I am new to cozy mysteries. This is my second, the first being Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, the first in the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke. I think I might’ve enjoyed Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder more, because it was new then. This second book seemed formulaic. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against a good formulaic read. If a formula is awesome, it doesn’t matter how many times its been used. And the way that Fluke has adapted the murder mystery formula is not bad at all. I think, though, that its just the kind of thing you have to be in the mood for. And when I read Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, I was totally in the mood for it. Not so much with Strawberry Shortcake Murder. But once I started it I had to finish, because you can’t not find out whodunit, right? And, despite the fact that I felt like the culprit was pretty obvious from the start, it was fun to find out the motives for the crimes, which weren’t so obvious at first. The last part of the book, as is common with mysteries, was the best because there is nothing quite like the catharsis of catching the bad guy. And it is because of that catharsis that I’m sure that I’ll be returning to this series eventually. Also, there are great recipes involved—and I love that those are included in the book.
I was torn between three and four stacks. Three stacks was how I felt most of the time I was reading it, but I think if I’d been in the mood for it, it would be four stacks easy. So, I give it:
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