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Hartselle Enquirer

Books for the week of Dec. 1

Title: “Christmas Cake Murder” 

Author: Joanne Fluke 

This is the prequel to the Hannah Swenson Holiday Mystery series. It begins with Hannah and her sisters trying to help their mother find motivation to leave her bedroom after the death of their father.   

Nothing seems to be working until they are presented with a project to help a beloved member of their community. Delores seems to come alive with purpose to show appreciation to Essie by recreating the Christmas Ball she used to hold annually.   

While they are looking for photo albums and personal items to bring to Essie, they come across some old notebooks filled with an unfinished story they assume Essie had been working on.   

On the evening of the Christmas Ball, Hannah is busy ushering in the Christmas Cake Parade in front of the guest of honor when shots ring out.  All eyes are on Essie as they call for help, and Hannah can’t help but remember Essie’s statement at the beginning of the Ball: “Tonight will be a full circle for me, Hannah. Now I don’t have to wait and worry much longer.”   

Did Essie know this would happen?  And who is “Sharon,” the name the shooter yelled out before firing?   

This is considered a cozy murder mystery with several mouth-watering recipes included. 

Title: “The Bride Test” 

Author: Helen Hoang 

Reading Level: Adult 

Khai Diep is a man with supposedly no feelings. He believes his autism makes him emotionless. He wakes up every day thinking he can never love and marry someone.  

This belief pushes his mother to give an old tradition a try.  

She goes to Vietnam and meets Esme Tran. Esme is a single mother who desperately wants to give her daughter a better life. When Khai’s mother asks her to come to the United States and convince Khai to marry her, she sees a promising future for her daughter.  

What could go wrong when a stranger must convince another stranger to marry them? 

This is the second book in the Kiss Quotient Series. This is a great story for readers who love a good rom-com!