If you're having a hard week, a bad month, an awful year, if the economy's got you down and the man has you whipped, you could do far worse than to pick up one of Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen mysteries (with recipes). They are light and frothy, full of flavor but very little substance--perfectly satisfying, in other words.
Cream Puff Murder is no exception. Just a few pages into it Ronni Ward--town bad girl and aerobics instructor--is murdered in the hot tub at the local fitness club. Practically every man in town is a suspect, as Ronni has flirted--and maybe done more?!--with them all. Unfortunately, detective Mike, one of Hannah's two boyfriends, is among the implicated, and Hannah's got to solve this one with just the help of her two sisters, her mother, her other boyfriend Norman (the dentist) and Norman's mom, Carrie. Sounds like a lot of help? Well, you try working with five amateurs on a murder case...especially if you're an amateur yourself.
Needless to say, the case does get solved, Mike and all of the other guys are absolved, and Hannah seems a little bit closer to making a choice between her two boyfriends. Maybe in the next book, Ms. Fluke?
Reading the recipes and dreaming about how delicious they'd be if one got off her ass to bake any of them is more than half the fun of this sweet and creamy mystery. Another large portion of the fun is wondering why people don't leave small town America in veritable droves, if the murder rates in Cabot Cove, Maine and Lake Eden, Minnesota are anywhere near representative of the rest of America's small towns. Must be because the cookies are so good.