Book Review: “Blackberry Pie Murder” by Joanne Fluke

Warning: This book review contains some spoilers for “Blackberry Pie Murder” by Joanne Fluke.

Cover of "Blackberry Pie Murder" by Joanne Fluke.
Cover of “Blackberry Pie Murder” by Joanne Fluke.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Blackberry Pie Murder” by Joanne Fluke! It’s been a while since I read and reviewed a book in this murder mystery series. It was about time I picked up another book to read and review! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“It’s been a sleepy summer for the folks of Lake Eden, Minnesota. In fact, it’s been a whole four months since anyone in the Swensen family has come across a dead body. And that means Hannah Swensen can finally focus on her bakery. . .or can she? Life is never really quiet for Hannah. After all, her mother’s wedding is a little over a month away and guess who Delores put in charge of the planning? Yet just when Hannah believes her biggest challenge will be whether to use buttercream or fondant for the wedding cake, she accidentally hits a stranger with her truck while driving down a country road in a raging thunderstorm.

Hannah is wracked with guilt, and things get even worse when she’s arrested. . .for murder! But an autopsy soon reveals the mystery man, his shirt covered in stains from blackberry pie, would have died even if Hannah hadn’t hit him. Now, to clear her name, Hannah will have to follow a trail of pie crumbs to track down the identity of the deceased, find a baker who knows more about murder than how to roll out a perfect pie crust–and get herself to the church on time. . .”

Character Development: 2 out of 5 stars

The main protagonist, Hannah, is fun to read with her trying to investigate the mystery at hand, but she doesn’t develop much otherwise. Barely any of the other characters have any development otherwise, save for Delores.

Delores was the one character in this book that saved this category from being 1 out of 5 stars. This is because Delores has a huge, active part in what little mystery there is in this book. It’s thanks to her ability to talk up others and quick thinking that the mystery actually gets anywhere. She also had the main subplot of figuring out her wedding to Doc with her daughters’ help. This was helpful for her development.

Plot Development: 1.5 out of 5 stars

I love how the first chapter made fun of how the vast majority of murders were found by someone in the Swensen family. It’s a nice continuity nod to all the murders in this series. It also pokes fun at the hilarity of the situation. Not only do all the murders happen within one town, but the fact that Hannah is the one who finds most of the corpses is hilarious.

Unfortunately, the rest of the book itself wasn’t as fun to read. There was barely any mystery in this murder mystery book. Out of all the chapters, I would say that only about a quarter of them actually touched on the mystery at hand. The rest was filled with Delores’ wedding planning and day-by-day shenanigans. Unfortunately, these other activities added very little to any subplots or character development other than Delores’ own. The entire book could be reduced down to about ten chapters to get the whole mystery. Even then, the mystery itself is very straightforward with little-to-no interesting plot points.

Overall, I’m rating this book 1.5 out of 5 stars!

This is definitely one of the not-as-good books in this series. I definitely recommend skipping this one, and reading one of the other books, like “Cinnamon Roll Murder” or “Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder” instead.

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