I wasn’t sure what to expect from Blackberry Pie Murder. Apart from a drool inducing lattice pie on the cover, I had very little to go by. I had not read any other books in the series or by the author. I neglected to read the fine print that said ‘mystery with recipes’, not that any recipe would have deterred me. This cozy mystery is not that cozy when all is revealed. Get your baking mitts on, people!
Hannah Swensen is the oldest of three sisters and lives in Eden Lake, a small town somewhere in Minnesota close to the big city. Her mother is about to tie the knot the second time, and the girls are trying hard to plan the perfect wedding for her. Mother keeps turning down all their suggestions, leaving behind three frustrated women. Hannah runs a cookie store/ coffee place and bakes cookies. She bakes cookies all the time. If you are a cookie monster, you should probably have a variety of Milanos and Chips Ahoy or your favorite gourmet cookies on hand, because you are going to get very hungry reading this book. Or if you have the baking bug, you should have all sorts of cookie fixings in the refrigerator. Because this is sort of a read and bake and eat kind of book.
Harried Hannah goes to pick up her partner Lisa from the car shop and takes the back roads because a storm is raging. She is trying hard not to be hit by lightning when there is a thud and she hits something. This something turns out to be a body. Hannah is held accountable and arrested, leading to a big fallout among her family and friends. Everyone goes to visit her in jail with gourmet food and goodies, and then she gets out. She feels responsible and tries hard to find out who the dead man is. The local grapevine is activated, dozens more cookies are made, and word spreads around. Will Hannah be able to find out who the dead man is?
[box] Scrumptious Recipes from Blackberry Pie Murder
Blackberry Pie Martini
Rummy Tum Tum Cake
Graham Cracker Cake
Chip Chip Hooray Cookies
Airy Berry Cookies
Hannah has a Big support system. There are two men besotted with her and vying for her attention. Her cat has become a fitness freak. Her sisters are making new cookies everyday to cheer her up. The book contains dozens of cookie recipes, one or two after every chapter. This was completely unexpected, to say the least. I am familiar with mystery books containing recipes after reading Mary Kay Andrews and Laura Childs’s Tea Shop mysteries. But Blackberry Pie Murder takes it to a whole new level. This can be torture on many levels. You are engrossed in solving the mystery so you don’t want to be distracted. And then you can’t help but dream about all that fancy food, and you will hear your tummy rumble more than once.
Although there have been several books in this series, Blackberry Pie Murder stands well on its own. I did not feel I was missing anything, or did not get the feeling that something has come before this, which speaks of a highly skilled author. Overall, I know you will enjoy Blackberry Pie Murder. More so, if you have a pie to go along with it.