cover image Wedding Cake Murder

Wedding Cake Murder

Joanne Fluke. Kensington, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-61773-216-4

Bestseller Fluke’s frothy 19th Hannah Swensen Mystery (after 2015’s Double Fudge Brownie Murder) finds the guileless Lake Eden, Minn., baker both a bride to be and a contestant in the Food Channel’s Dessert Chef Competition. Her meddlesome mother, Delores, has assumed the role of wedding planner, leaving Hannah free to focus on her confections, but when head judge and celebrity chef Alain Duquesne is murdered midcontest and her sister, Michelle, finds the body, Hannah feels honor-bound to catch his killer. Readers in search of a fair-play whodunit may deem Hannah’s latest adventure dissatisfying; Fluke back-burners the mystery in favor of the cooking competition and Hannah’s impending nuptials, and the book features more recipes than suspects or clues. The plot relies too heavily on coincidence, but Fluke’s cast is lively and winsome enough to carry the tale, and long-standing fans will likely forgive any flaws for the chance to see romantic flip-flopper Hannah finally walk down the aisle. Author tour. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Mar.)