This weekend, I read Joanne Fluke's Fudge Cupcake Murder, as my third book for the 2010 Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge, a 12 month/12 book reading challenge being hosted by Book Chick City.
Fudge Cupcake Murder is the 5th book in the Hannah Swensen Mystery series. Hannah Swensen, the heroine of the series, is the cat loving, body finding, mystery solving, cookie shop proprietor of a small lakeside community in Minnesota (and yes, there are recipes included with the story).
Book 5 finds Miss Swensen engaged in solving two mysteries. The first is finding out who killed the local sheriff, who just happened to be running for reelection against Hannah's brother-in-law, and eating one of her cupcakes, at the time of his murder. And, the second, is finding the secret cupcake ingredient, known only by the late mother-in-law of a friend, who wants to submit the recipe to Hannah's upcoming cookbook, as a tribute to her husband's mother.
The writing style is simple, and there is a love triangle, that's somewhat adolescent, but the characters are engaging, and the mystery kept me guessing for the first 300 of the 454 pages in the large print edition, leaving me with another 100 pages to figure out the motive, before the usual, thrilling, girl-confronts-killer-and-solves-the-crime-while-barely-escaping-with-her-own-life ending.
As to the cupcakes, while I won't give away the secret ingredient, I will say - they're quite delicious!
It's great to be a homeschooler.