Book Review: “Peach Cobbler Murder” by Joanne Fluke

Cover of "Peach Cobbler Murder" by Joanne Fluke
Cover of “Peach Cobbler Murder” by Joanne Fluke.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Peach Cobbler Murder” by Joanne Fluke! I’ve had mixed reviews with reading several of her books, but it’s hard to put them down partially because of this. Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“Bakery owner and occasional sleuth Hannah Swensen finds herself the prime suspect when Shawna Lee, a co-owner of a rival bakery in Lake Eden, turns up dead.”

Plot Development: 2 out of 5 stars

I think the concept of the plot was good, but I felt that it got bogged down by the romance subplot, especially with Hannah thinking that MIke potentially murdered the victim this time around. I think it would have been better if there was more focus on the actual mystery than the love triangle (or, in this case, Hannah and Mike’s shared section of the love triangle).

Character Development: 2 out of 5 stars

The only real attention I had was on Hannah for most of the book, and most of it was about her being jealous of Mike seeing other women. However, there was little development for everyone else and it felt very bare-bones, especially when the killer was revealed. I wish there was more I could say about the other individual characters, but because the book focused so much on Hannah and not so much on the case itself, I can’t.

Romance Development: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I wish Hannah had called Mike out for seeing other women, especially if he wants to be serious about her to the point of proposing. Instead, Hannah mostly jealously stews over Mike spending all this time with the victim and later Vanessa, who she works with, for most of the book, and never addresses this issue with Mike himself. If this was mainly so the reader would root for Norman to get with Hannah eventually, the author succeeded. However, it was good to see some inner conflict on Hannah’s part about what she wants her relationship to be like in the long run.

However, as I noted in past book reviews of later books in this series, Hannah still hasn’t gotten together with either man yet, and who knows when that will actually happen for sure? Additionally, I think it was also mildly hypocritical of Hannah to be jealous of Mike seeing other women when she herself was seeing both Norman and Mike at the same time, especially if none of the three are in an official romantic relationship with each other and never stated whether they would be exclusive to each other or not.

Overall, I’m rating this book 2 out of 5 stars!

This is definitely not one of Fluke’s strongest books in her series, especially since most of it focused on the love triangle-related issues and not enough on the actual mystery itself.

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