Just in case you’re into cozy mysteries, Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke and Leslie Meier is a refreshing cozy mystery and fits perfectly into the atmosphere of the Christmas/New Year holidays. Gingerbread Cookie Murder is, in a nutshell, the collection of three stories written by three female authors and are all shaped around an object: Gingerbread!
“Gingerbread Cookie Murder” is written by Joanne Fluke. When Hannah Swensen finds her neighbour Ernie Kusak with his head bashed in and sprawled on the floor of his condo next to an upended box of Hannah’s Gingerbread Cookies, she discovers a flurry of murder suspects that’s as long as her holiday shopping list. “The Dangers Of Gingerbread Cookies” is written by Laura Levine. Jaine Austen has been enlisted to help with her parents’ retirement community’s play The Gingerbread Cookie That Saved Christmas. Playboy Dr. Preston McCay is playing the role of the gingerbread cookie when he ‘accidentally’ falls to his death during the final act. Now Jaine must figure out if one of the doctor’s jealous lovers was capable of murder. “Gingerbread Cookies And Gunshots” is written by Leslie Meier. When Lucy Stone discovers the body of Rick Juergens, whose five-year-old son Nemo disappeared, she senses foul play. Crumbs from a gingerbread cookie Lucy gave to Nemo are found in the back seat of Rick’s car. With the hours quickly ticking till Christmas, Lucy races against the clock to find a killer before he strikes again.
Not much to say: These novellas are perfect read for the holidays as they take less time to finish and their subject is relevant for Christmas. These authors with established mystery series have found a way to offer sweet bonuses to the fans without threatening their main series. They did the same in 2007 with Candy Cane Murder (three stories from the same authors). Overall, these are plot-driven work and don’t have a lot of sophistication and mystery depth (and they are not meant to either).
Just some additional information in the case you are not familiar with the authors and their main characters: Hannah Swensen is Fluke’s recurring character in her books, incorporating food in the plot and titles. Fluke weaves thirteen mouth-watering recipes into the story, including ‘Gingerbread Cookies,” and “Magic Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars.” “Game-Day Oven Burgers,” among others.
Laura Levine is a Hollywood comedy writer, touting major television credits to her name. She’s currently writing the next Jane Austen mystery. Leslie Meier is the author of sixteen Lucy Stone mysteries and has written for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. She’s currently working on the next Lucy Stone mystery.