Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Raspberry Danish Murder Reviewed

A Culinary Cozy Mystery

raspberry danish
Raspberry Danish Anyone?
Image courtesy of pixabay.com
I recently read Raspberry Danish Murder and wanted to review it for you today. This book happens to be number 22 in the Hannah Swenson Mystery series. Written by Joanne Fluke and published by Kensington Books this is a mystery that could almost pass as a cookbook.

I am a little confused by the title. Certainly, raspberry danish is mentioned early in the book and there is a recipe for the danish but beyond that it wasn't mentioned again and I don't see the relevance to the mystery or the murder. Just an observation on my part. Although, I guess after 21 other books in the series it might have gotten tough to come up with new titles.

A Short Synopsis of Raspberry Danish Murder

Hannah Swenson lives in the small Minnesota town of Lake Eden. She co-owns a cookie and coffee shop called The Cookie Jar. The story opens in November when people are getting ready for Thanksgiving and the Christmas season. We find out early in the book that Hannah is a newlywed but the problem is her new husband Ross has disappeared. Ross works or worked for a local television station and just left one day without his belongings or even his car. Hannah and her family keep hoping that he will return with a logical explanation any day now. In the meantime, Hannah has a cookie business to run and a whole lot of cookies to bake for the upcoming holiday season.

Hannah has some help in searching for her missing husband from the local law enforcement and her husband's assistant P.K. There is something about P.K. He is covering for his missing boss and trying to find clues as to where he can be but he has also taken over Ross's office and ends up driving his car when his has to go into the shop for repairs. No one seems to be able to discover where Ross has gone and then P.K. ends up dead after eating some candy that was sent to the office for Ross. Was the candy meant for the missing Ross or did someone plan to kill P.K?

My Review of this Cozy Mystery

I enjoyed the book, the mystery part. I mentioned earlier that it could almost pass as a cookbook. At first I enjoyed having recipes for cookies, pastries and savory dishes after the chapters they were mentioned in. After a while, I almost found it annoying. Don't get me wrong, the recipes sounded pretty good and the formatting of the pages was clever but goodness gracious they started to get in the way of finding out what was happening in the actual story. Personally, I feel that the recipes could have been included but perhaps a little note that states the recipe can be found at the back of the book instead of after every chapter. They would be easy to reference in a paperback but in an ebook they would be difficult to go back to after reading the book.

The mystery, itself, was well written and intriguing. I loved the characters and the different events that transpired, the solution to the murder and the explanation about Ross. Although, the Ross situation needs a whole lot more words. My guess is it will be addressed in the next book. This book stands alone quite well but I think I might enjoy reading the earlier books for the backstories on many of the characters. 

All in all it is a very good mystery and I think you will enjoy it. You might not have a problem with all of those recipes. Frankly, I like to put a recipe or two in my own books but they are always at the back and hopefully non-intrusive. I also enjoy seeing recipes in books but I prefer them at the back and as a little bonus but I don't need tons of them. If I want a cookie cookbook, I'll buy one. When I buy a Cozy Mystery...well, I want a mystery. I got one and it was a good one, I just didn't appreciate all those extra pages of cooking tips. 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Sounds like an interesting mystery, but I can see your point. I wouldn't like the recipes throughout the book either. I like the way you put one that pertains to the book at the end of your books.

  2. I agree with you Bev. Cozy mysteries that are based around an eating establishment and include recipes SHOULD have the recipes at the end of the story. After all, the story is the main 'ingredient' (pun intended). :) Now I want to know what happened to Ross! Good book review, Bev.

  3. No doubt, I would agree with all of you about the recipes needing to be at the back. I do love it when an author includes a recipe, but I would not enjoy them disrupting the flow of the story. It would also bother me greatly that the title didn't match the events of the story. If the raspberry danish had nothing to do with the mystery, I would be wondering what I had missed. However, this does sound like an great mystery and one worth reading!

  4. As an avid audiobook reader, I can just imagine how annoying it would be to listen to the recipes being read to me at the end of each chapter! But the story itself sounds like a great read.

  5. sounds like a good tip you mentioned to put the recipes at the back - an interesting combination for a mystery book to include recipes, kinda like that too :)

  6. I once read a book that each chapter of story was followed by a how-to or recipe. I found it quite jarring. So I agree with the group, the recipes probably should have been at the end of the book. I find the setting of the story interesting, in fact, I can almost smell the cookies baking just reading your review! Funny how that happens.

  7. I always love your reviews and this one has me interested too. I agree with you that finding recipes in between the "good stuff" would make me crazy. But, I could overlook that for a great mystery story. Thanks for adding another book on my "must read list!"

  8. Love the phrasing a mystery that could almost pass as a cookbook!


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