Plum Pudding Murder (Hannah Swensen #12)

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Business is booming at the Cookie Jar, and when Larry Jaeger is killed 12 days before Christmas Hannah is on the case. With cookie orders to bake and a murder to solve, Hannah doesn’t have much time for herself if she wants to have a nice quiet Christmas.

Ok, so this book was turned into a made for TV movie by Hallmark. So, if you’ve watch that you can ignore this book in the series. Nothing is changed in the movie really and the Killer is the same. This is another solid light mystery book however, I couldn’t get into it because I already knew the end. If you haven’t watch the movie I’m sure you will like it.

Also, I’m getting a little tire of the Mike and Norman angle. I really can’t wait till I get to book 18 so this is over.


Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen #11)

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Chocolate Pomegranate Glaze Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #18) + Caramel Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #19)

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3 days before Heather has her PI license and she finds Cheeky dead in her nail salon. After calling her husband, they work together to try and untangle the lies that  surround the James family. With a ex-boyfriend who loves to pull pranks, and an overbearing mother it’s anyone’s guess who has the better motive. Also, with the bakery still closed and her course coming to an end the stress of studying is also getting to Heather as well.

I know I keep complaining… but I really don’t like Goeff and he feels useless to the plot for me. I want for the character to be used or dropped completely.

This book was a fun little read, but hopefully Heather will no longer be focusing only on crimes that she stumbles on. This series has real started becoming an interesting amateur detective book. The investigations are more in the fore front and Heather’s thought processes is starting to make more sense. Also, I’m starting to enjoy the openness with Ryan and the investigations. This book was a clear cut investigation so I enjoyed that a lot more. I suspected that I knew who was the murderer but there was no concrete evidence till the end.

I’m starting to have high hopes for this series again.

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Heather’s first case as a PI and Ryan pulls her into the murder case of one of Donut Delight’s regular customers. Amy finds herself on the suspect list as she is the last person to see Junior alive. With an estranged, an ex-girlfriend, and a pending trip to a high profile gaming convention, there are too many suspects for Heather and the Police to look into .

Ugh I though Davidson was gone for good…but he’s back in this book and I hate it. This was a little irritated that he’s back with his pompous attitude. I really just want him out of my series, unless he’s going to add anything to it.

Heather works very hard solving this case to prove to the force that Ryan didn’t just bring her in because she’s his wife and that she actually can solve the murder. The character has developed a lot since the beginning of the series, and she is now given more leeway to investigate which helps the story greatly. I find myself wishing that these books were closer to the length of the Hannah Swensen mystery novels so that Gillard can expand the story more.

The story structure has started to get a lot better in the progression of the series. I enjoy this book.


Green Velvet Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #16) + M&M Surprise Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #17)
Raspberry Mojito Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #20) + Banana Coconut Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #21)

The Untouched Crime

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The citizens of Hangzhou, China have been plagued by a serial killer for the past 3 years. The same clues were left with the victims were: a jump rope, a cigarette, and a slip of paper that says, “Come and get me.” Meanwhile, Luo Wen happens to wander into a park just as a young woman stabbed a local thug to death in a desperate act of self-defense. He helps the woman cover up the murder. Yan Liang, a former criminologist, is brought into the investigation to find the serial killer. 

This book is a very interesting and the way it’s written you get to see the incidences from both sides. half of the book is written with Luo Wen, the serial killer, and we get to see what makes him tick. The writing style is very interesting, and I haven’t read any other book like this. I wanted the book to be longer than it was, but at the same time, I think it would have dragged in on.

The idea of a former criminologist and a former forensic tech was very interesting. The battle of the minds who both use the police procedure to try to get the upper hand over each other. Luo Wen was a really well-built character, and though he has killed multiple people, we can really feel for him. I was surprised to feel so much sympathy for a serial killer, but he’s a relatable character.

This is an excellent work of police procedures. I really would suggest this book for anyone who likes police procedurals.

Green Velvet Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #16) + M&M Surprise Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #17)

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After Kent’s family comes to town, Aunt Bernie is found dead in her hotel room. Choked on her Geoff’s fudge balls. She has to dig into the Belushi’s family and find out who would have had the desire to kill Bernie. Let’s just say that there is a rotten apple on the family tree that isn’t too far hidden, right there in Hillside.

Kent who showed up out of no where, finally has a family. I know that he’s always had a back story but this gives him a family, and like everyone in these books, his family be crazy. I enjoyed the story however, Kent’s aunt is actually the meanest person is around. Amy, who mind you is a little weird, doesn’t deserve the attitude given to her. Also, why is Geoff still around, even though he was nearly framed for murder… again… he’s a really annoying character that I could use without. I am very happy with how the relationship between Amy and Heather is deepening and the lovely relationship she has with Ryan.

This was a good continuation to the series.

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When one of the judges for the Lake Eden archery competition is found dead, Ryan is on the case once again. While the store is closed for renovations, Heather is free to help Ryan with the investigation. Also with only a little while left before she completes her license, Heather uses all of her studying and tries to figure out who would want to kill a judge of the archery competition with a bow and arrow.

This is the most detective-y book to date. We get to see Heather not have to worry about the store and looking into the murder. If the books turn more into a detective who happens to own a doughnut store then I would really like it. This book is my favourite in this series, currently. The murder weapon in this story was very interesting, though it makes sense that there is an archery competition going on, using a bow and arrow is an interesting choice.

Heather’s workers are not really in the forefront of this book, well accept for Jung. I enjoyed seeing Heather outside of the shop, which also lets the world grow bigger. I am starting to have high hopes for the continuation of this series.


Cinnamon Nut Crunch Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #14) + Chocolate Crunch Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #15)
Chocolate Pomegranate Glaze Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #18) + Caramel Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #19)

Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen #11)

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After a long work out at Lake Eden’s new health club, Hannah stumbles upon the body of Ronni Ward in the Jacuzzi. This instructor did not have many friends, which leaves Hannah with a suspect list as long as her arm. Also, with her mother’s book launch party around the corner and 10 pounds to loose, Hannah doesn’t have time for this murder.

This is the book that caused the downfall of Mike in my opinion. In the movie series, he’s a lovable character, however, in this book he’s very annoying and shows how little he takes Hannah’s feelings into consideration. It’s understandable that since they have an open relationship that he can see other people, but he should at least tell her and not find out the way she did. She worked really well with Andrea to solve this murder using little tidbits of information that she gets from Mike and Bill. However, how they ended up solving the murder was just sheer luck in the end. I know not everything needs to be planned out but it Kinda bothered me in the end. It’s a good continuation of the series just not my favourite book.


Carrot Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen #10)
Plum Pudding Murder (Hannah Swensen #12)

Cinnamon Nut Crunch Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #14) + Chocolate Crunch Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #15)

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When Heather hears about Detective Davidson’s daughter’s death, only hours after meeting her. Little did she realise that Davidson was going on a witch hunt, and he’s after Heather’s head on a platter. Once again she has to figure out who committed the murder as well as clearing her name. All while keeping Davidson in his place with her guns for her.

Heather gets a frantic phone call from Honey, the dancer she became friends with on a previous case. Once she’s found dead on Heather’s doorstep, she is filled with the need to find out who killed her. With Amy’s boyfriend, Kent, as a suspect due to his history with Honey. The worst thing is that Detective Davidson is not making the investigation easy, going after all the wrong leads.

Though Geoff was a little odd in the previous book, in this book, he ramps it up. With his doughnut shop open, he tries to get people to ditch Donut Delight. Though he doesn’t currently have anything to do with the story, I have a feeling he might. With Honey being the murder victim we do get to learn more about Kent’s background. Amy’s and Kent’s relationship is more in the forefront of this book rather than Heather’s. I enjoyed that because we got to see what makes Amy and Kent tick.

One thing I found odd is that Detective Davidson is still there. I don’t particularly like that character but I felt that his character was simply added to make Ryan frustrated because he can’t pursue the leads he wants to. I don’t know if this is going to lead into a larger overarching plot or he’s just a character added to be annoying.

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When the owner of Heather’s favorite burger bar is found dead, and her right hand man is now the primary suspect. As the entire staff knows, Jung wouldn’t hurt a fly so murder is unthinkable. Heather must figure out who actually killed Jung’s friend, and how to clear his name. Meanwhile, multiple investors have shown interest in investing in Donut Delight to help it flourish.

I swear that Heather’s store is the center of all crimes in this neighborhood and either her or her staff are implied in multiple murders. We get to hear more about Jung in this book and it’s very interesting. However, the very public fight that he had does seem out of character but I assume that it was just written to be in the moment. This murder was more realistic in my opinion and I could see it actually happening in the real world. Though I don’t want to spoil the ending at all. Heather’s procedure is getting better but that is to be expected.

I enjoyed this book, but it is a fluffy mystery and a very light read.


Pistachio Lemon Glazed Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #12) + Candied Maple Bacon Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #13)
Green Velvet Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #16) + M&M Surprise Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #17)

A Devil’s Mind

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Sixteen years after the body of a college student was dismembered and scattered around the area. Now, the murder was copied and the police are after the killer. Out of desperation, the police call in Han Yin, a criminal profiler who has already made a name for himself. He, along with the task force, work together to track down the killer for the two murders.

Another translated Chinese work. This is another police protocol book. The descriptions in this book is quite vivid so  I should warn anyone who is a little on the squeamish side not to read this. I enjoyed seeing the break down of a police investigation. Also, as we are following along with Han Yin, we get to see the inner workings of a criminal profiler which is interesting. The descriptions in the book paint a vivid image in your mind so you can really get a feel of the story. The interactions between the characters is really refreshing and realistic.

This is the second book that I have read that has the over arching story of the murder and multiple smaller crimes that they investigate. I don’t know if this is a common style in Chinese literature or just a coincidence with the books that I’ve been reading. I must read more books to find out.