Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder By Joanne Fluke

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is about a small town baker Helen Swensen who comes to work one day only to find the local dairy man dead in her stores back alley way. Her brother in law gets the case, and enlist Helen to help him solve the case, in hopes that it will lead him to a promotion. Using her conversational skills and unassuming looks Helen goes about investigating sparse clues and interviewing suspects. Writing novels about amateur detectives is a difficult task. How do you get your character, with no police training into the throws of an official investigation without making it completely unbelievable. The more I read mystery novels the harder it seems. Being that this was a small town, where the crime rate was low, and murder sent all the police officers into a tizzy it didn't feel as unbelievable, as say if it were taking place in the big city.

The characters were enjoyable, Helen was unique enough to be interesting as well as accessible. Her relationship with her family is explored and I enjoyed the fact that her sister helped her out a lot with her investigations. The other characters were well done, although none of them were intimately explored. The only character I did not like (and no I'm not talking about whoever the murderer is :P) was the police officer introduced in the end. He messed with the nice relationship Helen was developing with her dentist friend Norman.

Now plot wise it was a bit flimsy. The action opened up fairly quickly but then it died down just as fast. Although it wasn't completely boring it still wasn't as nicely paced as I like my mysteries. The ending was also pradicteble not matter how hard the author tried to throw you a red herring. It is not quite as fun knowing who the killer is before the slueth does. It doesn't make them seem very bright, or that they should have a mystery series all about them.
Content: Murder, some language I think, references to an abusive relationship, and someone takes inappropriate pictures but it's not in much detail.
Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 5
Recommend: For fans of light mysteries.

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