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Publisher's Summary

As December turns Lake Eden into the North Pole, the heat is on in Hannah Swensen’s kitchen to honor two Christmas promises: baking irresistible holiday cupcakes and preventing a person who attempted murder from succeeding the second time around!

While Hannah speeds through a lengthy holiday checklist, drama in town grows like Santa’s waistline on Christmas Eve. Her sister, Andrea, wants to stave off the blues by helping out at The Cookie Jar, Michele’s love life is becoming complicated, Lisa needs Hannah’s advice, and Delores has a Christmas secret she’s not willing to share. But nothing dampens the holiday mood more than the chilling mystery surrounding the man found near death in an abandoned storefront two doors down from Hannah’s bakery....

The befuddled John Doe can’t recall a thing about himself - except for his unusual knowledge of restoring antique furniture. With a smattering of clues and barely enough time to frost Christmas cookies, Hannah must solve a deadly puzzle that could leave her dashing through the snow for her life!

Features more than a dozen cookie and dessert recipes from The Cookie Jar!

©2020 H.L. Swensen, Inc (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Christmas Cupcake Murder

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too many recipes not enough plot

I usually like these books but this one was a disappointment. They plot was very weak ...there was just enough there to fill in the gaps between the many recipes. Cut down on the recipes and add plot, please.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • DHWAustin
  • 2020-09-30

Really wanted to love it.

I've read them all and I was thrilled to see a new Hannah Swenson cozy! Unfortunately my opinion is that there was very little story and way too many recipes. Toward the end I couldn't stand to listen to them and would just fast forward. There was also an excerpt about a dream where Hannah wakes up with her cat sitting on her face and it seems to take FOREVER for her to wake up and realize it's the cat. I found it to be way too long and annoying.

I have really enjoyed prior books and a few recipes are great. I read for the characters and the story however and when the recipe reading goes on for five - ten minutes my interest is lost. It seems like the past few books have included more and longer recipes which I didn't like but this one just passed the line for me.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Yvette
  • 2020-09-30

It's time for a pre-quel ... and A LOT of recipes!

In this Hannah Swensen mystery, we are transported back in time to Lake Eden. The question though is exactly where in time did we land. The book begins with the following intro: "This story takes place before Hannah Swensen, Lake Eden's cookie baking amateur sleuth, solves her first missing person case. It's also before Hannah's mother, Delores Swensen, opens an antique store with her best friend, Carrie Rhodes."
Overall, it's nice to return to a story with these characters and learn a little more about the early years in this series. However, it almost appears that this story was initially written to be a pre-quel to the entire series (for instance, Andrea has just hired a nanny for her daughter and is not working as a real estate agent yet), then edited to be somewhere later in the series for ease of including all of the main characters (for instance, Mike and Hannah have already met and everyone knows that Hannah keeps a notebook for each mystery she attempts to solve), but not fully edited to avoid all of the inconsistencies.
Once again, there are A LOT of very long recipes. Each recipe is included at the end of a chapter, so it's simple enough to fast-forward to the beginning of the next chapter to avoid listening to the narrator read the recipe. Skipping over the recipes does dramatically shorten the length of this 8 hour audio book though.
Bottom line: It's just enough to keep me coming back for the next book in the series, but it doesn't move the storyline along any further than the last book and it's far from the best story in the series.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-09-30

This book is just a rehash of all of the books.

There were to many recipes and not even good or original recipes just cupcakes made from cake mixes with add ins. The plot was very sketchy and just added in because every book needs a plot. It was sprinkled in the recipes and kind of forgotten most of the time. For a new reader to Cookie jar books it might be good, it would catch you up on who is who. For anyone else, don't bother.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-10-01

W anted something new

The story was well written. I just wanted something new to the series. If I wanted to revisit the past I would have read the series again. Very disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • mjyoung
  • 2021-02-21

Christmas Cupcake Murder

The story was great! I didn't like the narrator reading each recipe it was so distracting! I found myself tuning it out. It would have been better to skip those recipes!

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  • Nique
  • 2021-02-12

Just Ok

The story was good but a little thin. It started slow but picked up toward the end. I wish she would go back to the story about Ross and the failed marriage.

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  • Allison H
  • 2021-01-15

Not their best work

Disappointed by ending (cut off quickly) & narration (voices not distinguished like other books in series)

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  • Amanda L
  • 2020-12-28

Never try to go back in time

I think the author is running out of ideas so she did a prequel. But the details don’t add up to what we know occurred earlier in the series. I keep reading these books because I’m attached to the characters, but I’m about to give up.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison Bouchard
  • 2020-12-24

All recipes and no story

I’ve read all of the books in this series and always enjoyed them. This however was extremely boring. There was only the story of a man with amnesia, which seemed very secondary to the recipes. Would not recommend.

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  • Robert V.
  • 2020-12-23

cute story

I really enjoyed this story. I like how the plot was different than all the other Joann Fluke books I have read. Some parts were cliche but overall it's a good read.