When the president of Hartland Flour chooses cozy Lake Eden, Minnesota, as the spot for their first annual Dessert Bake-Off, bakery owner 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.

While perfecting her Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie and Chocolate Crunchies, Hannah’s also snooping into the coach’s private life, which yields plenty of suspects. Or could Watson’s harsh criticism during the judging have lethally ticked off one of the contestants? The stakes are rising faster than dough, because somebody’s cooking up a recipe for murder—with Hannah landing on the “necessary ingredients” list.

Includes seven delicious recipes!

Hannah Swensen is an intriguing character, with her head for murder investigations and her cozy life in her bake shop, The Cookie Jar. I have enjoyed this character in other novels, and also in the Hallmark movies.

Strawberry Shortcake Murder takes us along for the ride as Hannah follows the clues, sometimes accompanied by her sister Andrea.

I loved the dialogue between the characters; it often made me smile and helped keep the darker aspects of the story at bay.

Meanwhile, two possible suitors are part of Hannah’s entourage, and curiosity about what will happen next in her romantic life kept me turning the pages. 4.5 stars.



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