Sunday, January 23, 2011

Glazed Murder - Jessica Beck

Glazed Murder by Jessica Beck

I started this book for a little light reading before I went back to the Maximum Ride series.  I have read all the Joanne Fluke novels about Hannah Swensen and the Murder She Baked series and this looked similar to those books.  I didn't know how similar they were until I started reading.

Our amateur sleuth in Glazed Murder  whose name is Suzanne Hart, owns a donut shop, Donut Hearts, in a small town in North Carolina.  A body gets dumped on her front doorstep which she witnesses and puts her and her family in danger.  She decides that the local police are not going to do everything they can to catch the murderer, so she takes it upon herself to solve the mystery in order to get herself out of danger.  She is slightly overweight, has an overbearing mother, a retired police officer helps her investigate and has a real estate broker best friend who is always there for her when she needs her. She also starts dating a State Trooper.

In this book there were so many different directions that the suspect list took Suzanne that I was struggling to keep up with plot.  I was wondering at the end if she was going to tie up loose ends in the next novel, Fatally Frosted, but i was disappointed. 

I couldn't help but notice the similarities with the Joanne Fluke novels.  I'm sure anyone who has read her books and then read the above paragraph will also notice similarities.  Joanne Fluke writes about Hannah Swenson who owns a cookie shop in a small town in Minnesota I believe.  In one of Joanne's books, Hannah is presented with some competition in the form of a southern bell from North Carolina who opens up a sweet shop down the street.  She is promptly murdered, therefore eliminating the competition.  In one of Jessica Beck's books there is an already established cookie and cake shop down the street that is threatening to make donuts as competition for Suzanne's business.  Suzanne refers to the cookies and "too bland" for her taste and quickly dismisses them as competition.

I find the references fascinating.  And to take it one step further, I will say that there are some similarities in Joanne Flukes novels to those written by Lilian Jackson Braun, or The Cat Who books.  I challenge anyone to read just one of these books by all three of the authors I've listed and not see the similarities in each.

I like Glazed Murder, but I'm not thrilled by it.  I think I like the Joanne Fluke novels better.  However I will continue to read the books by Ms. Beck just to see how the similarities progress.

I give it 4 out of 5 overall and that's mostly for the recipes.

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