Author Joanne Fluke  grew up in a small town in rural Minnesota. She held a variety of jobs including short order cook, caterer and party planner while working on her writing career. Joanne lives in Southern California with her husband, her kids, his kids, their dogs and one cat. So far there are 13 books in the Hannah Swensen series starting with the Chocolate Chip Murder .
Hannah is single, in her early thirties, has frizzy red hair and lives in Lake Eden, Minnesota where she graduated from high school. She lives in a condo with her adopted stray cat named Moshie. Hannah is owner and operator of the Cookie Jar an independent bakery in Lake Eden where she and her assistant Lisa make everything by hand. She is seriously dating two of Lake Eden's eligible bachelors, dentist Norman Rhodes and detective Mike Kingston. She can't decide between them. All the while her mother is reminding her that her biological clock is ticking. Hannah doesn't look for murders to solve, it seems that she is always in the area when a dead body is discovered and often they have been eating a dessert from the Cookie Jar so she is obligated to solve the mystery.
Interspersed throughout the books are descriptions of foods, mostly desserts, that make your mouth water. At the end of the chapter is the recipe of the highlighted food for the reader to try at home. According to her webpage Joanne has a cookbook coming out in October of 2011 with all of Hannah's published recipes along with some new never-before-published recipes.