by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Coconut Layer Cake Murder, and links to purchase it.
Hannah Swensen hasn’t been feeling well lately. Doc, her stepfather, prescribes a vacation to relieve stress. Oddly, he’s sending Hannah’s mother along. Delores is a major stressor in anyone’s life. Apparently, Doc’s prescription will help him relax, too.
The trip to Brentwood, California, goes more smoothly than Hannah anticipated. Delores is starstruck enough to be distracted from her usual criticisms as they help Hannah’s college friend move to Lake Eden after her recent divorce. It’s a nice change to leave snow and ice behind for warm California weather.
On the fifth day, Hannah gets a panicked phone call from her youngest sister, Michelle, asking her to come home on the next flight. There’s been a murder and Lonnie, a deputy and Michelle’s boyfriend, is the prime suspect.
For once, Bill, the chief of police and Hannah’s brother-in-law, welcomes Hannah’s help in solving the case. Mike has to recuse himself because Lonnie is his partner. Others face the same problem, leaving only Bill and a new hire to investigate. They can use some added help.
Hannah’s not so sure about how much she’s helping. It seems she’s finding each suspect’s alibi, which is a good thing for them. Unfortunately, it narrows the list of possibilities and leaves Lonnie as one of the few choices. Mike, Norman, Hannah, and Andrea, Hannah’s middle sister, manage to chase down clues without tampering with witnesses or evidence, to lead to a satisfying conclusion.
This is the twenty-eighth book in the popular series. At the end of the last book Hannah had some health concerns which are answered by the second page. She still faces residual feelings and fears due to her last relationship. After being unable to decide between Norman and Mike, she opted for a third choice with disastrous results.
As always, the book is full of recipes as Hannah tries out new ideas for cookies plus cooking for their crime solving meetings. The twenty-five recipes cover one hundred pages. Look for coconut layer cake and frosting, minestrone soup, corned beef and pepper jack quiche, chocolate cake in a mug, pear and apple pie, and butterscotch and pretzel cookies, to name just a few. There’s also a recipe for chocolate peanut butter toffee made with club crackers that caught my attention as easy to make and tasty.
Fluke has also written a dozen suspense novels. Find an excerpt for Cold Judgement at the back of the book.
To enter to win a copy of Coconut Layer Cake Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “coconut,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 4, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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