Grade: C - 14 and up (just because of the whole murder theme, and finding a dead body, even though the grisly details were left out)
This book is part of the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series written by Joanne Fluke. I believe this is the fourth one I have read. They are all pretty similar. Hannah lives in a small town in Minnesota, where she owns and runs a cookie shop. She has the unfortunate habit of finding dead (murdered) bodies. Which is totally unrealistic in and of its self. There is no earthly way that a town this size - rural - would have that many murders, especially within the short space of time these books span; maybe within a lifetime, you know, 80 years or so. Also unrealistic is that she would be the first one to see all of these bodies. But, that having been said, I really enjoy these books for a bit of light reading: cozy mystery, I believe is what you would call them. I have to admit that part of the reason I like these books is because of the covers. And another part is because of the food in them. Yum! All of the books come with recipes of the cookies and deserts that are made in Hannah's shop, or elsewhere in the story. These are good recipes, too. I have tried some of them, and read the others; there are some very original recipes, and they all look good.
The books generally only cover a few days to a few weeks of time, and this way the story of Hannah's life - her romantic interests - moves very slowly. I believe this is the fifth of sixth book in the series, and she is still only casually dating two guys.
The 'Sugar Cookie Murder' however, covers only one event. A christams party where recipes from the whole city are being sampled to see which ones will go in the cookbook which Hannah is publishing. The murder, and solving of the murder take place on this evening at the community center. The book was very sh0rt, the story only ran for 168 pages; but the last half of the book was dedicated to the recipes that were being tasted and tested at the party, and this time there are more than just desserts. Some of them look very tasty. I want to try the Hawaiin Roast Beef, it has a ton of brown sugar, and pineapple in it (among other things).
So, a fun and predictable read, but not so good to read when you are trying to drop 20 lbs.