Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke

Apple Turnover Murder (Hannah Swensen, #14)Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Things I liked:
1.) The cliff-hanger ending

2.) Numerous awesome recipes (I made the Too Easy Hotdish tonight for dinner and it was excellent!)

3.) Norman finally acting differently toward Hannah instead of being "mr. safe/dependable guy" whom she seems to think will continue waiting around on her forever. I hope something actually happens between Norman and this new female dentist he's brought into his clinic because he deserves better. I'm so sick of Hannah stringing him along while she decides whether she wants to marry him or marry Mike. While we're on the subject, let's move on to...

Things I disliked:
1.) The continuing Hannah-Norman-Mike love triangle saga. How long are these clowns going to keep doing this little dance with Hannah? First off, aside from his physical appearance, what precisely about Mike attracts Hannah? He is such an a**hole! He's had a plethora of "flirtations", as Fluke would call them, with other women behind Hannah's back and yet she continues to think he might be the one she wants to marry? GET REAL! He finally even admits in this book that she's great for him but he's terrible for her and that if they married, she'd constantly be worried about him having affairs! She needs to wake up and realize he's a womanizing turducken and MOVE ON. He checks out other women in her presence and says things to her that are completely chauvenistic, yet she's still on board? We're supposed to believe that she's a "strong female" who doesn't need a man to make her happy or help her with anything? If that were true, she would have realized long ago that Mike is not a good match for her, despite his "dreamy looks". Norman, on the other hand, is reliable, kind, thoughtful, considerate and she'd never have to worry about him cheating on her. When they are together, there is a comfort level there that exists only between the best of friends. Why she is still undecided about which man to choose is annoying and ridiculous. Also, in what world would 2 men propose, both be turned down and told that the lady would choose when she was good and ready and they would both actually stick around for MONTHS waiting? Hannah is a self-described tactless 30 year old woman who never wears make up and rarely rakes a comb through her hair, whose fashion sense consists of old jeans and t-shirts with food-related slogans (or "legends", as Fluke calls them) printed across them. Her favorite hobbies are baking desserts and correcting other people's English at inappropriate times. Why exactly are 2 bachelors in a dead-lock over winning this woman's hand in marriage any way?

2.) Why does Hannah get to be indignant over Mike's not dating her exclusively when she's been dating both him and Norman for over 2 YEARS?

3.) You're telling me that Hannah wouldn't have told her baby sister to stay away from Bradford Ramsay? The same man who hurt her so badly that she left college permanently after discovering he was engaged to another women throughout their relationship? COME ON! She knew Michelle was getting friendly with him before she ever invited him over to Hannah's place for dinner. She still remained mute? I truly cannot believe she'd allow her younger sister to get hurt by that creep and only let her in on the relationship she'd once had with him after he was dead and had clearly already harmed Michelle. I thought Hannah was close with her sisters, yet neither Andrea nor Michelle had any clue that Bradford Ramsay was the man who caused her to leave college?

4.) Bradford Ramsay not remembering her? Or pretending to not remember her? They had an intimate relationship for months when she was in college at Macalester, but she believed he had no idea who she was when they ran into each other when he started teaching at the community college? Hmmmmm.

5.) I want Hannah to stop correcting other people's English at the stupidest times imaginable. In this book, her sister Andrea is in tears over the family's possible move to Florida and she has the gall to correct her about crocodiles vs. alligators? Who gives a crumb when your sister's world is falling apart which freaking type of reptile inhabits Floridian swamplands???

6.) I wish there had been much less talk about metal grave art between the characters at the beginning of the book. Paragraphs were dedicated to this inane topic and it was completely unnecessary and totally boring. In a town where people turn up dead holding various baked goods, you're telling me metal grave art is the hottest topic of conversation?

7.) I had the killer figured out immediately. Once Sherri is observed tossing her proverbial cookies, I knew she was pregnant by Bradford Ramsay and that her angsty and protective bro Perry (rhyming names? Really?) killed the dude. For Hannah to be such a "sleuth", how the hell did this possibility never even cross her mind?

You might assume that with so many dislikes, I'd be passing on the next addition to the Hannah Swensen series due out in 2011, but you'd be wrong. Even with all of the silliness mentioned above, the author managed to keep me interested in what happens next in this crazy little town. I await thee with reserved curiousity, Devil's Food Cake Murder.

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