A Recipe For Murder: Read Hannah Swensen Books In Order

Joanne Fluke’s popular Hannah Swenson series covers over thirty books written across three decades.

Table of Contents Show

You can read all Hannah Swensen books in order of chronology or publication date.

A Recipe For Murder: Read Hannah Swensen Books In Order

While the publication order gives you a good overview of all the books’ characters, the chronological reading order allows you to dive deeper into the story.

Based in the fictional town of Lake Eden, the main character Hannah Swensen is not just a fantastic baker but she is also a hobby sleuth.

A great variety of murders and mysteries surround Lake Eden, and Hannah Swensen is set on solving these strange cases.

We put together a couple of different ways to read all Hannah Swensen books and her charming murder mysteries.

About Hannah Swensen Books

Joanne Fischmann, also known under her pseudonym Joanne Fluke, has written a range of different murder mystery books.

However, the Hanna Swensen series is her most popular work. Small-town murder and delicious cake recipes are two of Fluke’s famous ingredients for her works.

Joanne Fluke grew up in a small town in Minnesota. She takes most of her inspiration for her Hannah Swensen mystery novels from her childhood memories.

Although Swensen’s Lake Eden is fictional, there are similarities between Fluke’s hometown and her imagined rural setting. This makes her books more authentic and exciting to read.

Joanne Fluke had a number of different jobs before she became a full-time author. She worked as a psychologist, a chef, a musician, and a teacher.

These different professions have given her an insight into the human mind and she often touches on some of these subjects in her books.

But the biggest aspect of Joanne Fluke’s inspiration comes from her own family who is part of a long line of bakers.

This element of Fluke’s childhood flows into her Hannah Swensen novels that feature mouth-watering desserts combined with marvelous murders.

You can even find the recipes within Joanne Fluke’s books which allows you to recreate the delicious desserts at home, even without solving a murder.

The Best Reading Order For All Hannah Swensen Books

It’s a good idea to read all Hannah Swensen books in order to make sure you get to know all the characters at the right time.

There are a couple of different reading orders that we recommend for the Hannah Swensen series.

All Hannah Swensen Books In Chronological Order

Hannah Swensen Mysteries

One of the best ways to read Hannah Swensen books in order is by the story’s chronology.

This is slightly different from the publication reading order as the chronological order starts with Christmas Cake Murder.

This book is set at a time before Hannah opened her famous bakery, so it’s a prequel to all the other books.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Christmas Cake Murder was written a couple of decades after Fluke’s first Hannah Swensen novel, so there are slight variations in writing style.

  1. Christmas Cake Murder
  2. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
  3. Strawberry Shortcake Murder
  4. Blueberry Muffin Murder
  5. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder
  6. Fudge Cupcake Murder
  7. Sugar Cookie Murder
  8. Peach Cobbler Murder
  9. Cherry Cheesecake Murder
  10. Key Lime Pie Murder
  11. Candy Cane Murder
  12. Carrot Cake Murder
  13. Cream Puff Murder
  14. Plum Pudding Murder
  15. Apple Turnover Murder
  16. Gingerbread Cookie Murder
  17. Devil’s Food Cake Murder
  18. Cinnamon Roll Murder
  19. Red Velvet Cupcake Murder
  20. Blackberry Pie Murder
  21. Double Fudge Brownie Murder
  22. Wedding Cake Murder
  23. Christmas Caramel Murder
  24. Banana Cream Pie Murder
  25. Raspberry Danish Murder
  26. Chocolate Cream Pie Murder
  27. Christmas Sweets
  28. Coconut Layer Cake Murder
  29. Christmas Cupcake Murder
  30. Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder
  31. Caramel Pecan Roll Murder
  32. Pink Lemonade Cake Murder

All Hannah Swensen Books In Order Of Publication

If you are new to the Hannah Swensen books, then the best reading order of Joanne Fluke’s novels is in publication order.

This allows you to get to know the characters slowly and you also discover the backstory over time.

Plus, reading Hannah Swensen books in publication order means you won’t come across any spoilers.

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (2000)
  2. Strawberry Shortcake Murder (2001)
  3. Blueberry Muffin Murder (2001)
  4. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (2001)
  5. Fudge Cupcake Murder (2004)
  6. Sugar Cookie 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 (2009)
  13. Plum Pudding Murder (2009)
  14. Apple Turnover Murder (2010)
  15. Gingerbread Cookie Murder (2010)
  16. Devil’s Food Cake Murder (2011)
  17. Cinnamon Roll Murder (2012)
  18. Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (2013)
  19. Blackberry Pie Murder (2014)
  20. Double Fudge Brownie Murder (2015)
  21. Wedding Cake Murder (2016)
  22. Christmas Caramel Murder (2016)
  23. Banana Cream Pie Murder (2017)
  24. Raspberry Danish Murder (2018)
  25. Christmas Cake Murder (2018)
  26. Chocolate Cream Pie Murder (2019)
  27. Christmas Sweets (2019)
  28. Coconut Layer Cake Murder (2020)
  29. Christmas Cupcake Murder (2020)
  30. Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder (2021)
  31. Caramel Pecan Roll Murder (2022)
  32. Pink Lemonade Cake Murder (2023)

Book Summaries Of All Hannah Swensen Books In Order

Here is a short summary of each Hannah Swensen book, without spoilers.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (2000)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

The Hannah Swensen series starts off with a dead body found behind Hannah’s famous bakery The Cookie Jar.

Her dead delivery man is covered in Hannah’s popular chocolate chip cookies.

In order to clear her name and ensure her cookies don’t get a bad reputation, Hannah sets out to find the murderer and prove her innocence.


  • A great introduction to the very first book from Joanne Fluke.


  • The writing style of Fluke is very different from what you can see in later books.

Strawberry Shortcake Murder (2001)

Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

Lake Eden hosts its first annual dessert bake-off but the dead body of one of the show’s judges is found dead in Hannah’s tasty strawberry shortcake.

With the event drawing a crowd, there are plenty of suspects but only one lead.


  • This book is so enticing that readers want to read more from Joanne Fluke.


  • Some readers spotted inconsistencies in the plot.

Blueberry Muffin Murder (2001)

Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

Lake Eden is about to celebrate its yearly Winter Carnival but Hannah Swensen isn’t in the mood for celebrating because Connie Mac was awarded the honor of making the cake for this year’s celebrations.

Connie Mac may be a famous celebrity but she isn’t a great baker. Still, Hannah knows Connie certainly didn’t deserve to die in the way she did.


  • This cozy winter story has all the ingredients of a great mystery novel.


  • It’s not very challenging to guess the killer.

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (2001)

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

Before her sister’s home visit, Hannah discovers the body of her dead neighbor. This is not just a disturbing start to the summer season but also overshadows her family reunion.


  • Lemon Meringue Pie Murder has an unexpected ending.


  • This book is very similar to Fluke’s first murder stories.

Fudge Cupcake Murder (2004)

Fudge Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

Small-town baker Hannah Swensen finds the body of the town’s former sheriff in a dumpster. And there is an obvious suspect almost immediately. But not everything is as it seems.


  • This book is great fun to read thanks to Fluke’s witty writing style.


  • Some readers found this book a too-quick read.

Sugar Cookie Murder (2004)

Sugar Cookie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah Swensen made a big tray of jalapeño brownies that she drops off at Lake Eden’s Christmas party.

When she remembers her mother’s Regency cake cutter, it’s already too late. The new wife of Martin Dubinski was stabbed with the cake cutter only minutes before Hannah arrived.

While Mike tells Hannah to leave the investigation to him and his team, she can’t help herself.

Hannah and her close friend Norman Rhoades quickly find out what this murder is really all about.

Sugar Cookie Murder contains an incredible 81 recipes that the reader can make at home, including spicy radish soup and sweet candied pecans.


  • This Hannah Swensen book comes with over 80 recipes that bring you closer to the story.


  • Some reviews found that this is more of a Lake Eden Cookbook than a murder mystery.

Peach Cobbler Murder (2005)

Peach Cobbler Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Just as Spring is approaching, a new bakery opens in the small Minnesotan town of Lake Eden. This puts Hannah Swensen’s The Cookie Jar bakery into difficulties.

But it’s not as bleak after all as Hannah is looking forward to her business partner Lisa’s wedding.

Unfortunately, the wedding is a big disappointment, so Hannah quickly disappears. When she sees lights on at her rival bakery, she finds one of her best friends shot dead.



  • Some readers find that this book is too similar to the other Hannah Swensen stories.

Cherry Cheesecake Murder (2006)

Cherry Cheesecake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

The main street of Lake Eden turns into a film set and Hannah’s bakery is thrown into the limelight of Hollywood.

While it’s not all going smoothly, nobody had expected tensions to turn sour so quickly.

Cherry Cheesecake Murder sees two marriage proposals for Hannah: one from the town’s dentist, Norman Rhoades, and one from local Detective Mike Kingston.

Hannah is drawn between the two and everyone seems to know exactly what – or who – is best for her.


  • This book features the finally long-awaited marriage proposals for Hannah Swensen.


  • Some reviews found a lot of inconsistencies between real life and previous books.

Key Lime Pie Murder (2007)

Key Lime Pie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah Swensen has a busy week ahead of her. She signed up as a magician’s assistant and she has plenty of treats to make for a fair.

Just as the fair is about to close, Hannah hears a mysterious thump.

As she investigates, she discovers the body of her fellow baking contest judge, Willa Sunquist, right next to a key lime pie.


  • This book contains some super tasty recipes ideal for a summer garden party.


  • Some readers found Key Lime Pie Murder a lot less interesting than other Hannah Swensen books.

Candy Cane Murder (2007)

Candy Cane Murder

Candy Cane Murder is a Christmas special short story that is part of the Hannah Swensen series.

The yearly Christmas Gala is Lake Eden’s biggest event. Hannah Swensen, dressed as an elf, finds not just Christmas carols on the agenda.

Murder and an old mystery make this Christmas special for the bakery owner and famous Lake Eden sleuth.

Candy Cane Murder also contains 15 tasty Christmas dessert recipes.



  • Some readers say that this story feels a bit too short for their liking.

Carrot Cake Murder (2008)

Carrot Cake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Summer has finally arrived in the small Minnesota town of Lake Eden. Hannah Swensen is looking forward to enjoying warm summer days with plenty of ice cream and picnics.

But there is one more thing to do before she can lean back.

Her business partner Lisa is planning a big family reunion which doesn’t turn out to be expected.

Although the appearance of Lisa’s long-lost uncle Gus is a big surprise, not everyone is happy about this ghost from the past showing up suddenly.

When Gus’ corpse is discovered with an ice pick in his chest, there are only a few suspects.


  • The tenth book in the Hannah Swensen series features some super easy recipes.


  • Some reviews found this story repetitive and not as exciting as the other Hannah Swensen books.

Cream Puff Murder (2009)

Cream Puff Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Winter is the perfect time to cuddle by the fire and enjoy a sweet treat. But when Hannah’s sister Andrea shows up, there is no time for relaxing.

Still, who would have thought that a dead body might appear at the gym? Even without her usual sugar fix, Hannah is on the case to solve this bizarre mystery.


  • Most readers enjoyed Cream Puff Murder because it has a good reading pace.


  • Some reviewers find the story of Hannah Swensen is starting to become dull and repetitive.

Plum Pudding Murder (2009)

Plum Pudding Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

It’s Christmas in Lake Eden and the busiest time of year for The Cookie Jar. Hannah loves a little bit of time pressure preparing for the wacky Christmas fair in town.

The founder of the fair might be mad but he certainly didn’t deserve to die in his office like this. Hannah Swensen quickly follows the traces of the killer.


  • Most readers liked Plum Pudding Murder because it shows how far Hannah as a character has developed.


Apple Turnover Murder (2010)

Apple Turnover Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah never made an apple turnover before but she is elated when her business partner Lisa suggests that they have an apple turnover stand at the local talent show.

With the recipe of Lisa’s mother-in-law, the turnovers don’t just turn out a big hit with the crowd but are also incredibly profitable for Hannah.

When the curtains at the show don’t rise, Hannah quickly suspects the worst. With a dead show host and hundreds of people in the audience, this book is a delightful recipe for murder.


  • Apple Turnover Murder is filled with humor and great fun for the reader.


  • Some readers find that this murder mystery is more about the baking and family than about the actual murder.

Gingerbread Cookie Murder (2010)

Gingerbread Cookie Murder

Gingerbread Cookie Murder is a fantastic Hannah Swensen Christmas special. As Hannah Swensen discovers her neighbor dead, there is a sheer endless list of murder suspects.


  • This short story is a quick read with the same witty writing style that we know from Fluke.


  • Some readers found this story a little repetitive compared to Joanne Fluke’s other short stories.

Devil’s Food Cake Murder (2011)

Devil's Food Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

While Hannah Swensen enjoys her married life, murder is never far away. As a childhood friend of Hannah’s visits town, she discovers the dead body of a man.


  • With the only witness being a bird, there are little clues for Hannah to track down the killer.


  • Some readers found that there are too many recipes included in this book.

Cinnamon Roll Murder (2012)

Cinnamon Roll Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah Swensen’s favorite Jazz band is coming to town but tragically their bus overturns. While no one appears injured at first, the band’s keyboard player suddenly falls ill.


  • Most readers love Cinnamon Roll Murder because it features all the characters Joanne Fluke fans love.


  • Despite the good humor, this book has some dull moments.

Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (2013)

Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah is the prime suspect in the murder case of a woman whom she didn’t like very much. But nothing cools you off better on a hot day than cold-blooded murder.


  • Murder mystery combined with baking makes for a cozy recipe.


  • Some readers find that Norman should get a lot more attention in this book.

Blackberry Pie Murder (2014)

Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)

It’s been far too long since the Swensens have seen a dead body, so Hannah can finally focus on the wedding plans for her mother’s big day.

But as Hannah hits a stranger with her cookie truck, she is stopped in her tracks and soon arrested for murder.


  • The cliffhanger ending is especially exciting in Blackberry Pie Murder.


  • Readers find that the Hannah Swensen series starts to get dull without any further twists.

Double Fudge Brownie Murder (2015)

Double Fudge Brownie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries, Book

The judge who was supposed to sit on Hannah’s trial involving a tragic accident is found murdered. Everyone suspects Hannah, so she has to speed up her investigations.


  • So many men want to marry Hannah but who will she choose?


  • Readers found that the recipes in the middle of the book interrupted the reading flow.

Wedding Cake Murder (2016)

Wedding Cake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

After so many rumors, Hannah Swensen is finally getting married but before the big day, Hannah is heading to New York City for a dessert contest.

When a celebrity chef is stabbed to death, Hannah is set on finding the murderer.


  • After many disappointments, Hannah is finally saying yes to one of her suitors.


  • It’s worth reading the Hannah Swensen books in order to understand who all the characters in this book are, including Hannah’s husband.

Christmas Caramel Murder (2016)

Christmas Caramel Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

The ex of Hannah’s new husband is found dead. A murder so shortly before Christmas isn’t just trouble but it spoils all the celebrations.


  • This is a fun Christmas story with a murder mystery twist.


  • With just under 200 pages, some readers found the Christmas Caramel Murder far too short.

Banana Cream Pie Murder (2017)

Banana Cream Pie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah Swensen’s marriage starts off with a relaxing cruise but the couple’s homecoming is overshadowed by a murder.


  • In this book, we get to know Hannah’s mother, Dolores Swensen.


  • This is a more predictable plot.

Raspberry Danish Murder (2019)

Raspberry Danish Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah Swensen’s emotions are in turmoil after the disappearance of her husband.

Suddenly her husband’s assistant is found dead and Hannah believes there may be hope for his return soon.


  • The mystery only reveals itself at the very end.


  • Some of the recipes distract from the reading flow.

Christmas Cake Murder (2019)

Christmas Cake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah’s life is turned upside down by the mysterious appearance of a crime story that turns out to be real.


  • This cozy mystery novel is a fantastic read for Christmas.


  • Some readers were disappointed with the boring story development.

Coconut Layer Cake Murder (2020)

Coconut Layer Cake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah finds out that her sister’s long-term boyfriend is a suspect in a murder investigation but proving his innocence will soon prove to be harder than expected.


  • This murder mystery story unravels bit by bit with each page.


  • This plot has too many of the traditional Hannah Swensen characters.

Christmas Cupcake Murder (2020)

Christmas Cupcake Murder: A Festive & Delicious Christmas Cozy Mystery (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah is in a rush to get everything done for Christmas when a man half dead appears two doors down the road. He can’t remember why and how he got to Lake Eden.


  • This is a cozy read for the Christmas holidays.


  • Some readers found that the descriptions of the recipes are too distracting from the main story.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder (2021)

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Spring has finally arrived in Lake Eden and Hannah is busy with Easter orders.

But Easter has to wait. She gets a phone call from her sister Andrea who is suspected of killing the mayor.


  • This delicious murder mystery shows well how Hannah and all the other characters in this series have developed.


  • Joanne Fluke added some internal dialogue which feels unusual for the main character.

Caramel Pecan Roll Murder (2022)

Caramel Pecan Roll Murder: A Delicious Culinary Cozy Mystery (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Hannah has been asked to bake delicious pastries for a fishing competition at a nearby inn. But she is distracted when she sees a boat with a dead body in the back.


  • This is a suspenseful culinary cozie with plenty of mystery.


  • The main plot, especially the ending, are similar to some other concepts in previous Hannah Swensen mysteries.

Pink Lemonade Cake Murder (2023)

Pink Lemonade Cake Murder: A Delightful & Irresistible Culinary Cozy Mystery with Recipes (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

Summer Solstice celebrations are underway in Lake Eden but there is something more sinister lurking among the jolly revelers.


  • This book has an unusual twist with an even greater surprise ending.


  • Besides the new turning point in Hannah’s life, Pink Lemonade Cake Murder isn’t as exciting as some of Fluke’s earlier books.

Final Thoughts

The Hannah Swensen Mysteries are Joanne Fluke’s most famous book about the small-town baker and hobby sleuth Hannah Swensen.

The quiet town of Lake Eden isn’t as heavenly as its name suggests. From a corpse at a talent show to a stabbed body in a jacuzzi, Hannah Swensen is on the case to discover the killer.

With her little bakery, The Cookie Jar, she isn’t just a brilliant baker but also knows more about this little community than anyone else.

The Hannah Swensen books are a quick and joyful read thanks to Fluke’s fun writing style.

You can choose to read the books in chronological order or publication order. If you just want to try a Hannah Swensen novel, then take a look at the first book The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

Fluke has also written a sequel to the Hannah Swensen murder mysteries, called Christmas Cake Murder, that gives you an idea of how Hannah ended up in Lake Eden.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Books Are In The Hannah Swensen Series?

Joanne Fluke has written over 32 books as part of her Hannah Swensen series.

Does Hannah Swensen Ever Get Married?

Yes, Hannah Swensen does eventually get married after she receives several marriage proposals in Cherry Cheesecake Murder.

How Many Sisters Does Hannah Swensen Have?

Hannah Swensen has two sisters called Andrea and Michelle.

Do You Need To Read Hannah Swensen Mysteries In Order?

No, you don’t have to read Hannah Swensen books in order but it can help to get to know the characters and their development.

You can read the Hannah Swensen mystery novels in chronological order or in order of publication date.

YouTube video
Anna Davis