By norahaddad |
Plum Pudding Murder: Hannah Swensen Mysteries #12

I have been BINGING these like crazy- cannot get enough of these yummy cozies, hehe. I enjoyed the twelfth book of the Hannah Swensen series and would give it a 5/10 so there are a few cons. The plot is much more drawn out- what with Hannah avoiding her on-and-off part-time flame, Mike, while investigating- and with the body being discovered halfway through the book instead of near the beginning. The substance was a bit lacking but as I've stated before I really just adore the characters and setting so I can't really complain. The "plot" up until the body being discovered was Hannah hanging out with Norman, stalking Carrie (Norman's mother) who's mysteriously begun avoiding everyone including her own son, and selecting a Christmas tree only for her cat to start causing trouble with it again. (Thankfully Moishe wasn't featured as heavily in the storyline as in some of the other books.) And the ending with the college professor who shows up after having broken Hannah's heart years ago was definitely surprising!

The victim for this one was Larry Jaegar, a fishy businessman who nobody quite trusts. He's the "Crazy Elf" of an elf-themed store where people can go to buy their Christmas trees and gifts- but it's soon revealed that he's not ACTUALLY in charge. His fiance, Courtney, handles the business aspect better and she has a reputation for being responsible with finances, unlike Larry with his liberal spending habits. 

While Hannah's investigating, she discovers that her mother's new friend (Nancy, or better known as Dr. Love on the radio) was Larry's wife but had never been able to divorce him since she couldn't find his address. That in itself gives her motive considering his cheap behavior when he up-and-left her with all of her money. But what really makes her shoot to the top of the suspect list is she doesn't have an alibi for the night he was killed- and after his death she receives a considerable amount of money. As in, LOTS.

The confrontation with Larry's killer, who in fact turns out to be Miss Whiting (her business teacher), was quite suspenseful this time. Miss Whiting confesses that Larry had murdered her father due to a bad business deal and she had killed him in revenge, and there's a shoot-out scene that Hannah narrowly escapes, again thanks to Mike.