“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a famous proverb, a profound one that everyone should keep in mind, but I would rather be straightforward and say “don’t judge a person by his or her pretty face”, since I discovered this book by its cover. I noticed the book when its cover intrigued me and I soon became a fan of the series.

In case you are already familiar with the appearance of Hannah Swensen Mystery book covers, or in case you don’t know which book cover I found attractive, here are side by side images. But before you move on, let me clarify that it was a book cover for the Korean version of the story (left) that I found interesting-not the original book cover (right).

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Courtesy of Book.naver.com

The Hannah Swensen Mystery by Joanne Fluke is a culinary mystery with murders and case-solvings spiced by delicious depictions of cakes and foods and their recipes included between the chapters.

Hannah is an owner of Cookie Jar, a cookie shop in a small town of Lake Eden, Minnesota. In this small town where words go around fast, Hannah is famous – not only for her delicious cookies and freshly brewed coffee, but also for witnessing and solving murders.

It all began the day she baked a chocolate chip cookie. That day, Hannah discovered Ron, the milk delivery man for her bakery, dead in the parking lot of her bakery with her chocolate chip cooke scattered around his cold, dead body.

Determined to clear “murder” off of her cookies and bakery’s reputation, she took the case. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is the start of the series, followed by other works such as Peach Cobbler Murder and Double Fudge Brownie Murder, the latest addition to the series. There are more books in between, each with similar culinary titles

The main attraction of the book, other than its cover, is that it offers a foodie-mystery. Reading about food is a pastime one can take pleasure in. Spoon University is a perfect example of that. With an excellent baker as a protagonist, the series offers more than a cold-blooded murder. It’s imagery of steaming, hot coffee accompanied with good, freshly baked batch of cookies are so great that you can almost smell them.

I estimated around 30 pages or more that are devoted to describing the food, its taste, and its origin, which often happens to be Hannah’s grandmother. Moreover, the book is set on small town of Minnesota, where everyone’s story is a gossip. The book invites readers to peek into this small town, where everyone knows each other.

It’s quite interesting to see how these closely knit connections aid Hannah in her investigation, rather than the trace-readings and sign-solving of a typical Sherlock Holmes protagonist. Additionally, the town’s location in Minnesota means a lonnnng winter, which brings with it a lot of snow and cold temperature, which Binghamton University students can definately relate to. If you don’t want to be reminded of winter, I recommend you to peruse the first few pages and look at whether Hannah complains about her car not having a properly working heater.

Plus, if you get hungry while reading, enjoy these chocolate chip cookies!

Or maybe these.

Or even these.