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Chocolate Cream Pie Murder

Written by: Joanne Fluke
Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
Series: Hannah Swensen
Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Not even Lake Eden’s nosiest residents suspected Hannah Swensen would go from idealistic newlywed to betrayed wife in a matter of weeks. But as a deadly mystery unfolds in town, the proof is in the pudding....

When The Cookie Jar becomes the setting of a star-studded TV special about movies filmed in Minnesota, Hannah hopes to shine the spotlight on her bakery - not the unsavory scandal swirling around her personal life. But that’s practically impossible with a disturbing visit from the shifty character she once believed was her one and only love, a group of bodyguards following her every move, and a murder victim in her bedroom. 

Now, swapping the crime scene in her condo for her mother Delores’ penthouse, Hannah and an old flame team up to solve a case that’s messier than an upended chocolate cream pie. 

As suspects emerge and secrets hit close to home, Hannah must serve a hefty helping of justice to an unnamed killer prowling around Lake Eden...before someone takes a slice out of her!  

©2019 H.L. Swensen, Inc. (P)2019 Recorded Books

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  • Lisasiamesecat
  • 14-04-19

Continuity Mistakes From Previous Books

First of all, I actually love this series, and have read every book. This book is worth reading (listening to) just as all the others are, but I want to discuss some of the plot mistakes that make no sense.

I realize many authors turn to others to write their series as the books go along. I am not sure if that is happening here, but I would hope if it is, Joanne would be reading them with a critical eye for continuity mistakes--or at least hire a top notch editor that actually knows the series.

1. The first glaring mistake is that a character that was previously killed off in Cherry Cheesecake Murder (Dean Lawrence) is said to be alive and well and living in London, and unable to return for a film festival. If this had been a very minor character that would be one thing, but it is another for the author of Chocolate Cream Pie Murder not to know that Dean Lawrence was a major murder victim that drove an entire story and now say he is alive. It is a sloppy mistake that should have been caught by someone.

2. In a snow storm Hannah amuses herself by making a strawberry bundt cake. This would be fine, but Hannah said quite emphatically in Strawberry Shortcake Murder that she is only allergic to one thing, and that is strawberries. If that is true, why is she making this cake and anticipating eating it during a blizzard?

3. At one point in the story, Hannah jokes with Norman and others saying "after all, Norman is a magician!". The problem is that he is not. Whoever wrote this story confused this fact with another character who is the amateur magician, Herb (Lisa's husband).

There were many other sloppy details like this that should have been fixed in the first read through by either the author or editor. Also, I am glad, like many others, that Ross is now history. The issue is that I feel like his character was taken from one extreme to another too quickly, and none of the details from the previous book where included. For example, Ross's family was Russian and that was brought up a great deal. Something could have been made of that, or the fact that he lived next door to a senator. Why include these facts and not weave them into his downfall, rather than having something totally unrelated come out? If Lynn Larchmont (his old girlfriend and Hannah's friend) knew that he had been violent with her before, she should have mentioned it to Hannah when she and Ross were dating in Cherry Cheese Cake Murder. Lynn would have likely known he was married before as well, as they were business associates. Also, the woman that he was married to should have made an appearance, and maybe weave that part of the story into Ross's down fall as well. Why would he marry Hannah and go on a honeymoon cruise while he was already married? Why did he transfer all of his money and his car to Hannah when he left, only to demand it back like a super villain a few months later? Wouldn't his wife have crept back into the story prior to that? So many holes in this story, and it was crafted in a very amateur way.

I would hope if they continue on to make these books, they hire a top notch editor and good writer to watch over continuity.

17 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Bennett
  • 05-04-19

Raising the Dead, Changing Names, Recipes, Recipes

What was this?! Well, it was a cook book that contained a short, disjointed story. Scenes changed abruptly, leaving you wondering how you got there. In one conversation, Norm went from being referred to as "Norm" to "Tom" back to "Norm." He reached for a cookie as Tom, then ate it as Norm! We also brought in a character that had been murdered in a previous book. Wait! He now lives in England! An author should really keep track of her family of characters. Hannah, also, seemed very much a dim bulb throughout this story. I found myself yelling at her from time to time. The characters were so "gray" and "lifeless" it was a shame. I'm wondering, along with a few others, who wrote this story. Another surprise was that Moishe and Cuddles enjoy spending time in Dolores' penthouse garden and seem very much at home there. What happened to the shredded panty hose?

I have truly enjoyed the rest of the series. . . have read every book. This one was not worth the read. It is a sad addition to an otherwise great story line. Faithful readers deserved better.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Yvette
  • 28-02-19

Was this a full length book? Too many recipes!

After listening to all of the books in this series again in the last 6 months, I was excited that the newest addition was finally available. However, I was disappointed with:
(1) the numerous recipes in every chapter (sometimes close to half of the listen time of a chapter, so don't expect anywhere near 9 hours of story time),
(2) the number of times the characters kept repeating themselves (within the same scene), and
(3) the inability to move the story along more than 2 months in the timeline (26 books into the series and only the beginning of year 5 in the storyline).

If you're a fan of the series, then you'll enjoy hearing updates about numerous Lake Eden residents. However, I kept wondering when Hannah's sister Andrea and her family would make an appearance in this book. With only a single mention of Hannah's other sister, Michelle is the only sister involved in this book.

Some questions from prior books are resolved and a new cliffhanger is introduced in the last minutes, although it was pretty clear throughout the book that this cliffhanger was coming.

Overall: If this was the first book in the series, I probably wouldn't return for the second book. As of fan of the early series, it's just enough to keep me interested and waiting for the next book.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Washington State
  • 02-03-19

Long recipes

The recipes were longer than the book.
Looking forward to the next book in the series.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynn
  • 30-03-19

Boring

Returned it. The narrator is great. I finally got to Chapter 6, which started to get exciting, but then went back to idle chit-chat.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dee
  • 27-02-19

Too Many Recipes!

I usually really enjoy listening to these books about Hannah Swenson. I find them entertaining, sometimes humurous and more realistic than other cozy mysteries. I've listened to every one of them. This book was disappointing for me. There was little room for the plot with so many recipes s-l-o-w-l-y recited throughout the audiobooks. I don't mind a few recipes here and there but this one was just packed with too many! Because of this the story seemed slow and there just wasn't enough of it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • M.K.
  • 02-03-19

Can the recipes wait until the end?

I love Joanne Fluke, books could she just put the recipes at the end of the book, and oh my leave us wondering what will happen next with not a real ending. All in all I love the series and the Reader is wonderful!

7 people found this helpful

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  • jenthinks
  • 01-03-19

So disappointed

I'm about halfway through the book and no one has been murdered yet. I can't believe we have waited this long after that cliffhanger and the follow up seems to be a bunch of filler and recipes. The amount of recipes really is out of control this time around. SO MANY side conversations that don't move the story forward. I feel like the author maybe took a one book story and has tried to stretch it out to two or three books.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Carrie Choat
  • 28-02-19

This book must be a fluke, because it was aweful.

I love this series but this book was horrible. The characters made me sick, everyone was over nice, caring and helpful. Too much !!!! And 18 chapters before someone dies and then sum it up fast. What a disappointment.
If Hannah thought she was pregnant why was she drinking so much coffee and even wine on a regular basis. She knows better, she is an aunt, and watches TV so she knows better. WTH ... no EPT tests in Lake Eden. Also, really missed Andrea and where was her sherriff husband. Just a really huge disappointment.
The readers voice was irritating and it made for an even more horrible experience. I am gonna get my money back.

7 people found this helpful

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  • April H.
  • 27-02-19

Back to Hannah

Much better than the past two books. Loved the foreshadowing!!! Great setup for the next book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-01-20

Not sure if it is a work of fiction or a cook book

The last book in the series I will download. It’s fine from being a decent work of fiction to a cook book. The characters have started to grate. Delores and her daughters are uhh!!!
Would give a minus star rating for the story if possible.

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  • snullerfluffer
  • 08-03-19

was that it?

I am a big fan of this series of books. But this was a let down. To often was the flow of the book interrupted by a recipe. And LONG ones at that. This is not a nine hour book. It took forever for the murder and there was so little detecting. I was very disapointed. I waited a long time for this book and felt let down. 1/3 was recipes. And all of them can only be made if you live in america, with all the premade stuff that is in them.
The narrator is the highlight of the experience. Suzanne Toren is always good.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-09-19

Great continuation of story

Love Joanne Flukes stories and characters. Was waiting for the murder. Very last minute.