New York Times-bestselling author Joanne Fluke is known for writing the Hannah Swensen mystery series readers can’t seem to get enough of, with 29 books and counting. A proud baker herself, Fluke decided to lovingly whip together a series that follows a passionate baker with a penchant for uncovering murderers. Over the years, readers have come to expect that if they pick up a Hannah Swensen mystery, they will find an exciting murder plot, endearing characters, swoon-worthy romance, and, of course, craveable desserts—with recipes included!
It’s no wonder Fluke’s books were adapted into Hallmark films that pay homage to the clever, amateur sleuth. Treat yourself to this list of eight delectable Hannah Swensen mystery movies you can savor while sitting down with your own plateful of warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies! Just don’t forget your mugful of milk with a side of murder…
Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery (2015)
Who knew murder mysteries could be so delightful? This film, directed by Mark Jean, is based on Joanne Fluke’s first book in the Hansen Swensen cozy mystery series, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. It follows Hannah Swensen, the owner of Hannah’s Cookie Jar, a popular bakery and café in the close-knit town of Eden Lake, Minnesota. Although her life revolves around sweets, her personal life has been anything but, with her mother’s constant pestering about her state of singleness.
Then things take a turn for the worse—Hannah finds her friend and the bakery’s long-time delivery driver, Ron LaSalle, shot in the driver’s seat of his truck. Detective Mike Kingston is called to investigate, but since he's an outsider to the town, Hannah decides he’ll need her help solving the case. As the suspect list begins to grow, the stubborn detective must admit that he could use all the help he can get.
Murder, She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery (2015)
Based on Joanne Fluke’s 12th book in the Hannah Swensen series, Plum Pudding Murder, the film once again centers around a whodunnit, but this time during Christmas! It’s the busiest time of year for Hannah, as she must meet all her Christmas cookie deadlines, with the holiday only one week away. Then there’s the stress surrounding her romantic life: she must decide who she's more drawn to—her mother’s choice, dentist Norman Rhodes, or detective Mike Kingston. Oh, and she also has to cope with yet another murder victim that she's discovered.
The co-owner of the Crazy Elf Christmas Tree lot, Larry Jaeger, has been killed by a Christmas scrooge. The question is, who would have wanted Larry dead? Apparently a lot of people, since Larry would have been on Santa’s naughty list. One of the prime suspects is Nancy Schmidt, the wife Larry skipped out on after stealing all her money a decade prior. As Hannah becomes as wrapped up in the investigation as a present underneath the Christmas tree, she realizes she may not make it to Christmas morning.
Murder, She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery (2016)
Bringing Joanne Fluke’s seventh book in the Hansen Swensen series, Peach Cobbler Murder, from page-to-screen, Murder, She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery is an entertaining, tantalizing murder mystery that doesn’t disappoint. Hannah thinks she is starting to have stronger feelings for police detective Mike Kingston, even if the widower may be apprehensive about opening up about his feelings. However, doubts begin to creep in when Melanie Quinn, an old mutual friend of Mike and his late wife, decides to move to town and open up a competing bakery, the Magnolia Blossom.
With the help of Melanie’s sister, Vanessa Quinn, who manages the marketing side of the business, the bakery is bringing in a good amount of customers, some of whom used to be solely Hannah Swensen’s patrons. Then one evening Hannah realizes the lights are still on in Magnolia Blossom. When she checks out the bakery, she finds Melanie shot in the kitchen. This time, Hannah is a prime suspect. She was losing business after all...
Now Mike and Hannah must keep their distance to maintain professionalism during the investigation, but Hannah still can’t help herself from doing some sleuthing of her own. This time, however, dentist Norman Rhodes may be the support and comfort she needs to clear her name. Could Norman be the dependable romantic partner Hannah’s been searching for all this time?
Murder, She Baked: A Deadly Recipe (2016)
Lovers of Joanne Fluke’s fifth book in the series, Fudge Cupcake Murder, will find the film adaptation Murder, She Baked: A Deadly Recipe to be just as immensely enjoyable. The town sheriff has been murdered, and fingers point to Hannah’s brother-in-law, Bill, a deputy who was running against the victim for the sheriff position. Baking delicious treats while caught in a love triangle and trying to keep her brother-in-law from going to jail—it’s all in a day’s work for this amateur sleuth!
Murder, She Baked: Just Desserts (2017)
Murder, She Baked: Just Desserts is inspired by the second book in the series, Strawberry Shortcake Murder, which follows Hannah Swensen as she plans for the Eden Lake Bake-off. She proposed the idea of the show, and it's also set to be hosted by her at Eden Lake High School. For once, Hannah is spared the sight of finding the deceased victim; this time it’s Norman Rhodes who finds Len Bishop, the school’s basketball coach and the competition’s last-minute replacement judge, dead outside the school.
Mike and Hannah’s relationship has become exclusive, and Mike is finally starting to realize that it’s impossible to keep Hannah from getting involved in cases, so he begins deliberately seeking out her assistance. Who could be the killer: the paranoid wife, the bitter basketball player, or one of the three baking contest finalists vying for a large cash prize?
Sweet Revenge: A Hannah Swensen Mystery (2021)
The sleuthing baker is back for more in Joanne Fluke’s 11th book, Cream Puff Murder. This film adaptation focuses on Hannah and Mike’s lives as a recently engaged couple, and how the two work as a team to determine who murdered a young fitness instructor at a 24-hour gym. Meanwhile, Hannah must come up with a stellar cream puff recipe to present at her mother’s book release party. This baker can’t seem to keep herself out of the murder mix!
Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery (2023)
A skeleton is found inside a building that's undergoing renovation in this film adaptation loosely based on book 10 of the mystery series, Carrot Cake Murder. But this time Hannah and Mike’s relationship appears to be in jeopardy after Hannah makes a shocking discovery. At what cost will Hannah go to uncover the truth, and will it ruin her meaningful relationship forever?
A Zest for Death: A Hannah Swensen Mystery (2023)
The latest mystery movie is inspired by the fourth book, Lemon Meringue Pie Murder, in which Hannah tries to help her sister Michelle find a new home. Hannah seems to have found the perfect place after learning that one of her customers, Rhonda Scharf, is selling her house. But her hopeful plans for her sister are soon shattered when their mother finds Rhonda’s body in an upstairs bedroom during an open-house visit. This discovery is painful in more ways than one, since Hannah will have to see Mike after their big fallout. With an old flame of Hannah's also in the picture, can Mike and Hannah reconcile, or is the love between them thoroughly burned to a crisp?
This exciting movie premiered October 6th and isn't yet available for streaming. But check out Hallmark's TV schedule to find when you can catch it!
Want to dive even deeper into the mysteries of Hannah Swensen? Check out the books below!
Blueberry Muffin Murder
Key Lime Pie Murder
Apple Turnover Murder
Cinnamon Roll Murder
Blackberry Pie Murder
Featured still via Hallmark Movies & Mysteries