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Christmas Caramel Murder by Joanne Fluke
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Christmas Caramel Murder (edition 2017)

by Joanne Fluke (Author)

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2361389,013 (3.13)13
The holidays have arrived, and Hannah and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all the goodies for the town's annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say "Bah, humbug!" a Santa-sized sackful of trouble ensues. Like the fact that Lisa's husband will be playing Mr. Claus to his ex-girlfriend Phyllis Bates' Mrs. Claus. Or that before the curtains even go up Phyllis is found dead in the snow - wearing a costume that the real Mrs. Claus would put on the naughty list. Soon after the suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard, while a merry murderer remains on the loose. With clues even harder to find, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays.… (more)
Member:lrmorse
Title:Christmas Caramel Murder
Authors:Joanne Fluke (Author)
Info:Kensington (2017), Edition: Reprint, 261 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Hannah Swensen mystery

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Christmas Caramel Murder by Joanne Fluke

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Christmas Caramel Murder is the 20th book in the Hannah Swensen series. This story is a novella of only about 200 pages or so, including the recipes sprinkled throughout the book.

Hannah's new husband, Ross, asks her why The Cookie Jar won't be selling Christmas caramels for the holidays. Hannah replies that she and Lisa, her business partner and good friend, believe the candies they made last holiday season are bad luck. When she made them last Christmas, she found a bag of them near a dead body. Then she settles in to tell Ross the whole story of the murder case and a Christmas spirit that appeared to her.

This story at first reminded me a lot of a prior Hannah Swensen holiday novella, Candy Cane Murder. Hannah saw something in the snow and walked through the drifts down into a ditch and found a body. Both stories started out the same with a naughty Claus dead in the snow, but in Christmas Caramel Murder, it's the local slut who was playing Mrs. Claus in the Christmas play who got iced.

This story was short, but basically enjoyable. It's pretty much fluff with lots of recipes and subplot like what they are baking for the holidays, the broken popcorn machine at the high school and Norman's new huge television. The mystery is simple and not that involved. But, this is a cozy mystery....so fluff and light mystery is ok. That's how it's supposed to be. This would be a great cozy to read in front of the nice fire on Christmas Eve.

I was a little disappointed in this book. Mostly because it's so short. If you leave out the subplot unnecessary-to-the-mystery portions and the recipes, the mystery itself is maybe 50 pages tops. The rest is fluff stuff. And I found some parts of the plot to be just too cheesy -- like Hannah's father appearing as a ghost visiting her in the night to help her with the case. Really? At one point, he told her to throw a pen at him to prove he was a spirit. Umm....yeah. A bit too hokey for me. Plus, this story is told as a flashback to her new husband, Ross....the parts with Mike and Norman still acting all in love with her was just a bit weird since it was a story she was relating to her husband. I dunno....just seems like Joanne Fluke wrote this hurridly without paying too much attention. I feel like maybe she took the basic plot of Candy Cane Murder, replacing the victim with a woman and making little tweaks here and there to form a new story. Old hat. But.....the story would still be a nice cozy read during the holidays. It is what it is. After writing 21 books in this series, it might just be running out of steam a bit.

I'm surprised this wasn't another holiday collection like Candy Cane Murder that also included stories by Linda Levine and Leslie Meier. I could have justified the $20 price tag of the hardback book a little more if it had more than just the short, fluffy Hannah Christmas tale. But, it was an enjoyable read. I checked it out of the library, rather than buying it.

A new Hannah book, Banana Cream Pie Murder, is coming out February 28th! I have a soft spot in my heart for Hannah because this series is the one that started my love for cozy mystery novels. 21 novels later, I still enjoy reading about the gang from Lake Eden. :)

On to Banana Cream Pie murder -- then I'm caught up with this series and awaiting Joanne Fluke finishing another book! :) ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
Not bad. Kept you guessing until the end. Too many recipes and not enough book content. ( )
  lhaines56 | Jan 5, 2019 |
It's Christmas and one of the most busiest times for Hanna Swensen and her cookie shop. This year they are providing all the goodies for the annual "A Christmas Carol" play. A tall order that is made even bigger when Lisa, Hannah's partner, volunteers the shop to also make all the candy for the event, since the candy company from last year has closed.

A fly in the ointment for Lisa is when Mayor Bascomb decided that Phyllis Bates will play Mrs. Claus to Lisa's husband's Mr. Claus. What is so bad is that Phyllis is Herb's old high school flame who has returned to Lake Eden. At the dress rehearsal Phyllis shows up dressed more for a men's club performance than for a performance for families! Definitely not a PG rated costume.

When Phyllis is found dead in a snow drift in her 'costume' things get busier. Hannah is on the hunt for the killer and the reason, and is intent on solving the case before the event takes place in just a few days.

This is an event that happened the Christmas before Ross entered Hannah's life, and she is the one telling it to Ross. I liked this much better than the previous book as it is the determined and self reliant Hannah.

I read it in just a few hours! ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Nov 19, 2018 |
I have NEVER given a book one star but this book was SO disappointing it deserved it. This book, imho, should NEVER have been published. I waited 4-6 months for this?!?! The overall idea of this book, discussing a mystery Hannah solved a year a go to her new husband, Ross, over dinner, was pathetic. Please Mrs. Fluke, make Ross stop calling Hannah "Cookie", could you have been more original with a nickname. Sheesh!! This book was a total disappointment, actually the rest of the series is since Hannah, stupidly, married Ross! ( )
  ne.may97 | Jan 1, 2018 |
I was looking for a cozy Christmas mystery and although I got what I asked for I hated it. This was almost too cozy. This is the twentieth Hannah Swensen book and by god, does someone die every month in this small town? Is Hannah always the one tripping over bodies? Why do the police let her run her own parallel investigations when she clearly has no formal training? Why is she such a goody goody meddler? There is no tension or real intrigue in this mystery. Readers are spoon fed a watered down Christmas time murder. Of course it happens in a small charming town, where everyone is in everyone else's business. This mystery is lukewarm at best. Also, included are recipes that sound interesting, but I will never attempt. Very meh. ( )
  ecataldi | Nov 27, 2017 |
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This book is for the lovely Frida Giselle.
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Prologue: The dining room at the Lake Eden Inn was festive with corn shocks, hay bales, pumpkins, and giant beer steins made of papier-mache.
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The holidays have arrived, and Hannah and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all the goodies for the town's annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say "Bah, humbug!" a Santa-sized sackful of trouble ensues. Like the fact that Lisa's husband will be playing Mr. Claus to his ex-girlfriend Phyllis Bates' Mrs. Claus. Or that before the curtains even go up Phyllis is found dead in the snow - wearing a costume that the real Mrs. Claus would put on the naughty list. Soon after the suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard, while a merry murderer remains on the loose. With clues even harder to find, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays.

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