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Hannah Swensen Mysteries- Delicious Murder Mysteries!

Updated on November 12, 2013

Hannah Swensen Mysteries

Spunky Hannah Swensen is Lake Eden Minnesota's resident bakery owner - and amateur slueth! Somehow, in between baking delicious cookies, dealing with her family, and caring for a needy cat, Hannah keeps finding herself in the middle of murder mysteries. Armed with a talent for finding dead bodies and a nose for justice, Hannah sets out to set things right and restore order in her beloved hometown, time and time again. And, she does it all while still baking the best cookies around.

This delightful mystery novel series by Joanne Fluke serves up sweet suspense, along with recipes for Hannah's delectable desserts! You won't be able to get through one mystery without trying out one of the mouth-watering recipes for yourself!

Hannah Swensen Mysteries

A listing of the entire Hannah Swensen Mystery series to date:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder - Hannah Swensen Debuts!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

Discover the delicious mystery that started it all!

No one cooks up a delectable, suspense-filled mystery quite like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke’s dessert-baking, red-haired heroine whose gingersnaps are as tart as her comebacks, and whose penchant for solving crimes — one delicious clue at a time — has made her a bestselling favorite. And it all began on these pages, with a bakery, a murder, and some suddenly scandalous chocolate chip cookies. Featuring a bonus short story and brand new, mouthwatering recipes, this limited edition of the very first Hannah Swensen mystery is sure to have readers coming back for seconds.

Hannah Swensen already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother’s attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden, Minnesota’s most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah’s famous Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies scattered around him, her life just can’t get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer.

Who would have the sheer audacity — and the motive — to kill the most punctual delivery man Hannah ever had? Topping the list is the high school football coach. What exactly was his wife doing, making the rounds with the milkman? Could Max Turner, owner of Cozy Cow Dairy, have had a secret he didn’t want to share with his top employee? The more Hannah snoops, the more suspects turn up. Why has Lake Eden’s most prominent prodigal son, Benton Woodley, just resurfaced? And what about the mysterious Mr. Harris who seemed interested in buying the property next to the dairy, but then disappeared? This is one murder that’s starting to leave a very bad taste in Hannah’s mouth. And if she doesn’t watch her back, Hannah’s sweet life may get burned to a crisp.

Filled with a healthy sprinkling of humor and a delightful assortment of nuts, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder serves up a great new mystery series and introduces a delicious, down-home sleuth that mystery readers will surely savor for years to come.

 

Strawberry Shortcake Murder

Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

In her debut mystery, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, intrepid amateur sleuth and bakery owner Hannah Swensen proved that when it comes to crime, nothing is sweeter than a woman who knows how to really mix it up. Now, the flame-haired, tart-talking (and baking) heroine is back, judging a contest where the competition is really murder.

When the president of Hartland Flour chooses cozy Lake Eden, Minnesota, as the spot for their first annual Dessert Bake-Off, Hannah is thrilled to serve as the head judge. But when a fellow judge, Coach Boyd Watson, is found stone-cold dead, facedown in Hannah's celebrated strawberry shortcake, Lake Eden's sweet ride to fame turns very sour indeed.

Between perfecting her Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie and Chocolate Crunches, Hannah's snooping into the coach's private life and not coming up short on suspects. And could Watson's harsh criticism during the judging have given one of the contestants a license to kill? The stakes are rising faster than dough, and Hannah will have to be very careful, because somebody is cooking up a recipe for murder...with Hannah landing on the "necessary ingredients" list.

 

Blueberry Muffin Murder

Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

Bakery owner Hannah Swensen is back — and the cookies are crumbling — as acclaimed author Joanne Fluke serves readers another helping of murder, mayhem, and mouthwatering mystery... With charming characters, a quaint small-town setting, and exciting plot twists, Blueberry Muffin Murder is a tempting treat that will leave mystery readers hungry for more.

Preparations are underway for Lake Eden, Minnesota's annual Winter Carnival — and Hannah Swensen is set to bake up a storm at her popular shop, The Cookie Jar. Too bad the honor of creating the official Winter Carnival cake went to famous lifestyle maven Connie Mac — a half-baked idea, in Hannah's opinion. She suspects Connie Mac is a lot like the confections she whips up on her cable TV cooking show — sweet, light, and scrumptious-looking, but likely to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

Hannah's suspicions are confirmed when Connie Mac's limo rolls into town. Turns out America's "Cooking Sweetheart" is bossy, bad-tempered, and downright domineering. Things finally broil over when Hannah arrives at The Cookie Jar to find the Winter Carnival cake burnt to a crisp — and Connie Mac lying dead in her pantry, struck down while eating one of Hannah's famous blueberry muffins.

Next thing Hannah knows, the police have declared The Cookie Jar's kitchen crime scene off-limits... She's a baker without an oven — and the Carnival is right around the corner. Hannah's only alternative is to cook up a plan to save her business — by finding the killer herself. But there are more suspects in this case then there are ingredients in Hannah's Multiple Choice Bar Cookies.

There's Connie Mac's assistant, Janie, who's been MIA since the night of the murder — and a local photographer who got fed up with the home-making diva's incessant demands. Not to mention all of Connie Mac's disgruntled employees, including a driver she callously canned, and her unhappy attorney, Alan Carpenter. Hannah's starting to realize that she may have bitten off more than she can chew — and that solving this crime won't exactly be a piece of cake.

 

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

The residents of Lake Eden, Minnesota, are planning to paint the town red, white, and blue to celebrate the Fourth of July — but the fireworks are already going off at Hannah Swensen’s bake shop, The Cookie Jar...

Hannah Swensen thought she’d finally discovered the recipe for a perfect life. But her sometime beau Norman Rhodes tosses a surprise ingredient into the mix when he phones to tell her he’s just bought a house from local drugstore clerk Rhonda Scharf — which he plans to tear down in order to build the dream home he and Hannah designed. It seems the plan has been cooking for quite some time, and Hannah’s shocked. Especially since her ring finger is still very much bare.

The good news is that the soon-to-be-torn-down house is full of antiques – and Norman has given Hannah and her mother first dibs. They uncover some gorgeous old furniture, a patchwork quilt… and Rhonda Scharf’s dead body. Not exactly what they were looking for. A little more sleuthing turns up the half-eaten remains of a very special dinner for two — and one of The Cookie Jar’s famous lemon meringue pies. It’s obvious Rhonda was expecting someone for dinner — perhaps one of the men she was secretly dating. Now it’s up to Hannah to turn up the heat — and get busy tracking down clues. Starting in her very own kitchen...

 

Fudge Cupcake Murder

Fudge Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Fudge Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

For bakery owner Hannah Swensen, life in Lake Eden, Minnesota, seems to be lacking a certain flavor. It's not that she doesn't enjoy teaching a weekly "Potluck Cooking Class" at the community outreach center. Or that she's not excited about her sister Andrea's bun in the oven — watching the very pregnant Andrea try to sit on a stool at The Cookie Jar is worth it every time.

Maybe it's this year's sheriff's election that's got her down. For years, Sheriff Grant's been the iron hand in town. But now, Hannah's brother-in-law Bill is giving the old blowhard the fight of his long, dubious career — and Grant's not taking it in stride, especially once the local polls, and The Cookie Jar gossip, show Bill pulling ahead.

But before anyone can get a taste of victory, things go sour. Just as Hannah's emptying the trash, she makes a very unappetizing discovery: Sheriff Grant's body in the dumpster behind the high school where she's teaching her cooking class. And if that weren't bad enough, the poor man still has fudge frosting on his shirt from the cupcake she gave him earlier. She'd been trying to find the secret ingredient left out of the recipe. Now she has a more important mystery to crack.

The number one suspect is none other than Bill. In fact, he's the only suspect. But Hannah's not swallowing it. Plenty of people had reason to hate Sheriff Grant, starting with all the deputies whose cases he stole during election years just so he could take the glory. Even his long-suffering wife Nettie isn't blame-free. Rumor has it the Grants were doing some serious feuding and had a skeleton rattling around in their closet. Soon, Hannah's dishing up scandalous secrets, steaming hot betrayals, and enough nastiness to keep the gossip mill at The Cookie Jar going through several pots of decaf. And the closer Hannah gets to the truth, the closer she gets to smoking out a murderer with a very nasty recipe for silencing people. Will Hannah be able to stand the heat when someone wants her out of the kitchen... for good?

 

Sugar Cookie Murder

Sugar Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Sugar Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

The holidays are the icing on the cake for bakery owner Hannah Swensen. Surrounded by her loved ones, she has all the ingredients for a perfect Christmas — until murder is added to the mix...

When it comes to the holidays, Minnesotans rise to the occasion—and the little town of Lake Eden is baking up a storm with Hannah leading the way. The annual Christmas Buffet is the final test of the recipes Hannah has collected for the Lake Eden Holiday Buffet Cookbook.

While Hannah is baking the day's goodies at The Cookie Jar, the evening's plans begin to jell. Start with the best Lake Eden culinary creations, add two of Hannah's "sometimes" boyfriends, a pinch of her ready-to-pop pregnant sister, and a dash of her mother and a new significant other, an actual British lord, and what do you get? A recipe for disaster, but the juiciest ingredient is yet to come...

The recently divorced Martin Dubinski arrives at the buffet with his new Vegas showgirl wife — all wrapped up in glitter and fur. His ex-wife, however, seems as cool as chilled eggnog. And when Hannah's mother's antique Christmas cake knife disappears, its discovery in the d�colletage of the new — and now late — Mrs. Dubinski puts the festivities on ice.

With everyone stranded at the community center by a blizzard, Hannah puts her investigative skills to the test, using the ingredients at hand: half the town of Lake Eden — and a killer. Now, as the snowdrifts get higher, it's up to Hannah to dig out all the clues —and make sure that this white Christmas doesn't bring any more deadly tidings...

 

Peach Cobbler Murder

Peach Cobbler Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Peach Cobbler Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

With The Cookie Jar, Hannah Swensen has a mouthwatering monopoly on the bakery business of Lake Eden, Minnesota. But when a rival store opens, tensions begin to bubble...

As she sits in her nearly empty store on Groundhog Day, Hannah can only hope that spring is just around the corner — and that the popularity of the new Magnolia Blossom Bakery is just a passing fad. The southern hospitality of Lake Eden's two Georgia transplants, Shawna Lee and Vanessa Quinn, is grating on Hannah's nerves — and cutting into her profits.

At least Hannah has her business partner Lisa's wedding to look forward to. She's turned one of Lisa's favorite childhood treats into a spectacular Wedding Cookie Cake. And Lisa's aunt will be bringing her famous Peach Cobbler to the reception. But Hannah starts to steam when she finds out that Shawna Lee has been invited — and is bringing her own Peach Cobbler.

Hannah doesn't like having the Georgia Peach in the mix, especially when both Shawna Lee and Hannah's sometime-boyfriend, Detective Mike Kingston, are no-shows to the wedding. Hannah has suspected that Mike is interested in more than Shawna Lee's baking abilities. So when she sees lights on at the Magnolia Blossom Bakery after the reception, she investigates — and finds Shawna Lee shot to death.

Everyone in town knew The Cookie Jar was losing business to the Magnolia Blossom Bakery — a fact that puts Hannah at the top of the initial list of suspects. But with a little help from her friends, Hannah's determined to prove that she wasn't the only one who had an axe to grind with the Quinn sisters. Somebody wasn't fooled by the Georgia Peaches and their sweet-as-pie act — and now it's up to Hannah to track down whoever had the right ingredients to whip up a murder...

 

Cherry Cheesecake Murder

Cherry Cheesecake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Cherry Cheesecake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

Hannah Swensen and her bakery, The Cookie Jar, bask in the glow of Hollywood glamour when Main Street becomes a movie set. And although tensions simmer as the cameras roll, no one expects the action to turn deadly... until it's too late...

There's no such thing as privacy in Lake Eden, but Hannah never thought things would go this far. Everyone has been telling her what to do ever since she got not one but two marriage proposals. The votes are evenly divided between Detective Mike Kingston and town dentist Norman Rhodes.

Movie mania soon shoves Hannah's marriage dilemma into the background and even gives her cat a shot at stardom. The Cookie Jar serves as snack central with Main Street rented out for the week. Hannah is stunned to see producer Ross Barton, an old college buddy who is now handsome, famous, and single. She stirs lots of fresh gossip whipping up treats for cast and crew, including demanding director Dean Lawrence's favorite: cherry cheesecake.

Everything's on schedule until Dean demonstrates a suicide scene with a prop gun that turns out to be all too real. Hannah's on the case in a flash. There are plenty of suspects to go around, starting with the lead actress Lynne Larchmont — one of a slew of female visitors to Dean's trailer — whose husband Tom is financing the film. Then there's Tom Larchmont himself, forty years his wife's senior, and smitten enough to be motivated by jealousy. Ross Barton was constantly keeping Dean out of trouble... could he have had enough? Local Winnie Henderson publicly threatened to kill Dean to stop him for moving her brother's statue. And what about male star Burke Anson? He's argued with Dean about something mysterious the morning of the murder.

As filming continues, Hannah shifts through the clues, hoping against hope that the person responsible for Dean's death is half-baked enough to have made a mistake. When it happens, Hannah intends to be there — ready to rewrite a killer's lethal script with the kind of quirky ending that can only happen in Lake Eden.

 

Key Lime Pie Murder

Key Lime Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery With Recipes) (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Key Lime Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery With Recipes) (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

It's Tri-County fair time and Lake Eden, Minnesota, is buzzing with more than mosquitoes. Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar, is hot on the trail of a killer whose perfect carnival prize would be getting away with murder...

It promises to be a busy week for Hannah Swensen. Not only is she whipping up treats for the chamber of commerce booth at the fair; she's also judging the baking contest; acting as a magician's assistant for her business partner's husband; trying to coax Moishe, her previously rapacious feline, to end his hunger strike, and performing her own private carnival act by juggling the demands of her mother and sisters.

With so much on her plate, it's no wonder Hannah finds herself on the midway only moments before the fair closes for the night. As the lights click off, she realizes that she's not alone among the shuttered booths and looming carnival attractions. After hearing a suspicious thump, she goes snooping–only to discover Willa Sunquist, a student teacher and fellow bake contest judge, dead alongside an upended key lime pie. But who would want to kill Willa and why? Before long Hannah is sifting through motives and a list of suspects which include a high school student Willa flunked, the hot-blooded brothers of a disqualified beauty contestant, a rodeo cowboy, a baking competitor who failed to win her yearly blue ribbon, and the college professor Willa was dating.

As fair week draws to a close, Hannah cranks up the heat, hoping that the killer will get rattled and make a mistake. If that happens she intends to be there, even if it means getting on a carnival ride that could very well be her last...

 

Carrot Cake Murder

Carrot Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Carrot Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

In the midst of helping Lisa organize family events, entertainment, and food for her and Herb's family reunion on the shores of Eden Lake, there's a murder, and Lisa enlists Hannah Swensen's crime-solving expertise. In the course of interviewing Claire Rodgers, owner of Lake Eden's dress boutique, Hannah and her sisters decide that Claire has delayed announcing her engagement to Reverend Knudson, the Lutheran minister, quite long enough. And if Claire and the Reverend are too nervous to tell his congregation, they'll just have to "help." While baking, running her coffee shop, and sleuthing, Hannah finally learns Norman's secret, Mike delivers a big surprise, Delores delivers a startling announcement, and even Moishe adds to the mix with a predicament of his own. Despite it all, Hannah manages to triumph and catch the killer with the help of her friends and extended family.

 

Cream Puff Murder

Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

From Booklist:

It was inevitable that Hannah Swensen’s sweet lifestyle was going to catch up with her. That time has come in this eleventh entertaining cozy featuring the cookie baker: she must go on a diet. Hannah starts working out at a health club and vows to stop tasting the scrumptious treats she prepares every day for the Cookie Jar bakery in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Stress mounts when Hannah discovers the body of a fitness instructor floating in her club’s Jacuzzi. The acerbic trainer was universally loathed by women and liked by most men (including the staff of the local police department) for her flirtatious ways. In a reversal of the usual procedure, this time one of Hannah’s boyfriends, Detective Mike Kingston, recruits her help in solving the mystery, as he and his fellow cops are potential suspects. Hannah and her other boyfriend, dentist Norman, go to work to solve the mystery with dubious and conflicting suggestions from all of the real detectives. As usual, Fluke intersperses delectable recipes and reveals plenty of new personal details about her eccentric and likable cast of characters. --Judy Coon

 

Plum Pudding Murder

Plum Pudding Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Plum Pudding Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

The Cookie Jar's busiest time of the year also happens to be the most wonderful time...for Christmas cookies, Hannah's own special plum pudding - and romance! Holiday orders are high, and Hannah's slated to provide dessert at the Reverend Knudsen's upcoming nuptials. She's busy as can be and loving it. She also gets a kick out of 'Lunatic Larry Jaeger's Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot', a kitschy carnival taking place smack-dab in the middle of the village green. Larry thinks he's crazy like a fox with his wild business schemes, but this time, the entrepreneur may have bitten off more than he can chew. Rumour has it that Larry's in the red - an idea that takes a sinister turn when Hannah discovers the man himself dead as a doornail in his own office...It seems quite a few people would have liked to fill Larry's stocking with coal and then bash him with it - including his bitter ex-wife, his ex-partner's daughter, a woman he was wooing, and the Crazy Elf Tree lot's extremely exasperated investors...Now, with so many suspects to investigate and the twelve days of Christmas ticking away, Hannah's running out of time to nab a murderous Scrooge who doesn't want her to see the New Year.

 

Apple Turnover Murder

Apple Turnover Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Apple Turnover Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

It's June in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and for Hannah Swensen, that means bridal showers galore, plus a massive fundraising event in need of confections - not to mention a killer who never learned that charity begins at home...Early summer brings plenty of work for Hannah, even before Mayor Bascomb's wife drops by The Cookie Jar to place an order...for eleven-hundred cookies! Stephanie Bascomb is organizing an elaborate three-day event to support local charities, and though it's a worthy cause, Hannah almost flips when her business partner, Lisa, suggests setting up an apple turnover stand. Hannah's never made a turnover - but, pushover that she is, she places her faith in Lisa's mother-in-law's recipe and agrees to be a magician's assistant in the fundraiser's talent show...Dozens of pastries and one hideous purple dress later, Hannah has to admit that stepping out of her comfort zone has been fun as well as profitable. The only snag is the show's host, community college professor Bradford Ramsey. Hannah and her younger sister Michelle each had unfortunate romantic relationships with Ramsey, and when the cad comes sniffing around between acts, Hannah tells him off. But when the curtain doesn't go up, she discovers Ramsey backstage - dead as a doornail with a turnover in his hand...Now, to protect her reputation and Michelle's, Hannah must get to the bottom of the professor's bitter end. There are plenty of scorned suspects, including an ex-wife who feels cheated in more ways than one, and a prominent local who may have been using Ramsey to avenge her own randy spouse. But who was unstable enough to snuff out Professor Love? A killer who's flakier than puff pastry - and far more dangerous...

 

Have you ever read a Hannah Swensen Mystery? Which is your favorite?

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    • AliciaAnn89 profile image

      Alicia 5 years ago from New York

      I have read all of them. I don't like the style of writing. It seems like the author takes a paragraph to say what anyone else could say in a few words. Apparently it's not that bad though, because I still read every new book that she put out! haha

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Wow! These look like a lot of fun. I love finding a new author and series that I have not previously discovered. Thank you for the recommendation. Today I am visiting the Book category during our "back to school" bus tour and I just had leave my blessing here.

    • JeanJohnson LM profile image

      JeanJohnson LM 6 years ago

      I just purchased the first book from her series, I'm looking forward to reading it.

    • dawngibson lm profile image

      dawngibson lm 6 years ago

      I just finished Blueberry Muffin Murder, it's my first of the series. I really like how the recipes take such a central role, without seeming hokey.

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 6 years ago

      I love your descriptions of the books! My family is lovign reading through the series - and eating the cookies w/it! I'm lensrolling this to my Hannah Swensen & Me lens!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Great job; a lens I've thought of doing.

      I have one of these books in my basket right now!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Not yet, but these sound like really good reads. I'm going to be looking out for them! Thanks for the recommendations. :)

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Never read any of these Hannah Swensen mysteries - but now I want to! All those tasty desserts look quite enticing.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I'm a big fan of mystery books (have a huge collection), but have never read a Hannah Swensen Mystery. I usually like 'police procedurals' and suspense type mysteries, but this looks like it would be a 'fun' read. I have seen her books in my Mystery Book Club flyers, so am familiar with the name. Guess it's time to check one out!