Release Date: Feb 26, 2019
Series: A Hannah Swenson Mystery
Hannah Swensen is happy to have her baking to distract her from her troubles. She was recently an overjoyed newlywed, but now her personal life is a mess. It was bad enough having to confide in the whole town what had gone wrong, but now her life is in danger. Her good friends Norman Rhodes and Mike Kingston are making sure Hannah is safe, and her sister Michele and business partner Lisa help her pass the time cooking delicious meals and desserts. Hannah may also get the chance to conduct interviews at The Cookie Jar when a film festival comes to Lake Eden, Minnesota, but that could mean facing the man who betrayed her and putting them both in danger.
Longtime fans of this series were shocked and disappointed when Hannah rejected both of her longtime suitors Mike and Norman to marry a newcomer, Ross Barton. Ross was hard to like even when he was declaring his love for Hannah. This book begins with Hannah addressing the congregation at her church to reveal an embarrassing truth about her marriage. Not a lot happens for a few chapters after that, but then when it looks like the story is going to pick up, it stalls. Not a lot happens with Hannah conducting interviews and there isn’t a murder until the book is nearly over. Hannah says she is going to find the murderer, but there isn’t really much investigation going on in the book.
This is a hard book to rate. As a longtime reader of the series, I like catching up with my favorite characters. I also like the direction the author takes with the plot of this book, so I enjoyed this installment more than the last couple of books. Without giving too much away, it seems she’s trying to right a few wrongs that have occurred. However, the writing just isn’t up to par compared to books earlier in the series. There isn’t much substance to the book. It’s mostly Hannah talking about her personal life and new dessert ideas and several recipes. The dialogue, even between Hannah and her close friends and family members, is stilted and formal. If the conversations were more natural and there was more action in the book, this could have been a much better book. It is a quick read and those who have followed the series will be interested to learn the developments in Hannah’s life and also see the huge cliffhanger at the end of the book. New readers would be better off starting with a book closer to the beginning of the series to get to know the characters better and see this series at its best.