Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota, is supplying the cookies for the annual winter carnival but she's a bit put out because she wasn't asked to design the official carnival cake. Instead, that honor goes to Connie Mac, a nationally known Martha Stewart wannabe. Hannah is steamed about "dirty politics," and she's sure that Ms. Mac is going to be unbearable.

The clever Hannah is right on both counts. Connie no sooner arrives than she publicly humiliates her chauffeur. Her nasty behavior continues and it's really no surprise when someone finishes Connie off for good. The only problem is they picked The Cookie Jar in which to do their dirty work.

Since the bakery is a crime scene and off limits to Hannah, she occupies her time with sleuthing. When a second killing occurs, Hannah knows she'd better find the murderer before the entire winter carnival is ruined.

Reading about Lake Eden and its citizens is a sheer delight; it's comfort food for the mind. A well-plotted mystery and many delectable cookie recipes round out this fun read. (Mar., 336 pp., $22.00)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg