If you’re looking for more cozy mystery writers in your life, and you haven’t yet read Joanne Fluke, then you’re in luck. Her Hannah Swensen series has all the hallmarks of the best cozy mysteries: it’s full of mouthwatering baked goods, small-town shenanigans, and, of course, it’s got a no-nonsense, crime-solving heroine. The series currently has 26 titles, with a 27th on the way. Not sure where to start? Check out this list of Fluke’s seven most popular titles, plus a sneak peek of her newest book, coming in 2021. Grab a blanket and a plate of your favorite baked goods, and get ready for some delicious mystery suspense novels with a side helping of chocolate.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder introduces readers to Hannah Swensen, intrepid home sleuth and owner of The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden, Minnesota's most beloved bakery. Hannah has her hands full trying to avoid her mother's attempt to get her married while also running a successful business. And then Ron LaSalle, her favorite delivery man, is found dead behind her bakery, her signature Chocolate Chip Crunchies strewn around him. Determined to save her bakery's reputation, Hannah does the only thing she can: sets out to find the killer. Only, it would be a lot easier if there weren't so many suspects...
Hannah Swenson is thrilled when Hartland Flour selects the town of Lake Eden for the location of their first-ever Dessert Bake Off. She's even more honored to be chosen as the head judge. But her excitement sours when her fellow judge, Coach Boyd Watson, is found dead, his face pressed into one of Hannah's famous strawberry shortcakes. With her usual pluck, good humor, and determination, Hannah sets up to get to the bottom of the case—before someone decides she'd be better off dead.
Hannah Swenson is none too happy when the honor of baking the official cake for Lake Eden's Winter Carnival goes to out-of-towner Connie Mac, a lifestyle guru with a cable cooking show. Hannah has never liked Connie, and her dislike grows when Connie rolls into town, bossy and rude. But things get a lot worse when Connie is found dead in the kitchen at The Cookie Jar. With her bakery a crime scene, and nowhere to bake her own Winter Carnival cake, Hannah does what she does best (other than baking): finds Connie's killer herself.
When Hannah's boyfriend Norman Rhodes surprises her with his plan to buy a house and tear it down so they can build their dream home together, she's a little shocked. But that's only the first surprise. When Hannah and her mother begin going through the antiques left in the house, they discover the body of its previous owner, Rhonda Scharf, lying near a half-eaten fancy dinner, including one of Hannah's lemon meringue pies. If she wants her dream house, Hannah is going to have to get to the bottom of what happened to Rhonda.
Murder and small town politics collide in Fudge Cupcake Murder, the fifth Hannah Swensen mystery. Hannah is rooting her brother-in-law Bill, who is running for sheriff against longtime incumbent Sheriff Grant. She's not the only one who thinks it's time someone gave Sheriff Grant a good fight. But when Hannah finds Grant's body in a dumpster, fudge frosting from a cupcake she'd given him visible on his shirt, she's got suddenly got bigger problems on her hands.
In Sugar Cookie Murder, baker-detective Hannah Swensen is snowed in at the annual Christmas Buffet, along with most of the residents of Lake Eden—and one killer. Recently divorced Martin Dubinski arrived at the buffet with his new wife, but he isn't going to leave with her—not after she's found dead with Hannah's mother's antique cake knife in her chest. It's up to Hannah to make no one else leaves the buffet on ice.
Hannah Swenson is used to murder investigations by now—she's solved more than a few. But this time around, she's the prime suspect. When Shawna Lee, the co-owner of a rival bakery in Lake Eden, turns up dead, Hannah has to use every skill she's learned to prove her own innocence, find the real killer, and save her bakery.
If you're hungry for more small town cozy mysteries, Fluke's newest installment, Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder, is coming out in February 2021. Hannah is elbows-deep in flour during the Eastern rush at The Cookie Jar. But a frantic call from her sister Andrea only adds to her stress: the mayor of Lake Eden has been murdered, and Andrea is the number one suspect. Full of mouthwatering pies and cozy small town vibes, you won't want to miss Hannah's latest adventures, in and out of the kitchen.
What to Read Next