Joanne Fluke is the pen name of Joanne Fischmann, an American author that has also written under pseudonyms like R.J. Fischer, Kathryn Kirkwood, Chris Hunter and Jo Gibson. Born in 1943 in Swanville, Minnesota, Fluke got her degree in psychology from St. Cloud State College. The author’s love for baking manifested at a very young age and has continued to influence her literary efforts.
Order of Hannah Swensen Series
|1||Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder||2000|
|2||Strawberry Shortcake Murder||2001|
|3||Blueberry Muffin Murder||2001|
|4||Lemon Meringue Pie Murder||2003|
|5||Sugar Cookie Murder||2004|
|6||Fudge Cupcake Murder||2004|
|7||Peach Cobbler Murder||2005|
|8||Cherry Cheesecake Murder||2006|
|9||Key Lime Pie Murder||2007|
|10||Candy Cane Murder||2007|
|11||Carrot Cake Murder||2008|
|12||Cream Puff Murder||2008|
|13||Plum Pudding Murder||2009|
|14||Apple Turnover Murder||2010|
|15||Gingerbread Cookie Murder||2010|
|16||Apple Turnover Murder||2010|
|17||Devil's Food Cake Murder||2011|
|18||Cinnamon Roll Murder||2012|
|19||Red Velvet Cupcake Murder||2013|
|20||Blackberry Pie Murder||2014|
|21||Double Fudge Brownie Murder||2015|
|22||Wedding Cake Murder||2016|
|23||Christmas Caramel Murder||2016|
|24||Banana Cream Pie Murder||2017|
Order of Joanne Fluke Standalone Novels
|2||The Other Child||1983|
|5||Vengeance is Mine||1986|
|12||A Match For Melissa||1998|
|14||A Season For Samantha||1999|
|15||A Husband For Holly||1999|
|16||A Valentine For Vanessa||2000|
|17||A Townhouse for Tessa||2001|
Order of Joanne Fluke Non-Fiction Books
|1||Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook||2011|
Fluke worked hard to succeed as a writer, pursuing the career even while undertaking all manner of jobs and employment opportunities, at one point in time working as a psychologist, pharmaceutical secretary, a florist’s assistant, party planner and even a computer consultant to mention but a few.
In attempting to give her writing career life, Fluke initially turned her attention to a blend of young adult and horror stories, writing books under the pseudonym Jo Gibson. A conversation with her editor convinced her to give cozy mysteries a try. Luckily for Fluke, she was already looking for opportunities to create a cookbook. Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke’s famous amateur sleuth manifested when the author blended her cookbook idea with a cozy mystery concept, giving the character and her small Minnesota town life.
Joanne Fluke is married to Ruel E. Fischmann, a television writer. The pair has children and stepchildren.
Joanne Fluke Awards
Joanne Fluke Won the 2009 RT Reviewers Choice Award for Amateur Sleuth.
Joanne Fluke Books to Movies
One of Fluke’s most notable achievements has been to see her books come to life on the big screen as an American/Canadian Film Series known as ‘Murder, She Baked’.
From ‘A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery’ to ‘A Deadly Recipe’, ‘A Plum Pudding Mystery’ and ‘ Peach Cobbler Mystery’, the movies follow Hannah Swensen, a small-town baker played by Alison Sweeney.
Best Joanne Fluke Books
Most people probably wouldn’t name Joanne Fluke among the greatest cozy mystery writers, but her work still has a decent following, with some of the best books she has ever written including the following:
Peach Cobbler Murder: Things haven’t been looking too good for Hannah, not since the popularity of the new Magnolia Bakery exploded. What she hoped would be little more than a passing fad has cut rather drastically into her profits.
As such, Hannah has nothing good to say about Shawna Lee and Vanessa Quinn, with her only hope being that spring will bring with it new opportunities, that and the fact that Lisa, her business partner’s wedding could deliver some much-needed cheer.
Hope seems to falter for Hannah when Shawna gets her hands on an invitation to the wedding reception and promises to bring some of her Southern Peach Cobbler. Things only get worse when Hannah learns that her sometime-boyfriend might not make it to the wedding.
The unexpected death of Shawna, who Hannah finds shot at the Magnolia Blossom Bakery, throws everything into confusion. Hannah looks to her friends to help her track down the murderer.
Hannah, the protagonist of this book, basically bakes pies and solves murders. Most of Joanne Fluke’s books are simple and enjoyable, not that difficult to read but bringing little to the table in terms of substance.
This book doesn’t differ that drastically from other Hannah Swensen books, and people who have read Fluke’s work will know what to expect. The one notable element is the love triangle between Hannah and two suitors which has been running for several books and makes an appearance here to the irritation of many readers who hoped the whole situation would have been resolved in previous novels.
The sooner Fluke wraps that particular thread up, the better. Serious fans of the mystery genre shouldn’t look to this book to test their intelligence; in fact, most readers tend to solve the mystery by the half way point.
Cherry Cheesecake Murder: A Hollywood film crew doing some shoots in the small town of Lake Eden is plagued by a killer. Luckily for them, Hannah is just around the corner, catering for the film crew and cast. The advent of two marriage proposals does little to slow Hannah down as she puts her mind to the task of solving some crime.
The funny thing about this cozy mystery novel is the fact that it has a relatively compelling mystery and yet most conversations about the book tend to revolve around the drama in Hannah’s personal life rather than the killer in their midst.
This isn’t a particularly complex novel; none the less, it’s quite entertaining, probably because of all the fun characters involved.