Book Review: “Christmas Caramel Murder” by Joanne Fluke

Cover of "Christmas Caramel Murder" by Joanne Fluke
Cover of “Christmas Caramel Murder” by Joanne Fluke.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Christmas Caramel Murder” by Joanne Fluke! I know it’s not December yet, but the Christmas season is always fast to approach once November starts, so I thought picking up some holiday-related reads to review would be fitting. Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“The holidays have arrived, and Hannah and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all the goodies for the town’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say “Bah, humbug!” a Santa-sized sackful of trouble ensues. Like the fact that Lisa’s husband will be playing Mr. Claus to his ex-girlfriend Phyllis Bates’ Mrs. Claus. Or that before the curtains even go up Phyllis is found dead in the snow—wearing a costume that the real Mrs. Claus would put on the naughty list. Soon after the suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard, while a merry murderer remains on the loose. With clues even harder to find, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays . . .”

Character Development: 3 out of 5 stars

I think the character development was okay in this book, but that’s thanks to the side characters and suspects developing more versus Hannah and the rest of the main cast. Since the side characters like Lisa, Herb, Phyllis, etc. were fleshed out more, this made them more believable as suspects in the novel’s mystery. The main characters mostly bored me since they didn’t develop much. If it wasn’t for the side characters being as good as they were, I would probably push this ranking down a star.

Plot Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The mystery made a lot more sense this time compared to the past books I reviewed by Fluke lately, and the reasons given for multiple suspects were well-justified. I also think it was a clever move for the story to be told by Hannah to Ross in a sort of flashback, so Ross himself wouldn’t be involved in the actual mystery.

The only thing I did not enjoy reading about the plot was how the killer was revealed, especially with how the killer’s character development drastically changed during said reveal. I think it was too easy of an out for the killer to believe they were being divinely told to kill someone to justify their actions.

Overall, I’m rating this book 3 out of 5 stars!

The story itself was overall good, even if slightly predictable. However, it’s a good holiday read to pass the time and worth looking into.

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