Cream Puff Murder

Published December 29, 2012 by myliteraryleanings

cream puff murder coverReview of Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke

Overview from www.bn.com:

Bakery owner 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. Nor does it help that there’s a plate of The Cookie Jar’s very own cream puffs garnishing the murder scene.

Trying to narrow the list of  enemies down to fewer than half the town’s female population, Hannah has her plate full. Trouble is, when it comes to cookies—and to murder—there’s always room for one more…

My Review:

In my eagerness to finally have a book to read that doesn’t have a lot of swearing in it, I eagerly turned to the Cozy Mystery genre since it boasts clean stories. In that regard, I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t believe there was a single swear word in the whole book and the small amount of violence was acceptable.

However, the story itself was a little disappointing. Either I was wrong about this series being a purely Cozy Mystery story, or this one didn’t really fit the formula for this genre.

The murder itself doesn’t even occur until almost half way through the novel. The victim a Ronni somebody or other, seems to have it coming though. She spends her time flirting with men, married or single, that she works with as a trainer both at the local police force and at Heavenly Bodies, a local gym.

The first part of the story however seems to center primarily on the heroine Hannah Swensen’s love life. She is going through the classic dilemma of trying to decide between two great guys who both want to marry her and let get along perfectly with each other. Must be nice. I can’t say I can relate to this myself and I doubt that many women could too.

She also seems to have something of a serious relationship with her cat. This was sort of weird to me but I am not really a cat person either so maybe that’s why.

I wanted to like this one. I really did. And there were parts of it that I did like. I loved the fact that there was nothing objectionable in this novel. But on the other hand it didn’t seem all that realistic or mysterious and I don’t think that it was just because they didn’t swear. I just don’t know any people like Hannah or her friends. I have never been to Minnesota but I doubt that the people described in the novel are as agreeable as most of Hannah’s friends.

In the end, I think the biggest problems were as follows. First, the murder happened late in the book. Second, I couldn’t relate to the characters. Thirdly, there wasn’t enough conflict to keep things interesting.

Added to that, the recipes were driving me crazy and making me hungry. I think I could have done without so many of them. I had to try to skip over them anyway just to stay on my diet.

I am not saying that there aren’t people out there who would like this book but it is not for me. It was a good way to kill time but not the best book I ever read.

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