Blackberry Pie Murder & Double Fudge Brownie Murder By Joanne Fluke

Feb 21, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Food Fun, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

This week we have reviews of 2 food mysteries by Joanne Fluke-Blackberry Pie Murder & Double Fudge Brownie Murder. Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Double Fudge Brownie Murder, along with a links to purchase the books.

Blackberry Pie Murder By Joanne Fluke
Review by Sandra Murphy

This is the nineteenth book in the cozy series that features Hannah Swenson and her cookie shop. As the title suggests, there’s a dead body but this time there’s no mystery as to who killed the stranger–it was Hannah herself!

Stranded at the auto repair shop, Lisa, Hannah’s assistant/partner, needed a ride so Hannah volunteered. A sudden rain prompts them to take the back roads rather than the highway. It’s already a white-knuckle drive when the lightning starts. Hannah’s afraid that out in the open, the cookie truck makes a great target for a lightning strike so she heads for a more wooded stretch. As she rounds the curve, a huge tree limb blocks the road, the truck fishtails as she swerves and a big thump follows. Sure enough, there’s a man lying in the road and he’s dead. book

Wracked by “what ifs?” Hannah is determined to find out who the man was, why he was out in the storm and why he didn’t jump out of the way when the truck got near.

There are legal complications though. This is not a simple accident. Hannah was driving with her wipers on (they needed to be replaced) but not her headlights. As in many places, the law says wipers on, headlights on. There’s also a law that says in dangerous driving conditions, pull to the side of the road and wait it out–that she planned to do so, doesn’t count.

The worst happens when, during dinner with her family, Hannah is arrested–by her own brother-in-law! He orders Mike, one of Hannah’s boyfriends, to do the deed but Mike refuses and is suspended without pay. Hannah is forced to spend three nights in jail although there is no restriction on visitors or outside meals and comforts of home being brought in. Bail is set and the hunt is on to find the victim’s identity.

Delores, Hannah’s mom, is getting married. Planning her wedding seems like the perfect distraction until Delores threatens to drive her daughters to distraction with all the changes she makes. The wedding is only weeks away and she hasn’t made a firm decision on anything yet.

Speaking of decisions, Norm and Mike are still waiting for Hannah to make one–both men proposed to her two years ago! Although it’s been four months since Hannah or anybody in her family found a dead body, she’s been “too busy” to decide whose proposal to accept or if to accept one at all.

Unlike the Stephanie Plum cozies, where there is sexual tension and put off decisions regarding Stephanie, the Bad Boy Cop (who would marry her) and the Extreme Bad Boy, Ranger (who would not), there is no sizzle between Hannah and Norm. There is sizzle between Hannah and Mike but it’s telling that when Hannah calls him, she dials his cell.

If he’s busy, with whatever or whoever, he’ll let it go to voice mail. The landline, he answers no matter what–so if there’s no answer, he’s out with someone else. If he’s proposed and is still dating other women, that’s a decision that’s already made.

Although the book is 357 pages, a nice long length for a cozy, 76 of those pages are recipes (25 recipes–the Blackberry Martini sounds great), a recipe index, a baking conversion chart, a couple of blank pages, a letter from Joanna Fluke about Dead Giveaway (her book, not part of this series, a re-release), a 5 page prologue of the new book and seven pages of Chapter One. That leaves 264 pages for Hannah with a cliff-hanger ending.

There were plot holes, inconsistencies and a few puzzlers for me. I’ve missed a couple of the previous books so some of those might have been explained already. There is much needed character development happening in this one. Delores is getting married, there are mentions of her antique shop and the Regency romance novels she writes but they are just mentions. In spite of her indecision, she’s toned down a lot.

This time, Hannah’s sister, Andrea actually contributes a cookie recipe although her peanut butter and mint jelly sandwiches still leave a lot to be desired. In previous books, her focus has been on being a “real estate professional” and a mom so it’s nice to see another view of her.

Life in Lake Eden moves on, all except for Hannah, Norm and Mike, who maintain their platonic relationships. It’s time for them to move on as well. As Delores herself says, “My daughter is a prude!”

Double Fudge Brownie Murder By Joanne Fluke
Review by Sandra Murphy

Readers of the Hannah Swensen mystery series have been frustrated with the long running love triangle between Hannah, Norman and Mike. Norman is sweet, thoughtful and slightly boring. Mike is sexy but not as trustworthy. Two years ago, both of them proposed; Hannah hasn’t made up her mind.

Break out the Halleluiah chorus! A decision has been made. No spoilers here but I’ll just say, it’s a satisfying
solution. You’ll have to wait until the very last sentence of the book to find out what it is. No peeking!

On to other news–Delores has been planning (and re-planning) her wedding to Doc. He and the rest of the family, realize she’ll never be sure she’s created the perfect wedding. Doc high-jacks the wedding by taking the entire wedding party to Las Vegas. After the wedding, a reception will be held at home. Speaking of homes, Delores and Doc haven’t decided where they’ll live as a couple since each owns their own places now. book

The Blackberry Pie Murder
(see review above) ended with a cliffhanger about Hannah’s legal problem. She’s been charged with vehicular homicide after she hit and killed a man while driving the cookie shop delivery truck during a thunderstorm. Now the court date has been set. As she and her attorney, Howie, wait for their turn, word comes that Judge Colfax wants to see her in chambers. Howie’s on the phone, the judge’s clerk is out of sight and Hannah’s too antsy to sit still. She goes to the Judge’s chambers and finds his body. Things don’t look good for her. Could she have killed the Judge because he was going to send her to jail? Hannah’s sisters Andrea and Michelle, are ready to help find the real killer.

It takes some doing but in spite of Hannah’s love life, her legal problems (which multiplied), Delores’ wedding, plus running the cookie shop, everything is resolved. Recipes are included of course–twenty-eight in all, plus a baking conversion chart–German Chocolate Cupcakes and Tangerine Dream Cake sound great.

This is the nineteenth book in the series. Fluke has also written six suspense novels and a Lake Eden Cookbook.

To enter to win a copy of Double Fudge Brownie Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Fudge,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 28, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

For more food fun check out our monthly food column How I Met My Dinner.

You can use this link to purchase a copy of the book:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster. Sandy’s latest short story “The Tater Tot Caper” is one of eleven stories in The Killer Wore Cranberry: Fourths of Mayhem. The annual Thanksgiving anthology has eleven stories and this year, includes recipes. And it’s on sale! Available in all e-versions and in print.

88 Comments

  1. I was such a fan of this series early but it’s been hard to hang in there with all the indecision and repetition. I am looking forward to reading this one to see what Hannah finally does.

    Reply
  2. I haven’t read any of Joanne Fluke (because she is a new author to me), but Double Fudge Brownie Murder sounds like a great read.
    myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
  3. Double fudge !!!!! Enough said !!!!

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  4. I am afraid that your “buy” link is broken at the end of the reviews of Mom’s two books – above ( Joanne Fluke “Blackberry Pie Murder” and her newest out Feb 24th, 2015, :Double Fudge Brownie Murder” the link I refer to is:

    You can use this link to purchase a copy of the book:
    Best Regards,
    John

    Reply
    • Thanks for the heads up, they seem to be working now.
      Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

      Reply
  5. I second Sally Schmidt’s comment above. I’m looking forward to reading some resolution.

    Reply
  6. Love this series!

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  7. LOVE Joanne Fluke and the Hannah Swenson series!! The marriage of murder and baking, my 2 favorite things!!! Cannot wait to watch the Hallmark movie!! :o)

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  8. I absolutely love Joanne’s books. I cannot wait to read the decision that hannah makes. I absolutely love the cookie recipes and the suspense of the books. I cannot put the book down until they are done. Love them.

    Reply
  9. I adore Joanne Fluke’s books, and have read all of them.
    I am looking forward to Hannah resolving her romantic life.
    I know who I would pick for her, and can’t wait to read how Joanne ends the book.

    I hope I am picked to receive a copy of “Double Fudge Brownie Murder.”

    Debbi Goodman-Smith
    285 Capistrano Ave.
    San Francisco, CA 94112

    Reply
  10. I have truly loved every book by Ms. Fluke.
    I have nicknamed my own sister Hannah due to her Red hair and mischievous personality.
    I can not wait to find out after all this time who Hannah chooses.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for coming by and commenting–I hope you keep coming back to check out all of KRL’s mystery fun each week!
      Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

      Reply
  11. Love this series and can’t wait for the next one.

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  12. I can’t wait to read this book!

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  13. Can’t wait to read!! Specially with Double Fudge Chocolate!!

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  14. Cannot wait to get my copy have to put on hold book I am reading now

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  15. My mom absolutely love these books – Can’t wait to get this one for her!

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  16. I love JoAnne Fluke’s books. Just finished Dead Giveaway and am so looking forward to Double Fudge Brownie. Also, excited to hear that Hallmark is going to make TV movies on the Hannah Swensen series. I have collected every one so far and enjoy using the recipes. They go in with the recipe books when I finish reading them.

    Reply
  17. I love reading this series and trying some of the recipes for my family

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  18. I LOVE these books! Winning a copy would be icing on the cake! =)

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  19. can’t wait for both books..love this series..

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  20. I have enjoyed each book. The 28th is my birthday so winning the book would be a good present. Like others I am looking forward to a decision.

    Reply
  21. I’m so excited about this installment of the series! I’ve read them all up until now, and I am looking forward to a mystery…and recipes, of course!

    Reply
  22. Where’s the contest? I Love these in audio books…visually impared.

    Reply
    • You have entered by commenting 🙂
      Thanks
      Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

      Reply
  23. Can’t wait for the next installment into Hannah’s life. Was slightly disappointed with the last book, no real ending. Hopefully, this one is the usually delight.

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  24. I love your books. Can’t wait for the new one to come out.

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  25. My adult daughter and I have fun reading all of Joanne’s Hannah series.They are a fun read and I am eagerly awaiting the new one.Thanks for the chance to win a copy

    Reply
  26. I’ve read all your books and I really want to read this one!!

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  27. I love Joanne Fluke and her books. I love trying the recipes that she has in her books.

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  28. i have read every book in the hannah swenson series and i love them all. the recipes are great, very easy to understand and follow. i can’t wait to read double fudge brownie murders. i love to pass on her recipes to my friends and co-workers. i have gotten lots of compliments on the cookies that i make. the short stack cookies are the best.

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  29. I am a huge fan of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, and this one sounds great. Can’t wait to read it! The recipes are great and I love how they tie the recipes into the story.

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  30. I have read all of her books and I LOVE getting lost in them! The characters and the town’s history are all so well written and informative! Don’t even get me started on the amazing recipes! I truly love Hannah and her entire extended family and I can’t wait to read the latest in a long line of favorites!
    LPM

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  31. I love Joanne Fluke’s books and can’t wait to see Alison Sweeney portray Hannah on the Hallmark channel! It would be great to win her latest book!

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  32. Can’t wait til Double Fudge Brownie Murder comes out. I think I’ve read all of them so far.I love the recipes.

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  33. Love these books and recipes. I even got both of my parents hooked on this series

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  34. i love the Hanna Swenson series. I can’t wait for the next one!

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  35. This was the first food cozy series that I started with and it got me hooked.

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  36. Oh cannot wait for this one especially if Hannah finally chooses her husband. I know who I would pick. rackylemaire@gmail ( dot) com

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  37. Thank you for the reviews and the contest.

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  38. I am such a fan of Hannah’s. Cannot wait for the new book tomorrow.

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  39. I enjoyed getting to meet Joanne, when she did a book signing here in Charlotte, NC . I love all her books!

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  40. I just started reading Apple Turnover Murder (#13) so I have a few more books until I get to Blackberry Pie & Fudge Brownie. But I love this series and I can’t stop reading these books!

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  41. I have read every one of the Hannah books (including the cookbook) and can not wait for this one.

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  42. I can’t wait for another adventure with Hannah!

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  43. SO excited to read the latest book!!!

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  44. Love the books cannot wait to see who she decides to marry,

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  45. I love this series and eagerly await each new entry. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

    Reply
  46. would LOVE to win this book!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

    Reply
  47. I have read all the books so far and tried a bunch of the great recipes. My two favorite things, mysteries and cooking! Can’t wait to read the new one.

    Reply
  48. I read (at the time) the next to the newest book first, not fully aware of the order and my impatience and the library probably not having the first one anyway. So I had preconceived notions of how people looked before I read the first book so had to adjust a little. I have thoroughly enjoyed every book for what they are – a middle America story with awesome recipes. I am very much looking forward to the upcoming decision and the series on TV! shayelyn(at)aol(dot)com

    Reply
  49. So excited to know that the newest book is out, very favorite author!!!!

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  50. I cannot wait to read Double Fudge Brownie Murder! I love Joanne Fluke’s vooks.

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  51. Always excited when a new book is coming out. Can’t wait to see Hannah at work, both solving the murder and what new recipes she is baking up.

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  52. Love cozy mysteries . Joanne Fluke is one of my favorite authors.

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  53. I have been a longtime fan of Ms Fluke. I am looking forward to this latest book.

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  54. Have been a fan since book one. Hannah needs to pick one! The story lines are endless once she does. This of the books leading up to the event. She could even switch partners at the eleventh hour.

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  55. Can’t wait to read this new book! I hope Hannah makes the right choice…and my recipe box is full of recipes from all the books- yummy!

    Reply
  56. Somehow (I’m blaming packing up my home of 36 years and moving 200+ miles from my hometown to enjoy my grandkids and two daughters’ families) I missed Blackberry Pie Murder last year. Happily I recently discovered it at my new local library, thoroughly enjoyed it and bought the paperback copy two weeks ago. I’ve made two of the mouthwatering cookie recipes and loved the bonus story at the end. Can’t wait to read Double Fudge Brownie Murder!

    Reply
  57. I am blown away at how many of you are commenting! Good luck to you all, and I hope you keep coming back to KRL.
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

    Reply
  58. Love the series and all of Hannah’s family. Had to track down the Lake Eden Cookbook so I could have a complete set of recipes from everyone in Lake Eden as well as Hannah’s wonderful baking recipes. If hannah ever decides between her beaux we would all be up in arms because we would all think she chose the wrong man. Mystery is good – like the old fashioned cliff hanger thrillers in the movies or TV soaps.

    Reply
  59. I have all but the last book! Just love her and Hannah not forgeting the recipes! Count me in!

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  60. Can’t wait to read the latest book!!

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  61. Can’t wait to see what trouble Hannah and her family get into. Plus I can bake some new cookies.

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  62. I absolutely love Joanne Fluke and all her mysteries. I have been a fan ever since my ex-fiance’s mother gave me The Lemon Meringue Pie Murder. I have been buying, reading & keeping all of her books including the Lake Eden Cookbook ever since. The Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies recipe are the biggest hit with my family & friends. I can not wait to get my hands on Double Fudge Brownie Murder!!!

    Reply
  63. I love the Hannah Swenson series. Have made some of the recipes and they’re always hit! Count me in.

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  64. Can’t wait to see you at the book signing and get my copy signed.

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  65. Looking forward to it . I have read them all.

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  66. I cannot wait til I can get my hands on this. My hubby knows when I’m in this series do not bother me when I’m reading-generally if I start to finish, can be done in two or three days. Then left hanging til the next book comes out-help me if it ever ends.

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  67. I love all of the Hannah Swenson mysteries! Can’t wait to read this one!

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  68. I can’t wait to read this book! I am so excited to see who Hannah finally chooses!

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  69. Can’t wait to read the latest book!

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  70. go Hannah! It’s been a wicked winter and we need some good news! Can’t wait to hear the good news – we’ll ALL help bake that wedding cake!

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  71. would love to try out this series

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  72. I have really liked the ones from this series that I have read, it will be awesome to finally have a decision from Hannah regarding Norm and Mike.

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  73. I love this series. I have read every one of them and I am so looking forward to reading this one!

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  74. Joanne Fluke books are great! I own all of them and can’t wait to win or purchase this one!

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  75. I love this series and cant wait to read the book and see the Hallmark movies. Keep them coming!

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  76. I love the books! I use the recipes for my Christmas cookie baskets every year. I can’t wait to see the movie!

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  77. I have enjoyed the Hannah Swenson series since the beginning, especially getting to know not only Hannah but the other family and townspeople. So much like everyday life – except the dead bodies. Looking forward to meeting Joanne at her book signing at The Regulator in Durham.

    Reply
  78. I love the Hannah Swenson series. I was thrilled that Ms. Fluke included our town on her book tour — I just returned from the event. I can’t wait to start reading the Double Fudge Brownie Murder.

    Reply
  79. I can’t wait to read the wrap up of Hannah’s murder rap! And double-fudge brownies! 🙂

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  80. I would love to win a copy for my Joanne Fluke collection! This is one of my favorite series. Wish uverse offered Hallmark as I really want to see the movie that is in production!

    Reply
  81. I love JoAnn’s books! I love that there is no profanity, that the characters are fun, that the family loves each other but sometimes gets really mad at each other!! I have read every book and eagerly await this one, and especially hope that one day Hannah does pick a man….just sayin’ I hope it’s Norman!! What a fun series and way to go JO!

    Reply
  82. Hoping to win Double Fudge Brownie Murder for my mom. She’s a big fan of the series!

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  83. Thanks so much to everyone for coming by and commenting–I hope you keep coming back to check out all of KRL’s mystery fun each week!
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

    Reply
  84. I love Joanne’s books! I have read the whole series and can’t wait to read the newest.

    Reply
  85. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

    Reply

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