Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Murder is part of the holiday season with three authors who cooked up stories of mayhem during Christmas. I don’t usually think of mysteries with Christmas, but having humorous characters and situations almost made me forget about the unlikely combination. Like adding salt to cookies for extra flavor, chocolate to popcorn. Of course, too much salt can ruin a batch…
Fluke’s “Gingerbread Cookie Murder” was as divine as ever. Sure, there was a corpse in the middle of everything, but enough sugar was added to keep Hannah Swenson as light as ever as she pieces clues to find the real murderer of her obnoxious neighbor. Sprinkle some tasty recipes in between and the story remains light as air.
Even a murder in a retirement center can be made into something humorous in Levine’s “The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies.” With Jaine Austen’s doting parents bickering and her overly pampered cat, it’s easy to see this story as a tasty treat, despite the murder mystery, of course.
Holiday mysteries, even murder mysteries, are acceptable as long as they have something to lighten the mood. Meier’s “Gingerbread Cookies and Gunshots” left a bitter taste in my mouth. Child abductions, greed, poverty, murder, Christmas cancellations… where’s the sugar coating to cleanse my palette?
I recommend enjoying the first course of your reading and indulging in seconds with the next story, but if you have a squeamish stomach, the last entrée of this book may be hard to swallow.
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