Book Review: Coconut Layer Cake Murder


One of my guilty pleasures is cozy mysteries. I LOVE a good whodunnit story. My all time favorite television show is Murder, She Wrote. My Little Pony and Miraculous coming in at a close second. 😀 

I know we don’t just read in one genre our entire lives. When I was a kid, I read anything I could get my hands on, and THEN discovered EPIC FANTASY via Terry Brooks. So tell me, what is another genre you love to read?

Many of you know I’ve been a reading rut for awhile, but I think I am slowly coming out of it. This year, I am planning on reading more books outside speculative fiction, especially since I’m wanting to write a fantasy murder mystery series one day and that requires research! Thus our book for today.

So without further ado…

My Review

I first began this series when I came across Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder back in 2017. The setting was what drew me to this story. I am a Minnesota girl living in the heart of Texas, so the glimpse back into my home state was so comforting during a very challenging time in my life. The author mentions little obscure towns that I was familiar with, visited, and even lived near! She even mentions the school I had gone to for a few years. It was a quite a different feeling since my usual reading habits involved fantasy realms. The second thing that drew my attention to this series is the main character and her profession, a cookie baker. Yes, it was exactly what my little heart needed as I followed Hannah Swenson around and tried to piece together the clues to figure out who had done it.

The books were at times frustrating as I would come across redundancies, inaccuracies, and moments that pushed my suspension of disbelief too far. But I kept coming back to them. Hannah and her family and friends had worked their way into my heart and I had to know WHO she was going to choose. Mike, the handsome detective or Norman, the dependable, understanding dentist. And then in book 18 and 19, I gave up on the series for a long time. It was as if the author didn’t want to make a choice between the two men and slipped in another man. Didn’t even weave him in properly, but revealed things after the fact. I don’t know why I keep reading! And then books 21-22-23, and that ending of 24? I had to get my hands on a copy of book 25.

So here we are. Hannah is trying to pick up the pieces of her life again as she solves another murder. Overall I enjoyed the story. It wasn’t as slow as some of the others have been, perhaps because we are hanging on to each scene to see what Hannah will do regarding Mike and Norman. The clues were quite blatant, some red-herrings in the mix, which was neat. Although, due to Lonnie’s account of the events that night, I felt that Hannah would have pursued a certain line of questioning and suspects, which she seemed to ignore. Of course, that would have shortened the story considerably, and we can’t have that. Ha!

Overall, an enjoyable read, and for those who enjoy cozy mysteries, check it out! Except, you’ll want to start with the first book, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

*I received an advanced reader copy through Netgalley, my opinions are my own.*

The Book

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 . . .

You can find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold. 

****BOOK RELEASES February 25th, 2020****