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Carrot Cake Murder

(Hannah Swensen #10)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  10,406 ratings  ·  594 reviews
Between baking up a storm for The Cookie Jar and unraveling the mystery of her cat Moishe's recent strange behavior, Hannah Swensen has a lot on her plate. But she'll always make time for her business partner, Lisa, who's in the midst of preparing for a big family reunion. Everyone is delighted when Lisa's long-lost uncle makes a surprise appearance. No one has heard from ...more
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Published April 17th 2009 by Recorded Books, LLC (first published March 1st 2008)
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3.83  · 
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 ·  10,406 ratings  ·  594 reviews

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4 stars to Joanne Fluke's Carrot Cake Murder, the tenth book in the "Hannah Swensen" cozy murder mystery series, a series which was made into several fun TV movies called "Murder, She Baked" starring Alison Sweeney and Cameron Mathison. The series continues to delight readers, providing at least 15 to 20 recipes that sound delicious and look fairly easy to make. I recommend you give all three a try -- the book, the movie and the food!

As set up in the previous book, Hannah's protege and pa
☽¸¸.I am¸¸.•*¨ The ¸¸.•*¨*Phoenix¨*•♫♪ ☾
"And that means one of two things. Either being in shock doesn't affect my memory, or I'm being much too used to finding murder victims!"

It's time for barbecues and gatherings at Eden Lake, and summer air smells of late blossoms and hot dishes. Hannah Swensen is doing a great job in helping her partner and friend, Lisa, organizing her family reunion. Her relatives had just started wishing her long lost uncle, Gus, was there with them, when he makes a surprising appearance, riding a brand-new sh
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hannah Swensen is the owner of the Cookie Jar bakery. Hannah helps her co-partner, Lisa, cater the Beeseman-Herman family reunion. A long lost family member, Gus Klien, returns after more than twenty years absence. Gus portrays himself as wealth. He drives a Jaguar, sports a Rolex and wears a designer suit. It becomes evident not everyone is happy about his return. When Hannah finds Gus murdered in the pavilion, she starts investigating the homicide with the help of her family and friends.

This i
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
This series is consistent in being a quick, enjoyable, quirky, and fun read. This novel did not stray from those traits and was actually one of my favourites so far in the series.

This series and this novel especially, is one that can be read far after reading the previous novel. I wouldn't be surprised if the last Hannah Swensen novel I read was a year ago and I was able to quickly pick up where we left off as if no time passed at all. The characters are humorous and enjoyable, the town reminds
Jun 15, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really struggling with this. It's been several months since I've read any of this series, and coming back to it is making me realize how terrible the writing is. First, the characters are just far too goody-two-shoes and high-horse-like for me to stand any longer. If I met Hannah on the street, I would probably have to beat the daylights out of her. But beyond that, so much of the book, especially the dialogue is forced beyond anything I've seen. Dialoge to describe how you make a recipe wit ...more
Elle's Book Blog
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Another hit in the Hanna Swensen series- a highly enjoyable coz mystery that revolves around baked sweets and murder! Once again, Hannah is back on the case- trying to find a killer while juggling her culinary career and prospects of love. Some may say that Hanna is quite intuitive and I would agree! However, I wish she would do something about her two love interests. While the author and Hannah make it very clear that Hannah won’t jump into somet
Cozy Reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Me starting this book:
fuck this book
Me finishing this book:
this book sucks

I stumbled across these books in Barnes and Noble back and June and thought the premise sounded so ridiculous. "I'm going to read all of these because they're probably so terrible that they're hilarious." OH MY GOD I WAS SO WRONG. They're not hilarious, they're just so bad! The first one was, meh, whatever... BUT I'M 10 BOOKS IN NOW and oh my god, JoAnne what the hell are you even doing? These books are all. the. same. Mix it up, woman! Stop using t
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Carrot Cake Murder, the 10th book in the Hannah Swensen series.
Although there were a couple of books that were a bit of letdown for me, I can say this is a hit, a winner. This installment grabbed me right off the bat and never let me go until the end. I gobbled down this delicious, humorous cozy mystery in two days. There was never a dull moment in my opinion.

This series always kick off with a humorous touch. That said though, there were some redundant descriptions in the last couple of books
As is typical in the Hannah Swensen world - Hannah is able to "save" the day while getting little to no sleep, somehow doing no work for the cookie shop, and grammatically correcting everyone around her. I read a review for the last book I read in this series and someone mentioned the annoyance they had that Hannah's two sisters were supposed to be gorgeous and stylish, but then they end up wearing the weirdest (non stylish) clothes. I noticed two times in this book people were wearing pantsuits ...more
Jun 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm wavering between giving this book one or two stars. I thought the first few books were cute but the series has gotten progressively more lame. So many plot points, big and small, are just unbelievable. It is 2008 and the owner of the gas station has to call in credit card numbers? But not on a Sunday of course so she'll jot down a card number to call in Mon? It is 2008 and Lisa seriously has no idea what a s'more is, so Hannah has to explain it to her? Norman, the local dentist, just hops a ...more
Andrea Guy
I'm in love with this series. It doesn't matter which book, they are really fun reads, and if you like cooking, there are some great recipes included.

Carrot Cake Murder is book 10 in the series. I'd say of the three that I've read, this one was definitely one of the best.

Here are the reasons this book is so great.

1. Not a lot with the love triangle in this one. Its hard to deal with the whole Hannah, Mike and Norman thing, and in this book it wasn't such a huge issue.

2. The mystery was really in
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: delicious, 2011
Fluke has perfected her gimmick with this series: predictable murder, tasty recipes. She also recycles many descriptions and dialogue from previous books in the series, as well as drop trivia in the most random places. Hockey puck regulations? Major Native American tribes?

And yet, as frustrating and mundane as it may seem, there's something to be said for how fresh-apple-pie everything is, how the biggest drama in this series and fictional landscape is having a nagging mother and the interest of
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
#10 in the Hannah Swensen "cozy murder mystery series with recipes"

This one takes place at a family reunion for 150+ people, and somehow half of the townsfolk get invited to attend, also.

Again, a light fluff read with recipes inserted distractingly at the end of chapters, rather than the end of the book. The love triangle continues to move nowhere. At least 50 pages of each book so far are wasted with reintroducing characters; Hannah's cat antics; repeated descriptions of her early morning wake
It's a cop-out, but the Hannah Swensen mysteries really only need a lump review:

For some reason, I keep reading these when they show up at the library. I don't know why. Do I enjoy them? Sure. They're trashy murder mysteries that don't always make sense. I can huff at them in irritation when the main character does, or thinks, something especially stupid. They involve recipes.

Actually, the books are formulaic enough that they themselves were written by recipe.

Yes, I will keep reading them, assum
Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)
3 stars. I don't know what it is about these books that keep me coming back. It's definitely not the characters but here I am, 10 books in and I don't know why. I guess because they're such easy, quick reads and there's just something about them that is very addictive even though they are very predictable and the characters aren't that great. Though I will say Hannah gets a bit more tolerable with each book because she was so insufferable in book one so that's good. The love triangle is tired th ...more
Quick read. The biggest puzzle for me, having come into the series at book 10, after "huh?" was who are these people? They don't have current computer or phone skills, they have been living in some rural backwater which seems like its intended to be reminiscent of the original Eden, for too many generations for anyone to remember. They all know each other's back stories, but the reader doesn't. They laugh at things that I could not appreciate as funny. They know acronyms for all the Native Ameri ...more
Cynthia McCloud
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A piece of cake to read. Har har har. I've read almost every book in this series. The plots are formulaic but it's good when you don't have to think and in my jobs I read for work, not pleasure, too much of the time. I read culinary mysteries for the recipes. I get just as tired of goody-goody Hannah trying to choose between two boyfriends in this one -- oh grow up -- as I weary of Goldy in Diane Mott Davidson's series reminding everyone what a horrible abusive ex-husband she has -- you have a b ...more
Abby Russo
Why have I read ten of these though?
Angela (Kentuckybooklover) Brocato-Skaggs
First, I want to start off that if you read some previous reviews before starting the book you will probably be turned off from this series. Second, even if I do not like a book I am not going to bash the author and other reviewers for liking a book I did not. Reading is to be fun and everyone likes different styles and wants to get something different from what they read. Let's be nice to the author's who work hard at what they craft and the readers who enjoy the results. Now, onto my review.

Old family secrets are boiling just underneath the surface when a long-lost relative shows up at the Beeseman-Herman family reunion in Lake Eden, MN. Gus Herman reappears after 25 years, showing off very expensive clothes and jewelry and telling tales of his huge success. Obviously emotions are still raw, even decades after his disappearance in the middle of the night with no explanation. Hannah Swensen's business partner, Lisa, is a member of the family so The Cookie Jar is catering the event. ...more
Mar 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anytime I look at my Joanne Fluke collection on my shelf I feel as if I have slices of dessert stacked one next to the other, these delicious morsels of sweet goodness are a fun getaway, as a nice book should be if you ask me! This is a cozy mystery with recipes and the theme of the story is carrot cake, sweet and chewy with a salty cream cheese frosting, smiles and tears if you will. There are some happy developments and there is death of course, as usual Hannah finds herself in the middle of e ...more
I have come to the conclusion that Joanna Fluke writes as if her reads are dumb. Not illiterate, but dumb. She explains things that don't need explaining and she justifies events and encounters like we would doubt her if she didn't. With half of the above taken out, this book would go from 334 pages to probably 250 pages. In other words she uses too much fluff!

The recipes weren't so great in the book either. I was waiting for the red velvet cookie recipe and never got that.

I am still giving it t
Sara D
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this. The recipes look wonderful. However there was too much meaningless detail and not red herring kind of detail but trivial detail. A paragraph when Hannah wakes up about the size and colors of hockey pucks, that honest to goodness has nothing to do with anything. There was so much of this and so little of the mystery that I started to get supremely annoyed and started skimming huge sections just to try to find the mystery bits of the plot. I like cozy mysteries and I've hear ...more
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like a delicious piece of Carrot Cake this was a great mystery! Uncle Gus shows up out of the blue at the family reunion that Lisa and Herb have put together. Hannah and the cast of characters had me still laughing and enjoying the plot. But things that got to me about the book (that did not cause me to change my rating) were the fact that Herb seemed to have no real emotional response to his uncle getting killed nor really did his sisters. Yes he disappeared for 30 years but to have a family me ...more
Rachel Aranda
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I really liked this book but was disappointed with it at the same time. The mystery was too easy to solve and it made me wonder why it took Hannah so long to figure out who the killer was. The writing to build up the reveal of the murderer was nicely done. This book was definitely better than the last one but it's not up to what I expect from Joanne Fluke.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Here's the thing with the Hannah Swensen series, I love to read them when I am super stressed or my anxiety is just really high. They're like that one comfortable blanket you have to have when you aren't feeling good or a hot bath when you just need to clear your head. The stories can be predictable. Hannah's aversion to technology and constant need to correct people's grammar can get annoying. This whole triangle between her, Mike, and Norman is honestly getting tired. But that is a whole other ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosy-mysteries
Hannah owns a cookie shop in Lake Eden. Two of Lake Eden's prominent families decide to have a family reunion. By prominent, I mean highly prolific making the family reunion soar higher than 150 people.

Hannah is requested to make cookies for each an every day of the reunion. There were some pretty neat sounding cookies in this one.

The prodigal son (or should I say brother) comes home after being gone for 30 years and has made it big, with his Jaguar, 500 dollar suit, rolex and diamond pinky ri
This mystery was one of those that has ties to the past-- I like those. It takes place at Hannah's partner's family reunion. I like that these mysteries take place in a small town where every one knows everyone and they have all lived there for their whole lives so when motives for murder date back 40 or more years- lots of people have different perspectives about the same people and events.
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The Women's Myste...: #11 Carrot Cake Murder 1 6 Aug 09, 2013 11:22PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Hannah Swensen (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #1)
  • Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #2)
  • Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swensen, #3)
  • Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #4)
  • 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)
  • Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen, #11)
“three men can keep a secret, but only if two of them are dead.” 1 likes
“Mike gave her a warm smile. “Since you found the body, you don’t need copies of the crime scene photos, do you?” Hannah’s mouth dropped open. What was Mike talking about? “I can call you with the highlights from the autopsy report when it comes in.” “That would be nice,” Hannah said carefully, still not sure why Mike was being so cooperative. She had a sneaking suspicion she’d be better off not asking, but she couldn’t resist. “Why are you volunteering all this information?” “Because you’re going to get it anyway, one way or the other. There’s no sense in trying to keep you from sticking your nose in my case, is there?” Hannah thought about that for a moment, and then she shook her head. “No. Lisa” 1 likes
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