A calorie-laden delight, this book is comfort food for the reader's soul. Fluke's expertise in creating yummy recipes and believable characters will have dessert lovers and mystery fans feeling like part of the crew that helps heroine Hannah solve her latest case.

Despite the winter chill, small- town Minnesota bustles with activity, particularly after Hannah finds the sheriff dead in a dumpster— with one of her fudge cupcakes mashed into his uniform. Complicating matters, her sometimes-boyfriend (now the acting sheriff) wants her to stay in the kitchen and out of his case.

In between baking batches of cookies with heavenly sounding names— Apple Orchard Cookie Bars and Andrea's Pecan Divines, for example— intrepid Hannah concocts crime-busting strategies with the help of her assistant, her sister and her mom. Eventually, Hannah cracks the case that will rock Lake Eden to its cozy core. Fluke's suspenseful and scary denouement is just icing on the cake. (Mar., 320 pp., $22.00)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison