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Coconut Layer Cake Murder

(Hannah Swensen #25)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  8,784 ratings  ·  793 reviews
Bakery owner Hannah Swensen is leaving Lake Eden to help a friend in sunny California. But an unexpected phone call swiftly brings her back to a cold Minnesota winter . . . and murder . . .
When Hannah learns that her sister Michelle’s boyfriend, Detective Lonnie Murphy, is the prime suspect in a murder case, she goes straight from a movie studio sound stage to the Los Ang
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Kensington
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Popular Answered Questions
Brook Fuller She marries Ross in Wedding Cake Murder book 19. I recommend just moving forward I think the detour Double Fudge brownie book 18 until Chocolate Cream…moreShe marries Ross in Wedding Cake Murder book 19. I recommend just moving forward I think the detour Double Fudge brownie book 18 until Chocolate Cream Pie book 24 are odd.
Hannah, Lynne and Ross were college friends. Lynne and Ross were dating in college.
Mary Ellen Wagner Mike was married before he moved to Lake Eden. They mentioned it in one of the very early books, but it was never a huge plot point.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,784 ratings  ·  793 reviews

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Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Phew lawd help me. So many highlights to mention here in my review. So many WTF things!

Hannah is back with her special brand of airhead logic. This time around Lonnie is accused of murder and since all the detectives in Lake Eden are either busy on other cases or related to the accused (WTF Lake Eden!) Hannah is called back from a vacation to do the detective work on a suspected homicide. Yes, the police have asked Hannah to do her detective work on this case alone. Reminder: Hannah is not a cop
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Coconut Later Cake Murder is the 25th book in the Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series by Joanne Fluke. I've read all the books in order, and when the latest showed up at both my library (I got my lending request in the day it was made available) and on NetGalley, I had to grab a copy. While the series is much lighter and getting a little too formulaic, I adore the characters. It always feels like 'going home' when I spend an hour or two with Hannah and the Lake Eden residents. And when I say an h ...more
WARNING: long and rambling review below.

Why do I keep on with a series I’m obviously not enjoying? The answer to this very good question is, like a few other long- runners, this one started out pretty good, only to drop off the quality cliff at the four to ten book mark.

I keep reading with the faint hope that things will improve because, as is the case with said long-runners, the author has proven that he or she can tell a good story.

In Fluke’s case, there were half a handful of later install
Feb 27, 2020 added it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
2 stars
This series just isn’t what it used to be. (view spoiler)
I think I’m done with this series which is a shame but I don’t enjoy it anymore, it just seems like reading someone’s food diary, and the recipes to go with it.
beachbum bookworm
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I was so happy when I learned I was returning to Lake Eden! It is one of my favorite places to visit! No sooner then I got there Doc is prescribing a trip for Hannah (get it...prescribing...because he is a doctor). Per Doc's orders we were off to California with Hannah’s mom Delores. Hannah’s college roommate and friend Lynne is moving to Lake Eden after her divorce, and we are going to help her with the transition. However Hannah’s trip (and mine) is cut short when her sister Michelle calls her ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading the Hannah Swensen series ever since the first book, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, came out in 2000! I love the setting, the characters, the recipes, and the light mysteries. Each time a new book comes out, I nab it as quickly as possible and binge read it to find out what's going on in good ol' Lake Eden, MN.

Coconut Layer Cake Murder is the 25th book in the series. I happily curled up with this newest book, a cup of tea and my chihuahua for a long night of happy reading. Th
Dawn Michelle
There is so much that is problematic about this book - while I am glad to be over the whole Ross debacle [mostly anyway], it is like Hannah has seriously lost her mind and is acting like she is 12. WHO acts that way on an airplane? WHO acts like they've never heard of LA or that its a huge city? WHO says thank you while thinking in their mind that they are doing it just as they were taught [WTHECK was that about? It happens several times in the book and I just ended up shaking my head as my eyes ...more
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this 25th book in the Hannah Swenson series, Hannah is still reeling from events in previous books, and Doc Knight recommends a trip to de-stress. So she and Dolores head off to sunny LA. But of course, Hannah is soon needed back in Lake Eden to solve a crime.

This book had a slightly different feel from others in the series—large sections from Lonnie’s pov, the part at the beginning in LA that was fun at first but then didn’t seem to connect to the rest of the narrative. I found myself getti
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would like to read a spin off series about the Lake Eden Police Department. They are too busy and incompetent to solve the startlingly high number of murder cases in their small town, so they rely on a baker to put herself in harm's way on the regular. Every single denizen of Lake Eden, weary of their absent police force, knows this. Complicit, Hannah misses almost everything of importance and waits until the eleventh hour to question the most obvious of suspects because she is busy cooking mu ...more
Lauren Marlene Sanders-Jones
Mar 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
I keep returning to Lake Eden hoping the storylines will be fresh again. Alas, that hope is not to be realized in this latest installment. I really like these characters, though they are pretty two-dimensional, but the storylines get less interesting with each new book. Although these stories are clearly wrappers for the recipes, I don't want to give up. With each lackluster book, I am torn between reading the next book and giving up on the series altogether.

Come back to your best, Ms. Fluke!
Kate Baxter
3.5 / 5 stars

This 25th installment in author Joanne Fluke's, "Hannah Swensen Mystery" series is a sweet addition to the mix. Although, one might think of it more as a baking cookbook. Roughly a third of the book is mystery, a third - a return to Eden, Minnesota to reminisce and a third for the myriad of baking recipes, replete with characters' comments within each recipe.

Don't get me wrong, the recipes appear to be creative and instructive. In fact, I'll be testing out the Minestrone soup recip
 Readaholic Jenn
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Another great book in the Hannah Swensen series. But why, oh why, do I get the feeling that the series might be ending soon?
Coconut Layer Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke is the twenty-fifth A Hannah Swensen Mystery. I have read all the books in this series and there is a marked difference between Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and Coconut Layer Cake Murder. The mystery is not the primary focus of the story. It seems that most of the book is devoted to cooking, baking, eating, and chatting. More than half of the book is devoted to recipes. I have stuck with the series this long, and I am not about to quit. After the cliffha ...more
Mark Baker
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2020
Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar, has been ordered to rest – it came straight from Doc himself. But a trip to California to help a friend pack up is cut short when Hannah’s younger sister, Michelle, calls in a panic. There’s been another murder in Lake Eden, and Michelle’s boyfriend, Lonnie, is the prime suspect. After a night out with friends, Lonnie took a drunk woman home only to pass out on her couch. The next morning, he wakes up to find her dead in her bedroom with no memory of anyt ...more
Megan O'Neill
Mar 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
DNF’ed at page 22, because I’ve already rolled my eyes so many times that I’ve lost count, and I just can’t handle the banal dialogue anymore. There are too many other things I actually WANT to read to waste the time on this one.

A girl can only hate-read so many garbage-quality things before the novelty wears off and good sense reigns.

Jo Fluke, honestly, what HAPPENED?
Jul 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: usa, mystery
This is my second book by Joanne Fluke. She does build up a nice, comfortable community feeling with lots of people having fun, gossiping, and eating cookies. But they all also seem to be blithering idiots. The murder plot also seems to be a little over the top.

Going in, Hannah is being told left, right, and centre, what to do by her family. Then she docilely says she will ask her mother for advice on what to wear. And then she comes up with this gem Hannah remembered what her mother had taught
Mar 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
Last time I read a book from this series. It has deteriorated into a glorified recipe book with a passing reference to a murder mystery. And Norman is no more than Hannah’s “lap dog”, especially since he is never in his dentist office.
This is the second Hannah Swenson mystery I have read. I enjoyed them both & would have given this one 4 stars except for a few things. First of all, I haven’t been reading them in order so some of this was confusing to me (which isn’t the author’s fault, actually)! The other thing was she referred to the flight attendant as a stewardess and I thought that was outdated since they have not been called stewardesses in many years.

But the recipes that are included are mouthwatering even though I won
Lisa Leone-campbell
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is Book 25 of the Hannah Swensen Mystery series. For those who have not read all the books, especially the last two or three, please note there are spoilers in this review. Proceed with caution!

This story finds Hannah, a recent widow, totally exhausted and drained from current events. Trying to put her life back together she and her mom fly to Los Angeles so she can assist a friend who is moving to Lake Eden.

While soaking up the sun she receives a frantic call from her sister. Michelle’s bo
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Coconut Layer Cake Murder is the 25th installment in the Hannah Swensen series set in Lake Eden, MN and featuring Cookie Jar owner, Hannah, her family and friends. Hannah has accompanied her mother to California to help their friend Lynne pack up her house and move back to Lake Eden. The house is almost buttoned up when Hannah gets a call from sister Michelle that her boyfriend Lonnie is the prime suspect in a murder.

Hannah's brother in law and chief of police, Bill has taken both Mike an Lonnie
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Can't believe it's the 25th book in the series!! A comfortable return to Lake Eden, Minnesota with characters so comfortable that they feel like my cozy family after so many years. While it was interesting to see the storyline focus on Lonnie, the mystery was lacking. The romantic triangle continues but one character doesn't seem as focused on Hannah as he did in previous books. The pages were mainly recipes and for me, way too many of Hannah's hints and suggestions. They seem like page fillers ...more
Patty Smith
Many thanks to NetGalley, Kensington Books, and Joanne Fluke for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of Coconut Layer Cake Murder. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy.

Hannah is back with a whole new slew of recipes that she dreams up on the spot. But this time the town really needs her help. Instead of her “meddling”, they need her to solve the murder. There is a dead woman and Lonnie, one of the local police, has been accused of murderi
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks, books-i-own, 2020
So beautifully mediocre :’)
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hannah accompanies her mother to California to visit a relative. Doc prescribed the vacation for her when he diagnosed her with stress. It isn't long until she receives a message the police need her help in an investigation in which Lonnie's presence makes him a suspect. Mike can't investigate because Lonnie is his partner. Only a newly minted detective and the chief himself can investigate, so even the chief wants Hannah to meddle this time. The victim's personality made her unpopular so severa ...more
Mar 09, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Got to the Meaty Minestrone Soup and realized I just don’t care about Hannah and Lake Eden anymore. The last several books have been painful to read...stilted and repetitive dialogue and way too much of it and the storylines are old, recycled, and uninteresting. Way past time to quit this series. Sad...
Jan 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
I think it may be time to wrap this series up. The whole story line with Ross has been absolutely awful. She should have ended up with Norman in the dream house they designed together.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Yet another half novel - half mini cookbook

Coconut Layer Cake Murder is book #25 in the Hannah Swensen series. Hannah is called on to help clear Lonnie's name after he becomes the main suspect in a murder.

The book picks up a couple days after the ending of book #24. Hannah gets her test results and Doc sends her on a vacation to L.A. with her mother. A few days later she gets a call from Michelle informing her of what has happened with Lonnie. Hannah rushes home and immediately starts to investi
Coconut Layer Cake Murder is the 25th entry in Joanne Fluke’s long running series featuring baker and amateur detective Hannah Swensen. I have read all the books and, while I always enjoy revisiting Lake Eden and its inhabitants, I felt this was one of the weaker entries. I honestly feel like if all the references to food and recipes were removed, this book would be more of a novella.  Hannah is recalled from a trip to California to aid her sister Michelle’s boyfriend, Lonnie, who is the number ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hannah Swensen needs some time away from Lake Eden and the cold Minnesota weather. Hannah goes to sunny California to help a friend move back to Lake Eden. Hannah's trip is cut short when her sister’s boyfriend, Detective Lonnie Murphy, becomes the number one suspect in a murder. With a shortage of detectives to investigate this murder, Hannah and her family and friends’ investigation may be Lonnie’s best chance of clearing his name.

Coconut Layer Cake Murder picks up where Chocolate Cream Murder
Marcy Graybill
I was able to read this book thanks to
This is the latest in the Hannah Swenson mystery series. Having her vacation interrupted, Hannah, a baker and owner of The Cookie Jar (a bake shop) doesn't bat an eye and dives in trying to help her sister's boyfriend when he's the prime suspect in a local woman's murder. These are nice character driven novels, they are light, but not especially humorous. My biggest complaint is the patronizing way the author explains simple concepts. If these
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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 27 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)
  • Carrot Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #10)

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