REVIEW: COCONUT LAYER CAKE MURDER, BY JOANNE FLUKE

 

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 . . .

The main thing we know for sure at the beginning of Hannah’s investigation into the Coconut Layer Cake Murder is that her friend Lonnie is innocent. She would bet her life on it. Well, almost. As Hannah goes through the process of eliminating the various other suspects, she is baking cakes and cookies regularly, her way of thinking when she is trying to solve something.

I liked Hannah’s sense of humor, her thought processes, and how she was also trying to sort through her feelings for both Norman and Mike, potential love interests in her life.

As we follow Hannah and her investigation, we are also treated to various recipes stashed between the chapters. Yum! It’s a good thing that I couldn’t actually see her baking the goodies, like we do when viewing her actions on the Hallmark Channel. I wouldn’t be able to turn away from the temptations.

In the end, Hannah figures it out, with the help of her friends, and even starts to decide who is the most suitable partner for her in life. 4 stars.

***

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