Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Joanne Fluke

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7582-0150-8
Publisher: Kensington

Osso buco is the favorite dish of so many people in tiny Lake Eden, Minnesota, that it’s hard for baker Hannah Swenson to discover who shared a helping of the dish from Alfredo’s takeout counter, along with a slice of lemon meringue pie from Hannah’s own cookie shop, with 50-something flirt Rhonda Scharf just before someone knifed her and stashed her body in the basement of the Voelker property, which she’d inherited from her recently deceased aunt. But unlike her earlier amateur-sleuth capers (Blueberry Muffin Murder, 2002, etc.), Hannah’s current investigation has, if not the blessing, at least the grudging consent of her sometime boyfriend, police detective Mike Kingston. That leaves her free to talk to high-school principal Ken Purvis, guidance counselor Gil Surma, and Reverend Bob Knudson, who ate with them last Friday, as well as to question Rhonda’s ex-boss Jon Walker and her cleaning lady Marjorie Hanks. When her youngest sister Michelle hands her a bill that turns out to be part of the loot from a bank robbery, Hannah enlists her other-time boyfriend, dentist Norman Rhodes, who’d just bought the Voelker place from Rhonda, to check online newspaper files on his laptop and develop pictures she took of the Voelker basement. Still, it isn’t until a second attack that Hannah has the clues she needs to ice the killer.

As always, the whodunit pales before the larger question: Will Norman or Mike, or possibly both of them, pop the question before Hannah is even older than Rhonda?