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Joanne Fluke
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Featured Cozy Authors > Featured Author - February 2019 - Joanne Fluke (reprise)

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message 1: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (last edited Feb 04, 2019 07:19PM) (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18161 comments Mod
This month's Featured Author is Joanne Fluke, who was previously featured in 2012.

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 school teacher, a psychologist, a musician, a private detective's assistant, a corporate, legal, and pharmaceutical secretary, a short order cook, a florist's assistant, a caterer and party planner, a computer consultant on a now-defunct operating system, a production assistant on a TV quiz show, half of a screenwriting team with her husband, and a mother, wife, and homemaker.

She now lives in Southern California with her husband, her kids, his kids, their three dogs, one elderly tabby, and several noisy rats in the attic.

Visit her online: Joannefluke.com


Hannah Swensen series, set in Lake Eden, MN

1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
1.5. Candy for Christmas
2. Strawberry Shortcake Murder
3. Blueberry Muffin Murder
4. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder
5. Fudge Cupcake Murder
6. Sugar Cookie Murder
7. Peach Cobbler Murder
8. Cherry Cheesecake Murder
8.5. Sugar and Spice
9. Key Lime Pie Murder
9.5. Candy Cane Murder
10. Carrot Cake Murder
11. Cream Puff Murder
12. Plum Pudding Murder
13. Apple Turnover Murder
13.5. Gingerbread Cookie Murder
14. Devil's Food Cake Murder
15. Cinnamon Roll Murder
16. Red Velvet Cupcake Murder
17. Blackberry Pie Murder
18. Double Fudge Brownie Murder
19. Wedding Cake Murder
20. Christmas Caramel Murder
21. Banana Cream Pie Murder
22. Raspberry Danish Murder
23. Christmas Cake Murder
24. Chocolate Cream Pie Murder (February 26, 2019)

Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook: Hannah Swensen's Recipes from the Cookie Jar


NON-SERIES SUSPENSE NOVELS:

The Stepchild (1980)
The Other Child (1983)
Winter Chill (1984)
Cold Judgment (1985)
Vengeance is Mine (1986)
Video Kill (1989)
Final Appeal (1989)
Dead Giveaway (1990)
Fatal Identity (1993)
Deadly Memories (1995)
Eyes (1996)
Wicked (2016)


message 2: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18161 comments Mod
The following ebook is currently $1.99 at B&N and Amazon

Banana Cream Pie Murder (#21)
https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/banana...


The following is only $.99 at B&N and Amazon:

Vengeance is Mine
https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/vengea...


message 3: by MadameZelda (last edited Jan 29, 2019 11:27PM) (new)

MadameZelda (view spoiler)


message 4: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (last edited Jan 28, 2019 10:09PM) (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18161 comments Mod
Barb, Teresa and Zelda — Thank you for sharing your opinion of the series. I sincerely hope it won’t deter those who have never read this author before from giving her books a try.

For those new to Joanne Fluke’s “Hannah Swenson” series, I am currently reading Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, and it is a pretty fast read. I am planning to read one of her nonseries books, Winter Chill in February. I have been intrigued by this one since Stanton Optical used it in their “book club commercials — plus it will not only fit a February mini challenge here, but another challenge as well.


message 5: by MadameZelda (last edited Jan 29, 2019 11:28PM) (new)

MadameZelda (view spoiler)


message 6: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Vessels I am crazy about Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swenson Mysteries!!!
They were the first cozy series I read as an adult, and they hooked me on the genre. I like to tell people they are like Nancy Drew for grownups.
The characters feel like family to me because I’ve been with them through every book. The mysteries are enjoyable, but it is the characters that make me truly love this series.


message 7: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (lynnali) | 524 comments Heather L wrote: "Barb, Teresa and Zelda — Thank you for sharing your opinion of the series. I sincerely hope it won’t deter those who have never read this author before from giving her books a try. "

Comments like those are making me a bit nervous to start the series. I haven't read any of them yet. And I avoid reviews of any books until after I've read them, but it's hard to avoid spoilers in other people's comments. I'm going to give the series a try with the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder next month, but it's hard to read it with an unbiased opinion now.

I know it's hard not to discuss disappointment in series or particular books, but it is unfair to others who have not read them to make disparaging comments in threads, especially if the comments give away parts of the series/books. I'm not sure how to stop it, but we could all do with being a bit more guarded in discussions of the books in threads with readers who have not caught to to us in series.


message 8: by Pat (new)

Pat Cray-Hollis | 66 comments I love Hannah Swenson series but the other series I do not care for.


message 9: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18161 comments Mod
Lynn, your comments are a good reminder to people to use the “spoiler” tag to avoid ruining anything for others. I honestly don’t want to discourage discussion, but using spoiler tags can be a good thing here. If anyone doesn’t know how to do that, click the link above the comment box that says “some html is ok.”

I’ve been reading off and on today, though it’s hard to tell exactly how far I am since this is book one of an anthology of three. I’ve been estimating for my GR progress meter. I am about to start chapter 14 of 26, so at least halfway through. I have a weather day Wednesday, so maybe I’ll make some real progress—provided I don’t get too distracted by the JAG marathon on TV.

This will be my third unplanned day off this week. Monday we closed early due to snow, so I was told not to come in for regular evening shift. We closed early again tonight and will be closed all day Wednesday due to extreme windchills. Almost entire city has shut down through Wed or early Thurs. Temp at 10 pm was -13F with a windchill of -35. Record low for January 30 was -37F in 1951, and we could actually break that, with windchills of -50 to -60! Needless to say, I am not stepping foot outside!


message 10: by Meg (new)

Meg (makeli2) | 1632 comments I've continued to follow the Hannah Swensen books through all the years. I've got Banana Cream Pie Murder on the Kindle, which is #21. Yeah, some have not been quite as good as others, but, as many have mentioned, the characters are like family, and I still enjoy following their lives and adventures.

Heather, I don't envy you in that cold weather!!! Wherever you are, please stay as safe and cozy as you can possibly be.


message 11: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18161 comments Mod
Thanks, Meg! It’s definitely been an interesting and memorable week.


message 12: by MadameZelda (new)

MadameZelda (view spoiler)


message 13: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 14 comments I don't consider my comments to be spoilers. However, I understand people have different definitions of what constitutes a spoiler so I have deleted my posts and request that anyone who copied language from my posts, please delete the copied language as well.

I apologize to anyone who my opinions might have dissuaded from reading books by the February featured author. That was not my intention and it won't happen again.

Teresa


message 14: by Betty (new)

Betty (bettylouise54) | 581 comments Whatever your feeling Joanne Fluke books you have to respect her as she has created a community that almost everyone is talking about her and brought to read attention her suspense books.


message 15: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 5280 comments I absolutely loved this series for quite some time. Loved the characters and I use a few recipes from some of the books even now. The Blue Blueberry Muffins are really good! I stopped reading with Red Velvet Cupcake Murder, but did read Christmas Cake Murder just before the holidays as I got it through #NetGalley.


message 16: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18161 comments Mod
Melodies— I was wondering if anyone had tried some of the recipes. There were two in Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder that sounded good.


message 17: by Barb (last edited Jan 31, 2019 10:07AM) (new)

Barb | 982 comments Hubby really likes the Not-So-Swedish Meatballs recipe that was in one of her books, I think Sugar Cookie Murder. I 'collect' recipes and have saved quite a few of the recipes from her books over the years because they sounded good, but haven't tried many of them yet.


message 18: by Marisa, Cozy Mysteries Assistant Moderator (new)

Marisa (moretta) | 3838 comments Mod
Heather, keep as warm as you can with that weather!


message 19: by Julesy (last edited Feb 02, 2019 10:31PM) (new)

Julesy | 1320 comments Heather L wrote: "I was wondering if anyone had tried some of the recipes. There were two in Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder that sounded good."

I have tried some of the recipes in various books in this series. They were okay but I don't bake much. I have tried lots of recipes from many culinary cozies - some are great, others not so great. The Sugar Cookie Murder is a good book in the series with half of the book with recipes. The good thing is that it's not all baking recipes, there are some good appetizer recipes as well.


message 20: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (inexplicablybookish) | 1 comments I have had Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder on my TBR for ages! I am trying to revamp some reading challenge threads I've had going for ::mumblemumble:: years too, and the group selecting this one to read this month is a perfect push for me to do both! :)

Is there a read-along or separate discussion thread for this book that I'm missing somewhere for this month?


message 21: by Julesy (new)

Julesy | 1320 comments Rebecca wrote: "Is there a read-along or separate discussion thread for this book that I'm missing somewhere for this month?"

@Rebecca, I think this is the discussion thread. 😜


message 22: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (lynnali) | 524 comments Rebecca wrote: "I have had Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder on my TBR for ages!"

Rebecca, I am going to read Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder as well. I'm planning beginning it just as soon as I finish the book I'm currently reading. I'd love to do a read-along/discussion with you when I get there.


message 23: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18161 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread for any books by Joanne Fluke—just be sure to use spoiler tags to avoid ruining any surprises or books by this author in general for others in the group. 😉

So far I have read Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and Candy for Christmas.


message 24: by Alicia (last edited Feb 14, 2019 08:26AM) (new)

Alicia I just finished reading Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and Candy for Christmas. I'm not sure why I haven't read this series before now but I actually received a copy of Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder for Christmas which worked out perfectly for this :) I enjoyed the characters and I would definitely describe Hannah as a Nancy Drew type character. I look forward to reading the rest of the series now, even though all the mentions of sweets makes me hungry at the time.

Anyone who's reading the books in the series might also enjoy the Hallmark movie adaptations as well. Happy reading y'all!


message 25: by Mark (new)

Mark Baker (carstairs38) | 524 comments I've been reading this series since the first book came out. I spent a number of years obsessed with Hannah and company. I must admit my love had diminished some over the years, but I still check in to see what Hannah is up to with each new book.

I've tried a number of recipes over the years, and they were all delicious. I even won a pie baking contest with the Key Lime Pie. I've made the cheesecake for several family holiday dinners as well.


message 26: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (lynnali) | 524 comments Just finished Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. Almost everything I read here indicates that the series is not worth reading, so I tried very hard to go into it with an open mind. I am glad I read it. Hannah and her friends are fun. Of course, I have only read the first book, but it's quite fun. It's not great literature, but no-one, not even the author, said it was.
It's exactly what I want in a leisure read: fun, friendly, likable characters; an interesting mystery; and, most of all, an easy, quick read.


message 27: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelreader14) | 22 comments I have very much enjoyed this series overall. It was actually one of the first cozy/food mysteries that I read. For this month, I reread Strawberry Shortcake Murder and really enjoyed going back to the beginning. I will admit to becoming frustrated with some of the more recent twists in the series and I am curious where Joanne is going with this series. I was glad to know that I am not the only one who feels this way. However, it is always good to fall back into a series and catch up with the characters.


message 28: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18161 comments Mod
I am about a third of the way into one of her single title releases, Winter Chill, and enjoying it so far.


message 29: by Heather L , Cozy Mysteries Moderator (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) | 18161 comments Mod
For those who like the occasional thriller mixed in with their cozies, give Winter Chill a try. It will keep you guessing right up through the end!


message 30: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) I've read the first 1/3 of Winter Chill and am waiting for the mystery/thriller aspect. So far, it is just depressing.


message 31: by Kristie (new)

Kristie (kristiesbooknook) | 14 comments My library hold is in for the newest book, Chocolate Cream Pie Murder. Can’t wait to pick it up this weekend!


message 32: by Karen (new)

Karen (xkamx) | 350 comments Mark wrote: "I've been reading this series since the first book came out. I spent a number of years obsessed with Hannah and company. I must admit my love had diminished some over the years, but I still check in to see what Hannah is up to with each new book."

I came to the series 4-5 years ago and devoured the series (like a cookie!). I really enjoyed it, but, like you, that dimished -- though with me, that happened only with the last few entries. There were some things that annoyed me throughout the series, but that happens with every series at times and there was nothing so bad that it stopped me from reading.

I will say people complain about the Norman - Hannah - Mike triangle. That was not as big a problem for me since even though there are a lot of books in the series, not a lot of time has passed in Lake Eden time (different murders in different seasons of the same year, "prequel"-type entries, etc.). Though, that does mean there have been a lot of murders in this small town in a short time frame. I'm not sure how safe it is to make Lake Eden home. :o)

~~and~~

Mark wrote: "Anyone who's reading the books in the series might also enjoy the Hallmark movie adaptations as well. Happy reading y'all! "

The funny thing is, I don't particularly care for this series of movies. I watch them becausae I've read the books and becasue I like some of the cast, but, for me, they're really not as good as other Hallmark mystery movies. If I had seen the movies before I read the books, I may not have picked up the books at all. I sort of have to disassociate the books from the movies in order to watch them without being annoyed that they're different from what I expect based on the narratives.


Sallie(GeorgiaGirl) (shuga) | 165 comments (view spoiler)


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