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Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen #4)

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3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,405 Ratings  ·  435 Reviews
Hannah Swensen thought she'd finally discovered the recipe for a perfect life. But her sometime beau Norman Rhodes tosses a surprise ingredient into the mix when he phones to tell her he's just bought a house from local drugstore clerk Rhonda Scharf - which he plans to tear down in order to build the dream home he and Hannah designed.

It seems the plan has been cooking for
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2003)
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha ChristieThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
29th out of 1,285 books — 1,409 voters
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeCatering to Nobody by Diane Mott DavidsonA Dead Sister by Anna Celeste BurkeFudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne FlukeEvertaster by Adam Glendon Sidwell
Mysteries in Good Taste!
8th out of 336 books — 275 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Donna
Apr 22, 2008 Donna rated it really liked it
This series is really growing on me. I like how the characters are evolving. I am adjusting to the fact that the reader always knows who the "bad" guy is before the main character. This is just pure escapist reading--no literary quality whatsoever.
Mandy Blair Crider
Ok I gave this 4 stars because I knew who the killer was halfway through. Otherwise it was a great Hannah Swensen book. I just hope Hannah picks a man soon because I'm getting exhausted trying to pick for her!
Moriah
Oct 02, 2015 Moriah rated it really liked it
With the fourth of July rolling around, the town is buzzing around getting everything prepared.

When Hannah's sometimes beau, calls informing her that he bought a house from the local drugstore clerk Rhonda Scarf, to tear down and build their dream house (the one they won from the contest last book), to say Hannah was surprised is an understatement. The whole town expects an engagement announcement and for her to move into the house, which Hannah spends most of the book denying to those who ask
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Holly
Sep 04, 2009 Holly rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-books, mystery
This is a really quick read. The plot is o.k. It is pretty easy to guess who the murderer is. I have a problem with the 2 boyfriends of the heroine Hannah. They are friends. What's up with that? Neither guy is jealous of the other. Not normal. And another thing. One of her boyfriends is a dentist living at home with his mother?? Not a manly man in my book. And he violates HIPAA! You can't go around telling people who you treat and what you are treating them for at a party. And I am pretty sure t ...more
Ann
(view spoiler), and she holds hands with two guys at the same time. These books are the WORST, but I ate a ton of cookies while reading it, so that's worth a couple of extras stars.
Cherry
Mar 24, 2015 Cherry rated it liked it
Hannah has trouble with her cat in this one. He steals her expensive pillow. I won't spoil the surprise of whether this problem is solved.

Hannah's trousers are too tight, so she goes on a diet. I nearly cried. I have a salad every day as part of my lunch, and it's the most delicious part. I felt so sorry for Hannah, who thinks there is no middle ground between dieting and... eating. (Would that be the opposite?) Why not eat healthy food? She can 'solve' 18 or so murders, but she can't work that
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Chaitra
I'm getting bored of Hannah's problem solving already. I mean, it's been the same pattern in the four books of this series - Hannah/someone close to her finds a body, the dead body has been doing something with one of Hannah's amazing confections, everyone wants her to solve the murder and she wants it too, but Mike has to be satisfied first because he gets grouchy (and well he should - what is HE doing when Hannah solves the murders, I'd dearly like to know), and then she brings out her steno-p ...more
Martha Davis
Sep 20, 2010 Martha Davis rated it it was ok
My husband jokes about the various mystery series I read and the professions of the solvers of said mysteries. He loves to pick some far fetched job or hobby and then have them solve the crime. Topiary sculptor or glass blower, teapot collector or professional sock darner you name it they solve crimes. I myself am perfectly okay with this idea but then, I do have a remarkable ability to really suspend disbelief. So it all works out.

I'm just fine with Hannah Swensen being a baker who just happens
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Karol
Mar 03, 2009 Karol rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca
Jun 19, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
One of the earlier Hannah Swensen mysteries, with fewer recipes than the later ones, but just as enjoyable. The only odd thing is that because Fluke does a good job of mentioning people in Lake Eden from book to book, even if they are not main characters, when you listen to the earlier ones you can hear people mentioned and think, "She's getting murdered in a couple of books, and he's going to murder someone a couple of books after that," etc. I also find it hard to buy that a mother still think ...more
Annalissa
Jul 12, 2015 Annalissa rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite in the series! I was almost 100% sure who did it till things didn't add up then BAMB the ended hit and I was left shocked. I wish there had been a bit more of an explanation as to what exactly happened or why or how they figured things out, but overall a great light read(:
Joy
May 27, 2009 Joy marked it as to-read
I love lemon meringue pie and this book has no calories!
Lorraine
It's summer in Lake Eden and Hannah's Cookie Jar cafe has expanded to selling pies on Fridays. Norman has bought property out by the lake which he wants to demolish and rebuild with their "dream house". The seller, Rhoda Scharf, had inherited the house from her aunt, and is leaving for a long vacation in Rome. Since she doesn't want to keep anything in the house, Hannah, Norman and Delores, Hannah's mother, go out to the house as there are some antiques that Delores wants for her store "Grandma' ...more
Megan
Nov 10, 2011 Megan rated it liked it
The 4th Hannah Swensen has a lot to offer but for the most part I am starting to understand why some of Flukes constant readers reviews sound more like long suffering than adoration. The book is well written and there is definitely some character development, in this book we really begin to understand what it is Mike and Norman have to offer Hannah. The problem is it seems Hannah has an emotional connection with Norman and a physical one with Mike, and it becomes clear to me who is the better ch ...more
Ana T.
Jan 30, 2008 Ana T. rated it really liked it
really liked this Hannah Swensen mystery. In this story Norman Rhodes tells Hannah he just bought a property to tear down and build their dream house, however there's no mention of making theirs a permanent relationship. During their visit to the property they find a dead body and one of Hannah's pies on the table. The house's last owner was murdered...

Knowing Hannah, and since everyone is pulling for her to investigate, she just can't resist some amateur sleuthing to find the culprit. In the m
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Barb
Mar 23, 2011 Barb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hannah Swensen and Lisa Herman own the Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Business is very good in the resort town and the two stay quite busy baking cookies and selling coffee. Lake Eden is a small town and one can stay pretty up-to-date just by sitting in the coffee shop of the Cookie Jar. Norman, one of Hannah’s two sometimes boyfriends, picked the Cookie Jar as the place to sign the contract for the house he just bought. According to Norman, he bought the Voelker place from Rhonda Scharf in ...more
Donna
Apr 06, 2013 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2013
This series is slowly getting better. The writing is still a little rough in some spots and overly inclusive in others, but the flow of the plot has improved. Also, I've yet to fully engage with Hannah even though she is the main character. I find her too bossy and cool in her interactions with others. How she has managed to have two men attracted to her is, I think, the real mystery in these books. However, I find myself interested in the lives of the other characters and the dynamics within th ...more
Heidi
Dec 03, 2008 Heidi rated it liked it
I think this was the cleanest of the series so far. Fluke did well because I had my guesses of who the murderer was, but she kept adding things to the character that gave me doubts to my suspicions. The plot for this story was not as intriguing to me as the previous 3. Yet somehow I read it faster than the others. Still light and fun, and nice to finally get back to the series and to characters I have been getting to know. I think I'm pretty much set though: ditch Mike and take Norman! Easy choi ...more
Kelle
Jul 14, 2010 Kelle rated it it was ok
Now this was a more traditional mystery. I must say the recipes made me want to read the book (they all sound yummy), but I wasn't a fan of the book. For one thing, I think I"m starting to get sick of love triangles- especially when they are both perfectly good guys. Perhaps it's just because I'm jealous no two people have ever fought over me, but about half-way through, I was tired of hearing about the romance that was going nowhere. I was also jealous all she did was make cookies all day. I so ...more
Tabby Kat
A lemon meringue pie, two pieces cut and only one eaten (an important clue or an insult to her cooking?), an empty bottle of wine and only one of two take-out dinners consumed-these bits of evidence set Hannah Swenson, amateur sleuth and owner of the Cookie Jar Bakery in Lake Eden, Minn., on the trail of a murderer in Fluke's fourth fun, frothy cozy (after 2002's Blueberry Muffin Murder). Who could have killed voluptuous Rhonda Scharf, whose half-buried body Hannah's interfering mother discovers ...more
Debbie
Jun 29, 2012 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
#4 in Hannah Swenson "cozy mystery with recipes"

Quick, easy read that is definitely not a great literary work by any stretch of the imagination, but a great way to escape thinking about what you are doing while on an elliptical machine, sweating and huffing! :) I suppose I could just elliptical while reading a cookbook - but that's no fun!

I enjoy that the books are set in my home state of Minnesota but this was probably my least favorite in the series, so far. Unrealistic number of murders in s
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Rachel Cotterill
Although this was a fun, fast read in the style of the series, I was a little disappointed. There has always been a balance between the murder mystery plot and Hannah's personal sub-plots, but in this book I felt that only a small part of the story actually dealt with the investigation. Everyone mills around with no ideas to pursue for quite a while, and when Hannah eventually finds a clue, it feels more like luck than anything. Meanwhile, Hannah is fretting about her two competing boyfriends, w ...more
Loraine
Feb 20, 2013 Loraine rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Once again, Joanne Fluke has written a delightful cozy mystery. The assortment of characters that live in small town Lake Eden Minnesota continue to liven up the storyline. Hannah Swenson finds herself and her friends wrapped up in another murder mystery while at the same time two of the town's eligible bachelors are still pursuing Hannah. Hannah's shop, The Cookie Jar, is front and center as the happening place and the author this time includes some yummy sounding cookie recipes one of which is ...more
Kim
Jun 23, 2009 Kim rated it liked it
I really enjoy series mysteries so these books are right up my alley. The mystery was enjoyable but I did kind of get a feel for the murder before it was solved. My only real problem with this series is that the 2 guys that are interested in Hannah, the main character, have become friends. For some reason I am having trouble with this. I don't really think its realistic but then again how realistic is it that a baker can be an amatuer slueth? Still, I love these books and will be reading the nex ...more
Katie
Aug 06, 2015 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I liked this one, too. For the first time, I was able to read one of these books without baking the cover dessert. (lemon meringue is yucky, so no temptation there) However, we did try the Orange Snaps recipe from this book, and it is just weird. Definitely not worth making again, and to be truthful, I'm not sure its worth cooking up the last half of the batch that's still in my fridge (and thats saying something, because my kids love all things "orange" - both natural orange, and artificial ora ...more
Dawn
Apr 20, 2015 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, series, mystery
Another fun installment with Hannah, Norman, Mike, and the gang. I really enjoy this series. It's lighthearted (for a murder mystery) and the plot always pulls me along. It's definitely brain candy, but the characters are so familiar at this point that I can easily overlook the lack of "challenge" and simply enjoy the book for what it is. I had the motive figured out pretty quickly. I just needed the "who." I started to suspect a couple of chapters before it was revealed. Overall, a satisfying r ...more
Stacey
Jan 22, 2015 Stacey rated it liked it
As I mentioned in my earlier review of "Blueberry Muffin Murder" readers shouldn't expect a deep involved mystery from Joanne Fluke. These books definitely run in the 'cozy' category. My 6th grade step-daughter reads and enjoys them, as well. In my opinion each of the four novels have gotten progressively more interesting. (I seem to read them each a little quicker than the previous volume as well!) This volume finds Hannah involved in the murder of one of the town's residents. She also finds ou ...more
Cornerofmadness
Jul 02, 2014 Cornerofmadness rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jodi
Apr 12, 2014 Jodi rated it really liked it
The 4th entry in the Hannah Swensen series has a more interesting murder mystery. I may have figured out whodunit pretty quickly but I couldn't figure out why or put all the pieces together until much later in the book. Norman is building his dream house on a piece of property he bought from Rhonda who is leaving to Rome almost immediately after she signs the papers only she doesn't leave. She's found dead in the basement of the home Norman was going to tear down. Everyone asks Hannah to investi ...more
Callie
Jul 11, 2009 Callie rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book just like all the others from this series. I knew who the murderer was pretty early on, but it took until the end of the book for me to figure out what the motive was, so the last few chapters were really interesting to me. I find it a little annoying and unrealistic that Hannah is dating two guys at a time and has been for awhile now and neither of them have said forget you. I don't know many guys who would be okay with that for long.
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The Women's Myste...: #4 Lemon Meringue Pie Murder 1 4 Aug 09, 2013 11:13PM  
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Like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke grew up in a small town in rural Minnesota where her neighbors were friendly, the winters were fierce, and the biggest scandal was the spotting of unidentified male undergarments on a young widow's clothesline. She insists that there really are 10,000 lakes and the mosquito is NOT the state bird.

While pursuing her writing career, Joanne has worked as: a public sch
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More about Joanne Fluke...

Other Books in the Series

Hannah Swensen (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #1)
  • Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #2)
  • Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swensen, #3)
  • Fudge Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #5)
  • Sugar Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #6)
  • Peach Cobbler Murder (Hannah Swensen, #7)
  • Cherry Cheesecake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #8)
  • Key Lime Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #9)
  • Carrot Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #10)
  • Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen, #11)

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“On the one hand, it was nice to have someone who was concerned about you. But on the other hand, you couldn’t ever feel truly independent. Marriage was a trade-off. You gave up some things and you gained others.” 0 likes
“Conversation over coffee tended to be candid and invited confidences.” 0 likes
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