The grand opening of the newly renovated Albion Hotel in Lake Eden, Minnesota, is the crime scene in Hannah Swansen’s latest caper, “Murder with a Red Velvet Cupcake,” by Joan Fluke.
Cities gather in early June to celebrate in the Red Velvet Hall. Hannah and her business partner Lisa Herman Beezmann own The Cookie Jar, the neighborhood’s popular coffee shop. They deliver desserts for an affair, including their delicious Red Velvet Surprise Cupcakes.
Amidst the gala, Hannah’s sister and the city’s real estate company, Andrea, is promoting the hotel’s available suites and a lavish penthouse with its own elevator, stunning views of Lake Eden; and a huge tropical garden and jacuzzi.
The penthouse, in the process of final repairs, expects delivery and placement of its massive climate with controlled climate. Safety saws prevent penthouse visitors from getting too close to the edge of the building.
Partygoer, Barbara Connelly, excitedly walks around the penthouse to find her residence from the hotel.
Soon, revelators see Barbara’s body playing past the windows of the hotel lounge, eventually landing face down in the rose bushes. Barbara was taken to Lake Eden Memorial Hospital for care.
At 4 p.m., Hannah feverishly receives an interrupted call from a woman believed to be Barbara shouting, “He tried to kill me!” And Hannah is about to solve another mystery on Lake Eden.
Who wants Barbara Connelly dead? And why?
When Hannah interrogates Barbara in the hospital, she is adamant that her brother is the culprit.
But how could he be when she is an only child?
Complicating this is Barbara’s request to see her father, who died with her mother years ago.
Roger Dalworth paid for the renovation of the Albion Hotel in Minneapolis. He attended the opening with his new flame, dentist Dr. Bev. He is also in town visiting his rich, terminally ill father, Warren Dalworth.
The city is offended because Dr. Bev, a famous gold digger, once lived in the Lake of Eden; and twice became the fiancé of Norman Rhodes, a current romantic interest of that of Hannah.
Dr. Bev brags about his last conquest at Roger Dalworth; and brazenly displays its symbols of love, including a new red Maserati convertible.
After driving to visit Hannah at the hospital, Hannah’s route passes Miller’s Lake. There she finds a sunken car and instinctively swims to check for passengers.
Surprised, Hannah realizes that this is Dr. Bev’s sports car; and that she is still behind the wheel. Hannah diligently pulls Dr. Bev to the ground; however, her attempts to save her were unsuccessful.
Detective Mike Kingston, who also takes care of Hannah’s caresses, must confront her in an awkward, formal way when he points to Hannah as the prime suspect in Dr. Bev’s death.
Dr. Bev had ordered Hannah’s Red Velvet Surprise Cupcakes to go to inspect the dome of the penthouse set up this afternoon. Toxicological tests showed that she died before crashing into the lake with a powerful sedative. Her stomach contents consisted only of coffee cream, artificial sweetener and Hannah’s cupcakes.
Traditionally, crowds gather at The Cookie Jar to hear Lisa entertain them with exciting details of the latest crime Hannah has decided to solve. The room is only from the main suspect Hannah.
Soon Hannah confronts the man who tried to kill Barbara; and the exciting conclusion begins.
Fluke’s story includes a chat about the small town that reflects worldly wisdom, in lines like “When you get used to seeing something, you just take it for granted until it’s gone;” and her signature recipes as well.
Her impeccable writing allows new readers to quickly connect with the inhabitants of Lake Eden; and arouses interest in experiencing her previous murder mysteries. “Killing a red velvet cake” is a treat for both your mind and your mouth.
If you enjoy reading fictional, small town, murder mysteries, complemented by delicious recipes, check out the series of books by Anne B. Ross. Miss Julia is the main character living in Abbotsville, North Carolina. Visit: Http://www.MissJulia.com.