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'Tis the season for trimming the tree, caroling, baking cookies, and curling up by the Yuletide waiting for Santa to drop down the chimney. But in this festive collection of holiday whodunits, murder is also paying a visit . . . 'Candy Cane Murder' by Joanne Fluke Bakery owner Hannah Swensen feels a little stuffed in her elf costume-but it's too late to count calories. Lake 'Tis the season for trimming the tree, caroling, baking cookies, and curling up by the Yuletide waiting for Santa to drop down the chimney. But in this festive collection of holiday whodunits, murder is also paying a visit . . . 'Candy Cane Murder' by Joanne Fluke Bakery owner Hannah Swensen feels a little stuffed in her elf costume-but it's too late to count calories. Lake Eden's annual Christmas gala is upon her and eager children are waiting. Wayne Bergstrom, owner of Bergstrom's Department Store, happily ho-ho-hos his way through the festivities in his Santa suit. But when a trail of candy canes leads to his corpse in a snow bank, Hannah must find Kris Kringle's killer.


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'Tis the season for trimming the tree, caroling, baking cookies, and curling up by the Yuletide waiting for Santa to drop down the chimney. But in this festive collection of holiday whodunits, murder is also paying a visit . . . 'Candy Cane Murder' by Joanne Fluke Bakery owner Hannah Swensen feels a little stuffed in her elf costume-but it's too late to count calories. Lake 'Tis the season for trimming the tree, caroling, baking cookies, and curling up by the Yuletide waiting for Santa to drop down the chimney. But in this festive collection of holiday whodunits, murder is also paying a visit . . . 'Candy Cane Murder' by Joanne Fluke Bakery owner Hannah Swensen feels a little stuffed in her elf costume-but it's too late to count calories. Lake Eden's annual Christmas gala is upon her and eager children are waiting. Wayne Bergstrom, owner of Bergstrom's Department Store, happily ho-ho-hos his way through the festivities in his Santa suit. But when a trail of candy canes leads to his corpse in a snow bank, Hannah must find Kris Kringle's killer.

30 review for Candy Cane Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    3 stars to Joanne Fluke‘s Candy Cane Murder, a short novella edition for the holidays between books 9 and 10 of the “Hannah Swensen” mystery series. Given this is only 100 pages, and just a teaser in between full-length books, I adjusted my expectations, but it still fell a little short for me. I’ll keep reading the series, but nothing really changes in the overall series with this book, so if you skip it, not a huge deal. Story Hannah’s preparing for Christmas in Lake Eden by volunteering as an e 3 stars to Joanne Fluke‘s Candy Cane Murder, a short novella edition for the holidays between books 9 and 10 of the “Hannah Swensen” mystery series. Given this is only 100 pages, and just a teaser in between full-length books, I adjusted my expectations, but it still fell a little short for me. I’ll keep reading the series, but nothing really changes in the overall series with this book, so if you skip it, not a huge deal. Story Hannah’s preparing for Christmas in Lake Eden by volunteering as an elf to help the local department store owner who is playing Santa Claus this season. Unfortunately, he’s a bit of a tightwad who rubs some of his employees and the villagers the wrong way. After the mall’s Christmas party, Hannah finds him face down on the corner of the street in his Santa suit. It’s the tenth body she’s found in about two years (yikes, stay away from her!), but still gives her the frights. Is it his new younger wife? Her friendly brother? An angry employee? Or someone else with a grudge? Hannah dives into the investigation behind Mike’s back and finds herself right in the middle of mayhem. Of course she survives, but the fun along the way keeps readers in suspense in between her normal shenanigans. Strengths By keeping the count of characters smaller, we are treated to more in-depth relationships among Hannah’s sisters and boyfriends (yes, she has a few). The plot has subtle humor and it gives readers readers something to noodle over among the villagers we’ve come to know and love. And there are good recipes! Suggestions It was rushed and Hannah didn’t even pretend to let the police track the killer. It felt too much like writing a long short story to keep fans entertained rather than release a full-length complex story that would make them wait a few extra months. It took me less than 90 minutes and while I was entertained, it was too basic. Final Thoughts If you’re just looking to read more about Hannah and don’t need a lot of substance in your mystery, then jump on in… but if you want intrigue and complexity and a big ole’ candy cane to chew on, don’t expect much. Worth the read because Hannah is just a fun character, but go in with your eyes open.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    Joanne Fluke is one of my favorite cozy mystery writers for a reason and this hilarious tale of Hannah at Christmastime was a real treat that I thoroughly enjoyed. We start off with a hilarious scene of Hannah dressing up as Santa’s elf, which of course would come with a horrendous costume and Hannah despairing over her weight. Who can’t relate? Joanne Fluke just has such a knack for humor. As she flings candy canes to the crowd gathered at the Lake Eden Inn, all are merry, but soon, there’s a m Joanne Fluke is one of my favorite cozy mystery writers for a reason and this hilarious tale of Hannah at Christmastime was a real treat that I thoroughly enjoyed. We start off with a hilarious scene of Hannah dressing up as Santa’s elf, which of course would come with a horrendous costume and Hannah despairing over her weight. Who can’t relate? Joanne Fluke just has such a knack for humor. As she flings candy canes to the crowd gathered at the Lake Eden Inn, all are merry, but soon, there’s a murder to solve… I really enjoyed this one! Leslie Meier’s was a trip back in time to Lucy, Bill and Toby’s first days in Tinker’s Cover, when their farmhouse was falling apart and Bill wasn’t sure he was going to succeed as a carpenter. This was a fun one as Lucy Stone works to solve a mystery from decades ago, and we see how she originally met some of her longtime friends in her Maine small town. And I loved the candy cane connection in all three books! Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Writerlibrarian

    I read the Joanne Fluke's christmas novella because I'm an addict and a completist. In this short novella, Hannah is still torn between her two suitors (it's time Fluke puts an end to this triangle), solves who murdered Santa, captures and nets the murderer all under 130 pages. There are way too much recipes for such a short novella but they sound yummy especially the candy cane bars but yummy recipes do not make a plot. This relied too much on the telling and well known "tricks" of the series, I read the Joanne Fluke's christmas novella because I'm an addict and a completist. In this short novella, Hannah is still torn between her two suitors (it's time Fluke puts an end to this triangle), solves who murdered Santa, captures and nets the murderer all under 130 pages. There are way too much recipes for such a short novella but they sound yummy especially the candy cane bars but yummy recipes do not make a plot. This relied too much on the telling and well known "tricks" of the series, like the early, early morning phone call from Dolores (Hannah's mother) and Moishe's (her cat) to the call. The overweight inner monologue, the snooping into bathrooms. Nothing original, nothing new. This series has almost jumped the shark for me. I have the last published one "Carrot Cake murder" in my to read pile. We'll see if I keep with it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    I love Christmas, cookies, and candy canes! This book was so much fun. I only read the Hannah Swensen story since I'm read them in order, but it was great and it was one of the best mysteries that Hannah has been tied up in! Dead Santa, a trail of candy canes, and delicious cookie recipes makes for a great novel! I love Christmas, cookies, and candy canes! This book was so much fun. I only read the Hannah Swensen story since I'm read them in order, but it was great and it was one of the best mysteries that Hannah has been tied up in! Dead Santa, a trail of candy canes, and delicious cookie recipes makes for a great novel!

  5. 5 out of 5

    🧿JennyCash🧿

    This book is actually three stories. The first, 'Candy Cane Murder,' was typical Joanne Fluke. Hannah Swensen murder mystery. Good but not great. Not a lot to say about it. The second, 'The Dangers of Candy Canes,' was horrible. HORRIBLE. Jaine may be the least likable character of any book I've ever read. (1)Elastic waist jeans. (2)Self-deprecating humor. (3)No regard for ethics or law. (4)Immature beyond belief. (5)Unbelievable cat character with stupid name. If you read this book, I'd recommen This book is actually three stories. The first, 'Candy Cane Murder,' was typical Joanne Fluke. Hannah Swensen murder mystery. Good but not great. Not a lot to say about it. The second, 'The Dangers of Candy Canes,' was horrible. HORRIBLE. Jaine may be the least likable character of any book I've ever read. (1)Elastic waist jeans. (2)Self-deprecating humor. (3)No regard for ethics or law. (4)Immature beyond belief. (5)Unbelievable cat character with stupid name. If you read this book, I'd recommend skipping this story. HORRIBLE. The third story, 'Candy Canes of Christmas Past,' was screaming "Hallmark movie of the week." It was a sweet little story but the mystery aspect was very disappointing. It's like the author eliminated the majority of suspects and then thought, "crap, who did it?" so she quickly made up a solution that really felt like a cop-out to me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hettie

    I picked up this book to read as it was the next book in the Hannah Swensen series. That is not the story that got the rating. This book is a collection of 3 shortish stories. The first is the Hannah Swensen story that I choose it for. The story is good but if you have read any of the other stories in the series I need say no more. I enjoyed it and would have given it 3 stars. Great continuation but nothing that I did not expect. The second story which is part of the Janie Austen series I did not I picked up this book to read as it was the next book in the Hannah Swensen series. That is not the story that got the rating. This book is a collection of 3 shortish stories. The first is the Hannah Swensen story that I choose it for. The story is good but if you have read any of the other stories in the series I need say no more. I enjoyed it and would have given it 3 stars. Great continuation but nothing that I did not expect. The second story which is part of the Janie Austen series I did not enjoy at all. I just could not connect with it at all. The third story I really enjoyed. I loved the characters and felt the situations were very realistic. I found Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier to be a fantastic introduction to her series. I did not feel lost by not knowing any of the characters and loved the progression of the story. The murder mystery of the story was an interesting twist and the end was fantastic. This series is going on my tbr list right near the top.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Candy Cane Murder was another enjoyable holiday read that I found hard to put down. Fluke delivers another delightful tale full of mentions of delicious desserts, a good mystery, and another holiday adventure for Hannah Swensen. I find myself really enjoying this series the more of them I read, and "Candy Cane Murder" was another wonderful addition to the series. "The Danger of Candy Canes" was another great read that had me laughing out loud in some parts because Jaine gets herself into quite a Candy Cane Murder was another enjoyable holiday read that I found hard to put down. Fluke delivers another delightful tale full of mentions of delicious desserts, a good mystery, and another holiday adventure for Hannah Swensen. I find myself really enjoying this series the more of them I read, and "Candy Cane Murder" was another wonderful addition to the series. "The Danger of Candy Canes" was another great read that had me laughing out loud in some parts because Jaine gets herself into quite a few odd situations. I am going to definitely have to check out more books in this series. "Candy Canes of Christmas Past" took the unusual road by telling the story of a Christmas past when Lucy, Bill, and little Toby spent their first Christmas in Tinker's Cove. I really enjoyed reading how Lucy met her neighbors and friends as well as how the true meaning of Christmas was felt just when Lucy and Bill were at their wit's end. The Lucy Stone mysteries are becoming a favorite series of mine, and I am looking forward to reading more of them. Overall Candy Cane Murder was a great holiday read that I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for an enjoyable holiday cozy to check out.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    Has 3 short stories 1. Hanna Swenson - "CANDY CANE MURDER" by Joanne Fluke - a murdered Wayne Bergstrom playing “Santa” at Lake Eden Inn - founded dead with a trail of candy canes leading on a snowy bank, Hannah finds who killed Kris Kringle... 2. Jane Austen - "THE DANGERS OF CANDY CANES" by Laura Levine - Garth Janken falls & dies off his newly shingled roof while installing a “giant candy cane” on his roof. Jane posing as a insurance agent finds neighbors with dirty secrets in their “stockings” Has 3 short stories 1. Hanna Swenson - "CANDY CANE MURDER" by Joanne Fluke - a murdered Wayne Bergstrom playing “Santa” at Lake Eden Inn - founded dead with a trail of candy canes leading on a snowy bank, Hannah finds who killed Kris Kringle... 2. Jane Austen - "THE DANGERS OF CANDY CANES" by Laura Levine - Garth Janken falls & dies off his newly shingled roof while installing a “giant candy cane” on his roof. Jane posing as a insurance agent finds neighbors with dirty secrets in their “stockings”... 3. Lucy Stone - "CANDY CANES OF CHRISTMAS PAST" by Leslie Meier - Lucy follows a smashed glass candy cane killing Mrs. Tilley - investigates past residents of Maine’s hidden village of Tinker Cove - Lucy's new home town - to track find the killer... Merry Christmas

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Three candy cane themed Christmas Cozy mystery novellas. 1. Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke - 3 Stars 2. The Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine - 3 Stars 3. Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier -4 Stars Although books #1 and #2 rated 3 Stars for a cozy mystery this reader has to rate the lead characters in both books lower (1 Star for Hannah and 2 Stars for Jaine). Both whine and grumble about their weight while they keep shoveling very fattening food in their mouths. For goodness Three candy cane themed Christmas Cozy mystery novellas. 1. Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke - 3 Stars 2. The Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine - 3 Stars 3. Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier -4 Stars Although books #1 and #2 rated 3 Stars for a cozy mystery this reader has to rate the lead characters in both books lower (1 Star for Hannah and 2 Stars for Jaine). Both whine and grumble about their weight while they keep shoveling very fattening food in their mouths. For goodness sakes this constant emphasis on weight is a little disconcerting. We get enough about Americans being overweight in the media we don't need our protagonists in cozies constantly bemoaning about it while doing nothing to correct it. As a reader I don't care what size they wear but what I dislike is that they constantly moan about being overwight and especially in Hannah's case I do mean constantly.

  10. 5 out of 5

    J.H. Moncrieff

    3.5 Christmas fluff. The perfect book for this time of year, with stories from three cozy writers: Fluke, Laura Levine, and Leslie Meier. The first time I read this book, I remember liking the stories enough to buy books from Levine's and Meier's cozy series, but sadly, they didn't have the same charm. Maybe there's just something about Christmas. Fluke's offering is as familiar as that snuggly old sweater. Mike, the cop, is always coming around to Hannah's apartment at night expecting to be fed; 3.5 Christmas fluff. The perfect book for this time of year, with stories from three cozy writers: Fluke, Laura Levine, and Leslie Meier. The first time I read this book, I remember liking the stories enough to buy books from Levine's and Meier's cozy series, but sadly, they didn't have the same charm. Maybe there's just something about Christmas. Fluke's offering is as familiar as that snuggly old sweater. Mike, the cop, is always coming around to Hannah's apartment at night expecting to be fed; Norman is pretty much at her beck and call and way too good for her, and her mother, sisters, and niece are as annoying as usual. Once again, Fluke uses a dude's death as an excuse to abandon her business entirely, and try a bunch of recipes which she gives away for free. It's Christmas, people. Suspension of disbelief is key. Levine's story is fun and mildly amusing. The tale of an underemployed freelance writer who finds herself writing jingles for plumbers and solving mysteries on the side to make ends meet--when she's not eating everything in sight. Meier's, which I remember loving when I first read it, has plot holes big enough for Santa to drive his Cadillac through. (view spoiler)[The protagonist's new friend, Miss Tilley--who is the town librarian, of all things--wants Lucy to find out who killed her mother. At the very end of the story, Lucy stumbles on the solution, not through clever sleuthing, but by chance, as her husband gave her a true crime book for Christmas. One of the murderers depicted in the book was a serial-killing nurse, who also happened to be looking after Miss Tilley's mother when the mother died. So, you're telling me that in a small town where people still gossip about minor scandals fifty years later, no one would be talking about a serial killer--a female serial killer, no less--who used to live and work there? Neither Miss Tilley's father, a JUDGE, or Miss Tilley the librarian, would have put two and two together after all these years? (hide spoiler)] On the second read, this incredibly farfetched scenario almost completely ruined the story for me, along with some of the caricature-like characters, like the elderly twins who dress alike and say everything in unison. But the small-town nostalgia is really sweet.

  11. 5 out of 5

    terpkristin

    Usually I'm not all that excited by the short stories/novellas in the Hannah Swensen universe, but this one worked. It felt more like a real story rather. Where some of the short stories don't have real murders, this one did. And the killer made sense and it was someone I'd thought of as a possible suspect (though the method was a bit of a surprise!). Usually I'm not all that excited by the short stories/novellas in the Hannah Swensen universe, but this one worked. It felt more like a real story rather. Where some of the short stories don't have real murders, this one did. And the killer made sense and it was someone I'd thought of as a possible suspect (though the method was a bit of a surprise!).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    My rating is just for the Hannah Swensen story, which is an enjoyable short cosy Christmas tale featuring the regular characters. Although the ending is rather predictable, it has some surprising festive trimmings! I didn't read the two stories by other authors - I did give them a try but they were not for me. My rating is just for the Hannah Swensen story, which is an enjoyable short cosy Christmas tale featuring the regular characters. Although the ending is rather predictable, it has some surprising festive trimmings! I didn't read the two stories by other authors - I did give them a try but they were not for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Moeller

    There are 3 stories by 3 different authors in this book. I only listened to the first story. It was Nancy Drew-ish and felt old school and cheesy to me so I didn’t want to finish the rest of the stories. Joanne Fluke has a few movies made based off her mystery series so obviously people like it but it’s just not for me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Southgate

    Read this as my library book club have chosen crime as the genre this month. I don't normally read crime and found this on my library app. It was a bit cheesy, I suppose you can tell from the title and it was just ok. If I am going to read another crime book I think I will need to consult with my book club friends as to good crime authors. Read this as my library book club have chosen crime as the genre this month. I don't normally read crime and found this on my library app. It was a bit cheesy, I suppose you can tell from the title and it was just ok. If I am going to read another crime book I think I will need to consult with my book club friends as to good crime authors.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    A cute cozy mystery!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Second Reading: December 2019: When I first read this book in the fall of 2018, it was just shortly before I discovered the Lucy Stone mysteries so I only read the Hannah Swensen mystery from this book. Thanks to a friend's recent review of this entire book- I realized there was a Lucy Stone mystery in this so I checked it out again and thoroughly enjoyed the Lucy Stone mystery bringing my review from 4 stars to 5. I wish this hadn't been such a short Lucy Stone mystery, for I so enjoyed travellin Second Reading: December 2019: When I first read this book in the fall of 2018, it was just shortly before I discovered the Lucy Stone mysteries so I only read the Hannah Swensen mystery from this book. Thanks to a friend's recent review of this entire book- I realized there was a Lucy Stone mystery in this so I checked it out again and thoroughly enjoyed the Lucy Stone mystery bringing my review from 4 stars to 5. I wish this hadn't been such a short Lucy Stone mystery, for I so enjoyed travelling back to 1983 when Lucy and Bill and baby Toby first moved to Tinker's Cove and celebrated their first Christmas in their very unfinished farm house on Red Top Road! I also thoroughly enjoyed the mystery which involved a younger but still quite elderly Miss Tilley, the town librarian, and the mystery surrounding her mother's death. After a fall down the cellar stairs, her body was found near an old glass candy cane.... It was fun to see how Lucy meets her future neighbors and also her best friends Sue and Rachel. It was funny that all three of their husbands had read the same article about Maine in the Mother Earth News and decided to move there! I'm now going back into these little collections of Christmas mystery novellas to make sure I read the Lucy Stone mysteries contained therein- and also the Barbara Ross mysteries since I now enjoy her mysteries as well! I should not have just breezed through them specifically for the Hannah Swensen mysteries when I did read them :-/ Also these books when read as a whole are indeed delightful because the way the authors use the theme that ties them all together is quite creative. ************* This is another in between novella in the Hannah Swensen mysteries. It comes between numbers nine and ten in the series. This was a Christmas mystery and for such a short mystery- it was very cleverly done! I was thinking this morning that I have not been this excited about and loved a series this much since I read the "Babysitter's Club" books as a kid :-)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

    Like many people, I picked this up for the Joanne Fluke entry. The theme of this anthology is candy canes. All three stories must have candy canes as a central theme. In Fluke's story a stingy Santa leaves a trail of mini candy canes that only Hannah and her sisters can follow when Hannah stumbles over the Santa dead in the parking lot after a Christmas celebration. Add in some delicious recipes and you have a mini-mystery that has everything you've come to expect from a Hannah Swensen story. Th Like many people, I picked this up for the Joanne Fluke entry. The theme of this anthology is candy canes. All three stories must have candy canes as a central theme. In Fluke's story a stingy Santa leaves a trail of mini candy canes that only Hannah and her sisters can follow when Hannah stumbles over the Santa dead in the parking lot after a Christmas celebration. Add in some delicious recipes and you have a mini-mystery that has everything you've come to expect from a Hannah Swensen story. The second story was by Laura Levine. Her heroine is Jaine Austen. Jaine has a disgruntled cat, Prozac, and she's a jack of all trades writer. In her spare time she investigates. One of her clients asks her to investigate the death of one of his clients since it appears as though it is his fault. Jaine is not particularly likable. She's a bit too self-absorbed. I kept hoping for recipes because she talks about food constantly. No such luck. But the mystery itself was well executed. The third story, by Leslie Meier, was the stand-out. Lucy Stone takes us on a flashback to 1983 to when she and her her husband and son had recently moved to Maine. She made friends with the librarian and ended up giving her a give of a glass candy cane which in turn brought up the fact that the librarian's mother was found dead with a shattered glass candy cane. And thus begins Lucy's first case and as a result she got to really meet the town and vice versa.

  18. 4 out of 5

    DeAnne

    I love mystery "who dunnit" stories. I love good ones, I love cheesy ones, there's even a fine art to the really bad ones. Joanne Fluke has created a series based upon the idea that a small Minnesota cookie baker solves crime in her spare time. Well, because...who doesn't? The other hook is that the books contain the recipes for whatever dessert are being discussed. So I thought to myself..I like cooking. I like murder mysteries. Two great things...I wonder if they go great together? Sadly, much I love mystery "who dunnit" stories. I love good ones, I love cheesy ones, there's even a fine art to the really bad ones. Joanne Fluke has created a series based upon the idea that a small Minnesota cookie baker solves crime in her spare time. Well, because...who doesn't? The other hook is that the books contain the recipes for whatever dessert are being discussed. So I thought to myself..I like cooking. I like murder mysteries. Two great things...I wonder if they go great together? Sadly, much like some of the recipes in the book...it is a bit discombobulated. Also, the recipes read like a "how-to" on product placement. "Use X brand." "I use brand Z" I dunno, perhaps my high hopes were just too much for the delivered experience.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This book actually contains three Christmas-themed novellas and I love all three stories. I usually enjoy collections like this and I really like all three authors and enjoy their Christmas-themed stories. The book title takes its name from one of the stories, Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke. Cookie baker Hannah Swensen takes time out from her Christmas preparations to solve a murder. The second story is The Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine. The situations the main character, freelance w This book actually contains three Christmas-themed novellas and I love all three stories. I usually enjoy collections like this and I really like all three authors and enjoy their Christmas-themed stories. The book title takes its name from one of the stories, Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke. Cookie baker Hannah Swensen takes time out from her Christmas preparations to solve a murder. The second story is The Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine. The situations the main character, freelance writer Jaine Austen, finds herself in are always laugh-out-loud funny. The third story is Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier takes the reader back to when Lucy Stone first moves to Tinker's Cove, Maine. All three stories are light, fun reads to get you ready for Christmas.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hemavathy DM Suppiah-Devi

    A delicious, hilarious romo. Jaine and I are food sisters. Merged review: A cosy, mindless mystery with a fascinating glimpse into Christmas in Maine in the early 80s. Very little in the terms of mystery but still a lovely story. Merged review: A short and sweet introduction to Hannah Swensen and her delicious cookies. Though not the most ingenious mystery as I'd figured out the murderer even before the murder was committed 😂. A delicious, hilarious romo. Jaine and I are food sisters. Merged review: A cosy, mindless mystery with a fascinating glimpse into Christmas in Maine in the early 80s. Very little in the terms of mystery but still a lovely story. Merged review: A short and sweet introduction to Hannah Swensen and her delicious cookies. Though not the most ingenious mystery as I'd figured out the murderer even before the murder was committed 😂.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Leone Davidson

    Three candy cane-themed short stories in this book, each was pretty good, to varying degrees as good as most of the stories in my monthly Alfred Hitchcock magazine. Slight, not memorable, but a fun read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Laugh out loud funny. Hannah is a riot. Also you will love the recipies. 5 stars in my book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nique

    3.5 Nothing like murder and the holidays

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I noticed the library no longer carries the later books in the Hannah Swenson series in audiobook format (can't say I blame them) and as this is an older book in the series, I was surprised when I got two emails from them: one saying that it had been checked out to me, and one saying that they took my recommendation and purchased it. I almost feel I owe them an apology for that. This is actually a collection of three short stories, the second featuring Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine and Leslie Meier I noticed the library no longer carries the later books in the Hannah Swenson series in audiobook format (can't say I blame them) and as this is an older book in the series, I was surprised when I got two emails from them: one saying that it had been checked out to me, and one saying that they took my recommendation and purchased it. I almost feel I owe them an apology for that. This is actually a collection of three short stories, the second featuring Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine and Leslie Meier and their heroines, Hannah Swenson, Jaine Austen and Lucy Stone. Unlike the first one, all three of these stories were read by the same narrator, which was a bit disappointing as it was a bit disjointing to hear the voices of Joanne Fluke's characters as other characters in the last two books. Plus, she tends to read the female characters with disdain. In Candy Cane Murder, which is book 9.5 in the Hannah Swenson Series, Hannah is: *forced to wear an outfit that makes her fret about her weight. *Discovers a murder victim at the event in which she is wearing said outfit. *Has half the town rally around her to investigate the murder because the cops are too incompetent to do this without her help. *Has Mike and Norman pining for her as if she's the only single woman in town. *Invents a new cookie that is her best one yet. *Hands out chocolate cookies to everyone in town as the cure-all for everything, because you know, endorphins. *Ruins everyone's fun by spouting off facts no one cares about because of her need to prove she's smarter than everyone else. *Figures out who the killer is just before the killer puts her life in jeopardy. *Manages to survive. So really, nothing new to see here, other than this was the story that introduces Andrea's whippersnapper cookies which she makes in pretty much every other book following this one - and which Hannah judges very harshly before trying them because Andrea is apparently completely incompetent at everything but selling real estate. I give this one 1-star. I thought about jumping over the second book, Laura Levine's "The Danger of Candy Canes" and listening to it last. I wish I had, as it was (as with last time) definitely the best of the three. Number 6.5 in the series, advertising writer and part-time freelance P.I. Jaine Austen gets a call from one of her ad clients - a roofer who is suspected of murdering one of his clients, who fell off his newly repaired roof due to loose shingles. Knowing he didn't do it, Jaine sets out to find out who did (and in a refreshing change of pace, she actually tries to work with the police rather than thinking she is above them). While this is only the second book in this series I have listened to, I love this character. I love her cat, Prozac. I am very disappointed my library doesn't carry this series in audiobook as I would be all over it if they did (I'll just have to read them instead). Jaine is quirky, makes no apologies for who she is and is just so much fun and easy to relate to. She's someone I could be friends with. The mystery took a few twists and turns including a couple of surprises at the end. I give this one 3.5 stars. Finishing off this book was "Candy Canes of Christmas Past," by Leslie Meier. I didn't like the story in "The Gingerbread Cookie Murder," but I was determined to give this series a second chance. Apparently, this short story is #13.5 in the series, and while it was better than the first one I listened to, I just find Lucy Stone so utterly unlikeable as a main character! She's just so whiny and needy. For a grown woman with children, she sure acts like a spoiled child. This one starts with the family getting together for Christmas in present day and then goes back to 1983 when the sherry-drinking Lucy is pregnant with her second child(!!), and her husband is working hard to restore the farmhouse in tiny town Maine they gave up their fancy NYC life to move into (along with a few others, all who apparently read the same magazine article and uprooted their lives). Quiet frankly, it sounded like the house should have been condemned. Pouting over something, Lucy ends up meeting the local librarian and after gifting her with a glass candy cane learns her mother died with the same candy cane shattered around her - a death the librarian always thought her father was responsible for. With nothing better to do, Lucy sets out to solve the mystery alongside the librarian. (At least the librarian was on board, unlike the last one in which Lucy was asked repeatedly to butt out and mind her own business but just couldn't do that due to some unnatural obsession with a kid she'd only met once before. That right there made this one better). The story itself of trying to solve a 50 year old mystery wasn't bad. I probably would have really enjoyed it if Lucy wasn't so annoying. I'm guessing this is what lead her to becoming a part-time sleuth, but to be honest, I really don't care.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    I loved these cozy mysteries! Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke I always love the Hannah mysteries plus all of the recipes in the series too! Hannah had found herself in a conondrum. She is dressed like an elf when she stumbles upon Santa dead in the snow so she uses her clues to find out who killed him. She works with her family and friends to find out who killed him! It was a cute story! The Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine Lets just say I love her cats name lol I wish i had been clever en I loved these cozy mysteries! Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke I always love the Hannah mysteries plus all of the recipes in the series too! Hannah had found herself in a conondrum. She is dressed like an elf when she stumbles upon Santa dead in the snow so she uses her clues to find out who killed him. She works with her family and friends to find out who killed him! It was a cute story! The Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine Lets just say I love her cats name lol I wish i had been clever enough to name my cat Prozak! HA! Bit Jaine Austen finds herself helping solve a murder of a wealthy man falling off his roof and she finds herself getting involved with an organization that helps youth with out mothers. While volunteering with this organization she works hard to get into touch with her teen Angel and she works hard uncovering clues to find out who killed the wealthy man and she got to enjoy her Christmas! Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier This story brought tears to my eyes but i loved it! The realness of the whole scenario and it was amazing! When Lucy and her husband were barely starting a family and they were working on rennovating thier new house and everything. Lucy is making friends in town and is working on trying to solve a cold case in town when they find out the true meaning of christmas and she solves the mystery with a christmas present!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Bundling three short stories by three cozy authors, featuring each of their series characters celebrating Christmas is a nice idea but bundling stories released in 2007 for 2018 is a bit of a stretch. My favorite is Leslie Meier's Lucy Stone in Candy Canes of Christmas Past. It starts with grandson Patrick's first Christmas the flashes back to Dec 1983 and Lucy & Bill & Toby's first Christmas in Tinkers Cove. Heartwarming, charming. My second favorite is toss up between an old character I got tire Bundling three short stories by three cozy authors, featuring each of their series characters celebrating Christmas is a nice idea but bundling stories released in 2007 for 2018 is a bit of a stretch. My favorite is Leslie Meier's Lucy Stone in Candy Canes of Christmas Past. It starts with grandson Patrick's first Christmas the flashes back to Dec 1983 and Lucy & Bill & Toby's first Christmas in Tinkers Cove. Heartwarming, charming. My second favorite is toss up between an old character I got tired of, Hannah Swensen in Candy Cane Murder, and a new to me character I never bothered to follow, Janie Autsen in The Dangers of Candy Canes. Both were well written if you like those characters. Unfortunately the latter never appealed to me and still doesn't while the former went too long in deciding whether to marry Mike or Norman. There were recipes in the books to the level in Fluke's that it was more recipe than story. A nice Christmas re-read that I had expected would be new reads. At least it was inexpensive!

  27. 5 out of 5

    ☆ Rebecca ☆

    I was excited to read this book, but the first story of the three presented, the on written by Fluke, fell short for me. The writing was amateurish and the plot, lacking. The dialogue seemed forced and awkward. Perhaps if I started reading from the beginning of the series, I would have more appreciation, but alas this is my first and likely last story by Joanne Fluke. I had intended to read "The Sugar Cookie Murder," but I expect much of the same and will have to pass. I don't believe I'll read I was excited to read this book, but the first story of the three presented, the on written by Fluke, fell short for me. The writing was amateurish and the plot, lacking. The dialogue seemed forced and awkward. Perhaps if I started reading from the beginning of the series, I would have more appreciation, but alas this is my first and likely last story by Joanne Fluke. I had intended to read "The Sugar Cookie Murder," but I expect much of the same and will have to pass. I don't believe I'll read the last 2 short stories in this book either as I have much more promising prospects waiting. I will say, though, that the idea of having Hannah's recipes inserted into the story is intriguing and I would like to try one! Hopefully they don't fall as flat as the story did.

  28. 5 out of 5

    chels marieantoinette

    I only bought this book for the Leslie Meier portion, which was great, but the other two stories were definitely not for me. I really can’t get over Hannah’s indecision between Mike and Norman. It’s too odd for me to this is book 9.5 in the Hannah Swenson series and she still hasn’t chosen one of them. I also really wasn’t a huge fan of Jaine’s descriptions of her cat, Prozac (horrible name, btw). As a cat lover, I felt like her cat just sounded terrible and gave all cats a bad name. I’ll stick I only bought this book for the Leslie Meier portion, which was great, but the other two stories were definitely not for me. I really can’t get over Hannah’s indecision between Mike and Norman. It’s too odd for me to this is book 9.5 in the Hannah Swenson series and she still hasn’t chosen one of them. I also really wasn’t a huge fan of Jaine’s descriptions of her cat, Prozac (horrible name, btw). As a cat lover, I felt like her cat just sounded terrible and gave all cats a bad name. I’ll stick with my Lucy Stone mysteries. If you like her, this book is worth it for the last third of the pages.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    I liked it okay but nothing to rave about. Short novella set in between the regular series. Much less of the Mike-Norman-Hannah triangle, or rather much more subtle than in some of the other books, thus less annoying to me. I am really growing to hate that part of this series. Andrea is, as usual, lovably quirky, Tracey is adorable and Moishe definitely had too small a role since he's my favorite! I wish she'd expand Michelle’s character more. I feel like she's very overshadowed by her two siste I liked it okay but nothing to rave about. Short novella set in between the regular series. Much less of the Mike-Norman-Hannah triangle, or rather much more subtle than in some of the other books, thus less annoying to me. I am really growing to hate that part of this series. Andrea is, as usual, lovably quirky, Tracey is adorable and Moishe definitely had too small a role since he's my favorite! I wish she'd expand Michelle’s character more. I feel like she's very overshadowed by her two sisters. All in all an okay quick holiday read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Hope

    This is a compilation of 3 novellas. Novella 1 - 2 stars, and I went that high b/c the lemon cookie recipe is actually pretty tasty. Novella 2 - 1 star. There was nothing to like about the main character, her whining, or her actions Novella 3 - 3 stars... until the ending. It reads like a Hallmark movie (which was nice for a festive holiday story), but then all of a sudden the author just crashes into the ending. This wasn't a mystery solved but rather truncating any further action in the story. This is a compilation of 3 novellas. Novella 1 - 2 stars, and I went that high b/c the lemon cookie recipe is actually pretty tasty. Novella 2 - 1 star. There was nothing to like about the main character, her whining, or her actions Novella 3 - 3 stars... until the ending. It reads like a Hallmark movie (which was nice for a festive holiday story), but then all of a sudden the author just crashes into the ending. This wasn't a mystery solved but rather truncating any further action in the story.

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