Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke was a different book for me. I've never read a book that was really part mystery novel and part cookbook before. It was a fun book that was full of light reading.
I will admit I've been waiting for the right time to read this book. Had to wait for Thanksgiving to really pass before reading a Christmas themed murder myster. Just like I'm holding onto a short story collection related to A Darcy Christmas for mid-December (or my roadtip to Philly). Reading Christmas stuff too early ruins the theme and you can get jaded quick. I actually read a few chapters back in September or so but I just couldn't get into a Christmas story just then, so I waited for the holiday season to arrive.
This is the 13th book in the Hannah Swenson series. It was easy to just jump into the series but in many ways I woudln't have thought it was that far into series. It seemed like it was a book 4 or so. Many of the characters were developed but not so developed that they coudln't grow more.
Basically this book is about Hannah who is a cookie shop owner that happens to stumble upon murder victims and her own curiousity creates a desire to find out who was the murder. But it's also about the interpersonal relationships she has especially since she's almost romantically involved with two guys but won't pick either. The murder itself doesn't happen until half way through the book. So it really starts to set up the triggers in the plot.
The story was rather straight forward. There were few real plot twists or red herrings in the novel. Okay there were was the whole thing where Hannah and Norman were trying to figure out what Carrie (Norman's mom and Hannah's mom's best friend) was up to. But that took you way from the real plot of the Crazy Elf plotline all together fror the most part. I would have liked this to be a bit more like a Murder She Wrote episode or more like Agatha Christie book where you are given enough to solve the murder on your own but it wasn't spoon fed.
The real gems in this book is that it's has gotten the cooking bug in me and I will be trying out two cookie recipes for my friend. There were some exciting and unusual recipes in there. I'm not a big recipe person. Even when I'm in my most foodie mindset (which doesn't always happen since there are days I do skip meals), I don't scour cookbooks for new recipes and I can't remember the last time I truly baked anything. Every so often I will cut up a cookie roll curtesy of my mom or I will ice gingerbread men at Christmas but that's about it for baking. Just not my thing. So it's rather amazing that this weekend, I will be making two cookie recipes from this book (White Chocolate Pumpkin Dreams and Orange Julius Cookies). So hopefully these will be as tasty as they sounded in the book and be fabulous when I share with my friends and co-workers.
Plum Pudding Murder got me talking about the book. I will admit the recipes that featured the end of most chapters were probably more exciting then the mystery part of the book. But the mystery was still good. I would recommend this to my friends as something fun and different.