Friday, February 11, 2011

Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke

#14 Hannah Swensen Series
Copyright: 2010
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Mystery
Pages: audio
Challenges: Off the Shelf, Audio Book, Crusin Through the Cozies
Author's Website
My rating: 4/5

Simple Description:
It's summer time and that means fundraiser time.  Hannah and Lisa are asked to bake cookies for a fundraiser the mayor's wife is hosting.  Of course, they are asked at the last minute but they still do it to help out.  The fundraiser has several different events and lasts for several days.  One event in particular is the talent show.  Hannah isn't planning to attend since one of her old professors is involved with it, but when Lisa's husband, Herb, needs her to be his assistant at the last minute, she agrees.  Unfortunately, while at the talent show Hannah finds the professor dead.  

Hannah and her sister Michelle are both likely suspects, even though the police don't really think they did it.
Still, Hannah spends some time investigating the murder because that's just who she is.  Plus, she wants to make sure Lake Eden doesn't find out that Hannah and Michelle were both involved with the professor (at different times of course).

Along with the murder investigation, Hannah's other sister, Andrea, is freaking out because her husband has been offered an incredible job offer and she thinks he might take it.  Even though this means moving the family out of state.

Normal and Mike are both still trying to win Hannah's hand.  Both are acting a little funny towards her too.

My Thoughts:
As my long time readers already know, this is one of my favorite series.  I just love the characters and I love being able to spend time with them.  This is a series I definitely recommend for cozy fans, but please start at the beginning.  I've read some negative reviews of this series on other blogs and most are new readers who start with the most recently published book.  This is one series that starting at the beginning is in your best interest.

One negative thing I've seen several times about the later books is that you read half the book before you actually get to a murder.  Normally with a cozy (or most any mystery) you have the murder right away.  Not always true with this one.  In this specific story I was on disk 4 (of 8) before the murder actually took place.  This didn't bother me at all, but I can see where it would bother somebody new to the series.  For me, I enjoy the characters and the setting so much that it's pure fun to just read about them and what's going on in their lives for half the book before we get to the murder. However, as a new comer I can see where this would be annoying and get some negative feedback.

As far as this book itself, I found in very enjoyable.  I enjoyed it as much as I have the others.  Some of the cookie recipes sound super good too.  I plan to try some within the next month or so and will post a weekend cooking post when I do.   My only complaint is that I really do wish Hannah would pick between Mike and Norman. She doesn't even need to get married, I just want her to pick one!  I think the story line with the three of them is getting old and needs to change.  Of course, my vote is for Norman, just in case Ms. Fluke wanted to know.

Audio Review:
I did actually listen to (most) of this book.  I admit that I was very close to finishing it one day but arrived home before I had a chance to, so I got out  my copy of the book and finished it in print form. It's the first time attempting this series on audio and I have to say I was impressed.  I wasn't sure how well I would like it since I feel I know the characters, would the narrator do a good enough job?  Suzanne Toren is the narrator and I think she does a great job.  I could easily follow what was going on and while she didn't drastically change her voice, she did enough that you knew when it was different characters.

My only issue with the audio is that the recipes are actually read out loud too.  While I realize they are part of the book, I found this unnecessary and a bit annoying because who is going to write down the recipe or try making it, while listening to it?   Luckily the recipes are at the end of the chapters and I was able to just skip to the next track.

In fact, I enjoyed this one enough on audio that I already received the next in the series from my library. It comes out next month, and I'm currently in 3rd place to get.  Of course, since I love trying out the recipes included in the book I'll also buy a copy to have on hand.


bermudaonion said...

That is strange that the murder doesn't happen until halfway through the book.

Veggiemomof2 said...

I read one of her books last year & liked it. Mom said I would cuz I love Diane Mott Davidson's series about Goldy the Caterer. So I plan on getting caught up on this series this year.

Kris said...

Bermudaonion - it is very strange for a murder mystery to not have a mystery until halfway through, but I still loved it. haha!

Veggie - So glad you enjoyed the book you read! I like the Goldy series too, although I'm not too far in that one.

Ladytink_534 said...

I'm so behind on this series but I plan on re-reading them all so I can catch up as soon as I can.

Kris said...

Ladytink - I hope you continue to enjoy the series as you get further along. Good luck re-reading them!

Cristina (Rochester Reader) said...

Thanks for a thoughful review. I've been thinking about picking this up for a while. I'll make sure to start with book 1, as you advise. Perhaps I might try the audio...

Kris said...

Cristina - oh...before I reply..welcome back to blogging! And..regarding this series..I hope you do get a chance to try it out. If you are on a cozy kick, I really hope that means you'll devour this series and just love it.

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed this series; I agree, I love the characters and like to see what's happening in their lives. Recipes can be made from listening to the audio; it just takes a couple times through to get everything. Do you have the new one Devil's Food Cake Murder? It came out today. This one leaves you hanging at the end.

Kris said...

Latinanewschick - I suppose you are long as you pause the audio to gather the ingredients and perform each step, you would be ok. I haven't bought the new one yet..but I sure do plan to!