Cover image for Coconut layer cake murder
Title:
Coconut layer cake murder
ISBN:
9781496718891
Edition:
1st Kensington hardcover ed.
Physical Description:
ix, 341 pages ; 22 cm.
Geographic Term:
Summary:
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 Angeles airport. Back in frigid Minnesota, she discovers that proving Lonnie's innocence will be harder than figuring out what went wrong with a recipe. Lonnie remembers only parts of the night he went out to a local bar and ended up driving a very impaired woman home. He knows he helped her to her bedroom, but he doesn't recall anything else until he woke up on her couch the following morning. When he went to the bedroom to check on her, he was shocked to discover she was dead. Hannah doesn't know what to believe, only that exonerating a suspect who can't remember is almost impossible, especially since Lonnie's brother, Detective Rick Murphy, and Lonnie's partner, Chief Detective Mike Kingston, have been taken off the case. Before everything comes crashing down on Lonnie like a heaping slice of coconut layer cake, it'll be up to Hannah to rack up enough clues to toast a flaky killer. --
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Summary

Summary

New York Times Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
Publishers Weekly Bestseller

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 Angeles airport.

Back in frigid Minnesota, she discovers that proving Lonnie's innocence will be harder than figuring out what went wrong with a recipe. Lonnie remembers only parts of the night he went out to a local bar and ended up driving a very impaired woman home. He knows he helped her to her bedroom, but he doesn't recall anything else until he woke up on her couch the following morning. When he went to the bedroom to check on her, he was shocked to discover she was dead.

Hannah doesn't know what to believe--only that exonerating a suspect who can't remember is almost impossible, especially since Lonnie's brother, Detective Rick Murphy, and Lonnie's partner, Chief Detective Mike Kingston, have been taken off the case. Before everything comes crashing down on Lonnie like a heaping slice of coconut layer cake, it'll be up to Hannah to rack up enough clues to toast a flaky killer . . .


Author Notes

Joanne Fluke was born in Swanville, Minnesota in 1943. While pursuing her writing career, she worked as a public school teacher, a psychologist, a musician, a private detective's assistant, a secretary, a short order cook, a florist's assistant, a caterer and party planner, a computer consultant, a production assistant on a TV quiz show, and half of a screenwriting team with her husband.

She writes the Hannah Swensen Mystery series which includes original family recipes for baking. Her other works include The Stepchild, Vengeance Is Mine, Video Kill, Dead Giveaway, and Deadly Memories. In 2014, her title's Blackberry Pie Murder and Double Fudge Brownie Murder made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In bestseller Fluke's pleasing 25th Hannah Swensen mystery (after 2019's Chocolate Cream Pie Murder), bakery shop owner and amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen cuts short her California vacation and rushes home to Lake Eden, Minn., after receiving an emergency call from her sister, Michelle. Darcy Hicks, a high school classmate of Michelle's police detective boyfriend, Lonnie , has been murdered, and the primary suspect is Lonnie. The night before the murder, Lonnie took Darcy home from a bar and passed out in her house, where he discovered her dead the next morning. Obviously, Lonnie can't investigate, and neither can his partner on the force, Mike , so Hannah's detecting skills are needed more than ever. Together with friends and family, including Mike, Hannah sets out to learn the truth, and, as she eliminates one potential killer after another, things begin to look even darker for Lonnie. Mouthwatering recipes and diverting subplots add to the fun. Fluke demonstrates why she's considered the queen of culinary cozies. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Mar.)


Kirkus Review

A baker helps solve her sister's boyfriend's classmate's murder.Hannah Swensen is suffering from stress due to a trauma incurred in her last adventure (Chocolate Cream Pie Murder, 2019) but alluded to only in the most elliptical terms in her current entry. Hannah's stepfather, Doc Knight, is adamant: She must leave at once for vacation. He sends Hannah and her mom off to California for a stress-free holiday helping Hannah's college friend Lynne Larchmont pack up her palatial home and move back to Lake Eden, Minnesota, where Hannah's shop, The Cookie Jar, provides sweet treats for all. A New York minute after she arrives in Los Angeles, Hannah receives a hysterical call from her sister, Michelle. Michelle's boyfriend, Lonnie, is the main suspect in the murder of Darcy Hicks, an old friend from high school. Since Lonnie is one of Lake Eden's handful of police detectives, everyone else on the force is deemed ineligible to conduct the investigation, leaving only amateur sleuth Hannah to crack the case. Hannah moves back in, platonically of course, with her old flame Norman Rhodes, since her Lake Eden condo was the scene of that unspecified trauma and her husband, Ross Barton, has disappeared, or died, or maybe killed somebodyit's not quite clear which. Hannah begins her investigation by checking out Brian and Cassie Polinski, who were with Darcy and Lonnie at the Double Eagle, a dive bar, the night of her death. But it's hard for her inquiry to build up any steam because almost every chapter ends with copious directions for making another nifty treat, complete with tips on which brands to use, advice about where to buy the ingredients, and little anecdotes about the people who feast on the finished products.Nearly as many recipes as Joy of Cooking, and about as much narrative. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

In the midst of a California vacation, Hannah Swensen rushes back to Lake Eden, Minnesota, after learning that her sister's boyfriend, police officer Lonnie Murphy, is suspected of murdering a high-school friend. Lonnie's partner, Mike Kingston, has been pulled from the case, leaving just the sheriff and a rookie and Hannah to find the real killer. Lonnie had picked up a coconut layer cake from Hannah's bakery, the Cookie Jar, to take to a birthday celebration for a high-school classmate. Later, Lonnie gave a ride home to Darcy, also a former classmate, who looked like she'd had too many drinks and whose date had left her. Lonnie fell asleep on Darcy's couch, waking the next morning to find her dead. Over the course of the next several days, Hannah takes plates of cookies and other treats to those who might know more to encourage freer chatter, with the recipes woven into the story. An entertaining addition to the long-running and much-loved series; fans will be relieved that Hannah has recovered from her disastrous marriage and is again relying on friend Norman for emotional support.--Karen Muller Copyright 2020 Booklist