I am a girl of many loves. Food, fashion, scrapbooking, makeup, flowers, and photography among many others. Adding to this list: reading. Ever since I was a teeny tot, I have loved books and reading and I remember wonderful memories of my dad taking me to the library as a little girl and borrowing so many books I needed a wheelbarrow to take them home. I didn’t actually use a wheelbarrow, but in hindsight, it would have made my life a lot easier given how often I went to the library. And whaddya know, according to my parents, when I was a baby I used to chew on my baby books. I assume it’s because I loved them so much I wanted to ingest them. My dad says he had to fish the cardboard out of my mouth. Oopsies.
Some things have changed and in many ways, they’ve stayed the same. School and work and adult responsibilities have lessened the time I have to curl up with a good book, but the little girl inside me who so dearly loved to read into the wee hours of the morning till I fell asleep with the book in my lap still exists, and because of my love for food and all things related, I’ve become insanely passionate about new series of books I’ve discovered over the past few years. And to think that my favourite murder mystery series was discovered by accident during a random summer shopping trip with my best friend! The old adage is true, “things happen when you least expect it”, and I am so happy I found these books because they are all sorts of amazing.
I adore murder mysteries (not grotesque, gruesome ones!) and the mystery genre in general. Growing up reading Nancy Drews, it was fun playing sleuth and being held in suspense in every book. I picked up Joanne’s Fluke series of foodie murder plots 2 years ago and it is now my favourite books series. The series stars heroine Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar – a cookie, bakery, and coffee shop – and follows the lives and adventures of those who live around her in Lake Eden (a fictional town), Minnesota. I love these books so much because not only are the covers and titles adorable (all related to sweets, hello!) but there are also RECIPES throughout all the books! 😀 Endless cookie recipes, pastries, cakes, and other good eats. It’s is heavenly reading for the passionate foodie. And what I truly love is how invested you become in Hannah’s life as the protagonist of the series. Joanne Fluke writes in a way that makes you feel as though you are in Lake Eden with Hannah, and the series has flow and continuity despite each book carrying its own distinct plot and group of characters.
My personal library of books is my pride and joy (that, and my lip gloss collection, ha!) and I have made it my mission to own each and every single book from Joanne’s Fluke’s series. I thank my mum who went on a book buying rampage for Christmas, she helped me add 6 titles to my collection and I believe I’m only missing 4 titles now, including the newest one that was just recently at the beginning of this month, Devil’s Food Cake Murder. Titles I have so far:
- Strawberry Shortcake Murder
- Blueberry Muffin Murder
- Lemon Meringue Pie Murder
- Peach Cobbler Murder
- Cherry Cheesecake Murder
- Key Lime Pie Murder
- Candy Cane Murder
- Carrot Cake Murder (the first one I bought and read)
- Cream Puff Murder
- Plum Pudding Murder
- Apple Turnover Murder
- Gingerbread Cookie Murder
I’m also a geek and I love to guess what possible titles Joanne Fluke would use for future books (food is never far from the brain!). And if you’ve noticed, I have an odd book out in the photo up top. To the far right is Jennifer’s Ross’s Icing on the Cupcake and although it’s not a mystery, it’s another book that I really, really enjoyed. I must be great at finding things out of the blue because this was also a random discovery during a summer trip to Indigo and I also must be a magnet for fab deals because I found and bought this book on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart! Score! It’s another great read chock full of cupcake recipes (cue excited squeals) and a wonderful story of womanhood, redemption, and growth.
There are a bunch of other foodie murder mystery series that I can’t wait to get my hands on! These include:
- Jessica Beck’s Donut Shop Mysteries
- Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mysteries
- Livia Washburn’s Fresh Baked Mysteries
I don’t care if I end up being buried in a pile of awesome books. Reading is so enjoyable to me. I keep up with upcoming publications. I hug my book to sleep. I proudly profess, at the top of my lungs in my living room, how much I love my foodie murder mysteries. My family has learned to roll their eyes and ignore me. Or humour me. “That’s nice, honey” Yes, yes it is. Because books kick ass.