Question: why end a novel with a sentence that’s supposed to be a cliffhanger when it was obvious three books ago? Seriously. I both don’t understand how that could not have been obvious, and at the same time am very glad to see it. Unfortunately it would be spoilers to say much more, but I now have hope that maybe Hannah will eventually be back to her fun pre-Ross self in whatever the sequel to Raspberry Danish Murder is. Even though I totally saw that coming, I cheered a little at the thought of bad things for Ross, but at the same time there’s a chance that Hannah will just go over the stereotype pity edge. She’d better not, or I might have to give up on this series.
Hannah is still wondering where her husband may have disappeared to, even more so when the murder needing solving may have been originally targeting him. When she’s by herself, she has these terrible thoughts like ‘If I was prettier or skinnier, maybe Ross wouldn’t have disappeared on me?” Bleeechh. But when her family is around, she’s almost getting back to her previous mystery-solving confident self. The only problem on that level is that Michelle is around almost too much. It’s like she’s only there because someone else is needed to come up with recipes by this point, and Hannah obviously needs the support, and character-wise Michelle is the most able to rearrange her life, although it’s not totally realistic for a college student to wrangle that much time away from campus while a term is ongoing. We need more Doc and Dolores, and more Andrea and family.
Given that this is the 23rd full sized mystery (we don’t count the novella which wasn’t great anyways), the pattern of Hannah finding the dead body and solving the crime is a given, and the story has some fun with this. More than once, someone Hannah goes to interview tells her they had been waiting for her to get around to them. There’s even a scene where Mike, Hannah, and the rest of the gang actually work together sharing notes.
Murder-wise, that’s rarely the actual point of this kind of book, but even so a little more effort into the killer and the confrontation and motive would have been nice. The side-mystery about Moishe not having the energy to try and tackle people was more interesting and more creative with its solution. That was actually entertaining.