Saturday, June 19, 2010

“Strawberry Shortcake Murder” by Joanne Fluke

This is the second book in the Hannah Swensen mystery series. Hannah is the owner and operator of a small Minnesota town bakery, The Cookie Jar.

The book opens to find Hannah helping to judge a local dessert baking contest. One of her fellow judges has a dental emergency, so they need a substitute. Boyd Watson, the local high school coach, is chosen.

During the judging, Boyd is none too subtle in his criticism of the desserts. Hannah tells him he could have been a little nicer to the contestants, but Boyd says there is no sense in sugar coating the message - if you don’t come in first, you are a loser.

Boyd is married and unfortunately Hannah has discovered a secret about him - he batters his wife Danielle. Danielle refuses to press charges against him, or leave him. After the bake-off, Hannah receives an urgent call from Danielle - could Hannah please come over to her and Boyd’s home right away?

Fearing Boyd has beaten Danielle again, Hannah fearfully rushes over. Danielle leads Hannah to their garage, where she sees Boyd lying on the floor in the gooey remains of the leftover strawberry shortcake. Hannah thinks the red splotches on the pavement are from the strawberries, but no, it’s blood. Boyd is dead.

Did Danielle kill him in self-defense? Or did a disgruntled bake-off contestant kill Boyd?

(Stay tuned for more posts about this book).


Librarian said...

'course murder is wrong, but I can't muster up much sympathy for a bloke who beats his wife (or children, or animals, for that matter).

LadyPI said...

I think Hannah would certainly agree with you!