- The Twelve Desserts of Christmas (short story) – Collected in Sugar and Spice anthology. Take two lovestruck teachers. Add a dollop of conspiring kids. Place in a boarding school over Christmas break. And add a little help–and eight, great recipes–from amateur sleuth Hannah Swenson, and you’ve got a romantic holiday tale that’s sweet, delicious, and definitely served warm…
- Key Lime Pie Murder – It promises to be a busy week for Hannah Swensen. Not only is she whipping up treats for the chamber of commerce booth at the Tri-County fair, she’s also judging the baking contest; acting as a magician’s assistant for her business partner’s husband; and more… And then, she discovers Willa Sunquist, a fellow bake contest judge, dead alongside an upended key lime pie.
- Candy Cane Murder (short story) – When a trail of candy canes leads to a corpse outfitted in a Santa suit on a snowy bank, Hannah Swensen sets out to discover who killed Kris Kringle.
- Carrot Cake Murder – Summertime has finally arrived in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Hannah Swensen is looking forward to warm, lazy days, eating ice cream, and sharing picnics with friends. But when a family reunion takes a deadly turn, it’s up to Hannah to find a killer…
- Cream Puff Murder – Hannah Swensen has a dress to fit into and a date with her sister, Andrea, at Lake Eden’s new health club, Heavenly Bodies. Dragging herself out of bed on a frigid Minnesota morning for exercise, of all things, is bad enough. Discovering the body of man-eating bombshell Ronni Ward floating in the gym’s jacuzzi? Okay, that’s worse.
- Plum Pudding Murder – The Cookie Jar’s busiest time of the year also happens to be the most wonderful time … for Christmas cookies, Hannah’s own special plum pudding—and romance! She also gets a kick out of “Lunatic Larry Jaeger’s Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot,” a kitschy carnival taking place smack-dab in the middle of the village green. But then Hannah discovers the man himself dead as a doornail in his own office…
- Apple Turnover Murder – Early summer brings plenty of work. Hannah Swensenalmost flips when Lisa suggests setting up an apple turnover stand. But she places her faith in Lisa and agrees to be a magician’s assistant in the fundraiser’s talent show … The only snag is the show’s host, Bradford Ramsey. Hannah and her sister, each had unfortunate romances with Ramsey. When the curtain doesn’t go up, she discovers Ramsey backstage–dead, with a turnover in his hand..
- Gingerbread Cookie Murder (short story) – When Hannah Swensen finds her neighbor Ernie Kusak with his head bashed in and sprawled on the floor of his condo next to an upended box of Hannah’s Gingerbread Cookies, she discovers a flurry of murder suspects that’s as long as her holiday shopping list.
- Devil’s Food Cake Murder – Hannah Swensen’s good friend Claire is head over heels with her new husband, Reverend Bob Knudson. When Bob’s friend, Matthew Walters, is happy to fill in for Bob while he and Claire take that long-awaited honeymoon. It sounds like the perfect plan–until Hannah finds Matthew face-down in a plate full of Devil’s Food Cake, a single bullet in his head.
- Cinnamon Roll Murder – When Hannah Swensen hears that the Cinnamon Roll Six jazz band will be playing at the town’s Weekend Jazz Festival, she’s more than happy to bake up a supply of their namesake confections to welcome the band to town. Before the festival even begins, tragedy strikes when the tour bus overturns. Among those injured is Buddy Neiman, the band’s keyboard player. Buddy’s injuries appear minor, until his condition suddenly takes a turn for the worse.
- Red Velvet Cupcake Murder – This summer has been warmer than usual in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Hannah Swensen is trying to beat the heat both in and out of her bakery kitchen. But she’s about to find out the hard way that nothing cools off a hot summer day like a cold-blooded murder…
- Blackberry Pie Murder – Hannah Swensen’s mother’s wedding is a little over a month away and guess who Delores put in charge of the planning? Yet just when Hannah believes her biggest challenge will be whether to use buttercream or fondant for the wedding cake, she accidentally hits a stranger with her cookie truck while driving down a winding country road in a raging thunderstorm. Hannah is wracked with guilt, and things get even worse when she’s arrested … for murder!
- Double Fudge Brownie Murder – With the upcoming trial for her involvement in a tragic accident, Hannah Swensen hardly has time to think about her bakery–let alone the town’s most recent murder … Hannah is eager to clear her name once and for all, but her troubles only double when she finds the judge bludgeoned to death with his own gavel–and Hannah is the number one suspect.
- Wedding Cake Murder – Hannah Swensen is thrilled to be marrying Ross Barton, her college crush. And her excitement only grows when she learns he’ll be able to join her on her trip to New York City for the Food Channel’s dessert chef contest. They get a taste of the Big Apple before Hannah wins the Hometown Challenge and the producers bring all the contestants to Lake Eden to tape the remainder of the show. It’s nerve-wracking enough being judged by Alain Duquesne, a celebrity chef with a nasty reputation. But it’s even more chilling to find him stabbed to death in the Lake Eden Inn’s walk-in cooler.
- Christmas Caramel Murder – The holidays have arrived, and Hannah Swensen and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all 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.
- Banana Cream Pie Murder – After an extravagant honeymoon, Hannah Swensen’s eager to settle down in Lake Eden and turn domestic daydreams into reality. But when her mother’s neighbor is discovered murdered in the condo downstairs, reality becomes a nightmarish investigation.
- Raspberry Danish Murder – Hannah Swensen has felt as bitter as November in Minnesota since Ross vanished without a trace and left their marriage in limbo. Still, she throws herself into a baking frenzy for the sake of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving-themed treats while endless holiday orders pour into The Cookie Jar. Hannah even introduces a raspberry Danish pastry to the menu, and P.K., her husband’s assistant at KCOW-TV, will be one of the first to sample it. But instead of taking a bite, P.K. is murdered.
- Christmas Cake Murder – It’s a prequel story taking place before Hannah opened The Cookie Jar. Hannah Swensen agrees to help recreate a spectacular Christmas Ball from the past in honor of Essie Granger, an elderly local in hospice care. But instead of poring over decadent dessert recipes for the merry festivities, she instantly becomes enthralled by Essie’s old notebooks. Hannah’s surprised by Essie’s secret talent for penning crime fiction. She’s even more surprised when the story turns real.
- Chocolate Cream Pie Murder – When The Cookie Jar becomes the setting of a star-studded TV special about movies filmed in Minnesota, Hannah hopes to shine the spotlight on her bakery—not the unsavory scandal swirling around her personal life. But that’s practically impossible with a disturbing visit from the shifty character she once believed was her one and only love, a group of bodyguards following her every move, and a murder victim in her bedroom.
- Coconut Layer Cake Murder – When Hannah learns that her sister Michelle’s boyfriend, Detective Lonnie Murphy, is the prime suspect in a murder case, she goes straight from a movie studio sound stage to the Los Angeles airport. Back in frigid Minnesota, Lonnie remembers only parts of the night he went out to a local bar and ended up driving a very impaired woman home. He knows he helped her to her bedroom, but he doesn’t recall anything else until he woke up on her couch the following morning. When he went to the bedroom to check on her, he was shocked to discover she was dead.