Double Fudge Brownie Murder (Hannah Swensen)
By Joanne Fluke
Rating 2/5 Stairs
Oh Hannah Swensen. What happened to you? I’ve read five previous mysteries in the series, nothing in order but I’ve bounced around. These cozies have never been great literature, but they are usually fun to read and you get some nice cookie recipes to boot.
18 books into the series, and Hannah still hasn’t chosen between Mike and Norman. And in this outing, she gets a THIRD suitor to boot. My biggest complaint is that she’s turned…well, kind of dumb. In the previous books I’ve read, she’s been pretty smart and given police detective Mike a run for his money solving the case. Now in this book, she has absolutely zero knowledge of technology. She gets a smartphone and has to have her niece show her how to use it over multiple lessons – basic functions like call and text. I believe Hannah is about 30 years old, perfectly capable of adapting to a smartphone. This just seemed completely out of character for her from the previous installments.
This book is very character focused. They spend probably the first 20 – 25% in Las Vegas at Hannah’s mother’s wedding. When they do make it back to town, and there is a murder, it’s mystery is second in the story. Which would be fine if the character-centric story was more interesting; Hannah’s love life (basically the same 18 books later) and her inability to send text messages does not fit this bill.
My hope for the next one (if I ever read it) is that at least Hannah seems to have finally resolved her love triangle. If Ms. Fluke will let Hannah take this next step in her life, then maybe she can keep the series moving.