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Summary

As December turns Lake Eden into the North Pole, the heat is on in Hannah Swensen’s kitchen to honor two Christmas promises: baking irresistible holiday cupcakes and preventing a person who attempted murder from succeeding the second time around!

While Hannah speeds through a lengthy holiday checklist, drama in town grows like Santa’s waistline on Christmas Eve. Her sister, Andrea, wants to stave off the blues by helping out at The Cookie Jar, Michele’s love life is becoming complicated, Lisa needs Hannah’s advice, and Delores has a Christmas secret she’s not willing to share. But nothing dampens the holiday mood more than the chilling mystery surrounding the man found near death in an abandoned storefront two doors down from Hannah’s bakery....

The befuddled John Doe can’t recall a thing about himself - except for his unusual knowledge of restoring antique furniture. With a smattering of clues and barely enough time to frost Christmas cookies, Hannah must solve a deadly puzzle that could leave her dashing through the snow for her life!

Features more than a dozen cookie and dessert recipes from The Cookie Jar!

©2020 H.L. Swensen, Inc (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Christmas Cupcake Murder

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much better

this story is much better than the previous one. the storyline i better and the ratio of recipes to story far better

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Profile Image for DHWAustin
  • DHWAustin
  • 30-09-20

Really wanted to love it.

I've read them all and I was thrilled to see a new Hannah Swenson cozy! Unfortunately my opinion is that there was very little story and way too many recipes. Toward the end I couldn't stand to listen to them and would just fast forward. There was also an excerpt about a dream where Hannah wakes up with her cat sitting on her face and it seems to take FOREVER for her to wake up and realize it's the cat. I found it to be way too long and annoying.

I have really enjoyed prior books and a few recipes are great. I read for the characters and the story however and when the recipe reading goes on for five - ten minutes my interest is lost. It seems like the past few books have included more and longer recipes which I didn't like but this one just passed the line for me.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Yvette
  • 30-09-20

It's time for a pre-quel ... and A LOT of recipes!

In this Hannah Swensen mystery, we are transported back in time to Lake Eden. The question though is exactly where in time did we land. The book begins with the following intro: "This story takes place before Hannah Swensen, Lake Eden's cookie baking amateur sleuth, solves her first missing person case. It's also before Hannah's mother, Delores Swensen, opens an antique store with her best friend, Carrie Rhodes."
Overall, it's nice to return to a story with these characters and learn a little more about the early years in this series. However, it almost appears that this story was initially written to be a pre-quel to the entire series (for instance, Andrea has just hired a nanny for her daughter and is not working as a real estate agent yet), then edited to be somewhere later in the series for ease of including all of the main characters (for instance, Mike and Hannah have already met and everyone knows that Hannah keeps a notebook for each mystery she attempts to solve), but not fully edited to avoid all of the inconsistencies.
Once again, there are A LOT of very long recipes. Each recipe is included at the end of a chapter, so it's simple enough to fast-forward to the beginning of the next chapter to avoid listening to the narrator read the recipe. Skipping over the recipes does dramatically shorten the length of this 8 hour audio book though.
Bottom line: It's just enough to keep me coming back for the next book in the series, but it doesn't move the storyline along any further than the last book and it's far from the best story in the series.

9 people found this helpful

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  • pam lambert
  • 20-11-20

no. Just no.

They me first say, I LOVE Hannah Swenson. We have been friends for years. I have read and reread all of the older Cookie mysteries . But as sad as I am to say it, it may be time to call it a day with Lake Eden. I almost wonder if someone else wrote this book. I mean it is bad. so very bad. amateurish, even. The editing is nonexistent. there are several mistakes on the continuity side, the timeline is all messed up and the characters are extremely one dimensional . It is not a novel. It is a cookbook with some conversation. Weird conversation. People do NOT talk the way Hannah and her friends and family talk. Its always been a little stilted but this is just ridiculous. I am so sad that this book and last may 3 or 4 have declined so horribly. I hope someone takes this series and turns it around. It was so delightful for so many years. ;(

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-10-20

W anted something new

The story was well written. I just wanted something new to the series. If I wanted to revisit the past I would have read the series again. Very disappointing.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 30-09-20

This book is just a rehash of all of the books.

There were to many recipes and not even good or original recipes just cupcakes made from cake mixes with add ins. The plot was very sketchy and just added in because every book needs a plot. It was sprinkled in the recipes and kind of forgotten most of the time. For a new reader to Cookie jar books it might be good, it would catch you up on who is who. For anyone else, don't bother.

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  • Amanda Mischell Designs
  • 14-12-20

Not what you expect

If you have read the other Hannah Swenson books, this will be a disappointment. The time table is totally different from the other books. For instance, this takes place before Deloris and Carrie open their antique store yet Hannah has a cell phone and a computer that she is fully capable of using which you know from other books this was a struggle and took a while to master...way after the opening of the antique store. Another example is Grandma McCann is a live in nanny for Tracy and Grandma McCann didn’t move in until Bethany was born. Hannah’s mother is trying to fix her up with Norman which happens way before the cell phone. It’s as if this was the beginning of another series where there were the same characters but they lived in a different universe. Maybe this book had a ghost writer?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Georgi
  • 12-10-20

Something is Off

I love the Hannah Swensen series and wait impatiently for each new book, but this one not so much. The narrator seem to have a problem keeping the voices straight, which is odd, because I normally love her; in some cases I could not tell who was speaking until the conversation was over. As for the book itself, it was poorly edited and the time frames were off. I hope the next book is up to Fluke's normal standards.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nique
  • 12-02-21

Just Ok

The story was good but a little thin. It started slow but picked up toward the end. I wish she would go back to the story about Ross and the failed marriage.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amanda L
  • 28-12-20

Never try to go back in time

I think the author is running out of ideas so she did a prequel. But the details don’t add up to what we know occurred earlier in the series. I keep reading these books because I’m attached to the characters, but I’m about to give up.

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  • yolanda
  • 07-12-20

How to make cookies

I was so disappointed in this book big fan of Joanne Fluke I’ve read all her books, in the beginning the recipes were the last chapter or just a few every few chapters, but I noticed I her last 3-4 books it’s every chapter. This one was like listening to a cookbook I managed too finish by skipping though the recipes.

As much as I love her books and Hannah Swenson unless she goes back to her original format I want be wasting a precious credit on a cookie book.

1 person found this helpful