Book Review

Book Review: Fudge and Jury (A Bakeshop Mystery #5) by Ellie Alexander

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Cozy Mystery
Length: 304 pages
Author: Ellie Alexander
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: January 3rd, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious.

It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter.

Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?

ALL THE CHOCOLATE.

This book made me intensely crave everything related to chocolate. I need to find a local chocolatier and get some because YUM. Still one of my favorite things getting all of the recipes at the end!

I liked this one (even if the 3 stars may appear otherwise). It was a good mystery, I really wasn’t sure who the murderer was until closer to the end. I think Alexander does a solid job on keeping the reader enough in the dark to keep pursuing the story.

Am I the only one who loves Thomas more than Carlos?! I think if Carlos can’t bother to stay, then why not let things move on? I feel like that’s where the plot is going, and I know it’s a long series, but I do wish the pace for this moved a little quicker. A couple can work together to solve mysteries too!!

The other sides plots are charming and I can’t wait to see how those further develop too. With her Mom’s story, and Jules’ friendship with Lance, the new additions to the bakery and more. I really love this series as a palate cleanser between denser books. They’re well written and incredibly charming.

Overall audience notes:

  • Cozy mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: death by anaphylactic shock, attempted kidnapping, assault

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Book Review

Book Review: Caught Bread Handed (A Bakeshop Mystery #4) by Ellie Alexander

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Cozy Mystery
Length: 320 pages
Author: Ellie Alexander
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…

Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary…especially when murder is thrown into the mix.

When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking down the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start…and risk getting burned?

COZY FAV.

I haven’t picked up the next book in a hot minute because I wasn’t smitten with book three. Grateful that book four brought it back and I’m here for being back in Ashland at Torte. Someone let me own a bakery too please?!?

Another great mystery that kept me on my toes. I spent most of the book trying to figure out who was the murderer and loved how it all went down in the end. I wish more of the plot was focused on the mystery (as the middle of the book dragged a bit), but it peaked my interest enough.

I really enjoyed the recipes for this book and forever love that all of the recipes are kept at the end for use in the future. It’s such a fun tidbit and I just love that this is all set at a bakery.

Jules plot line moved well this time around. I love the conversation and moments she had with Carlos and I’m still very curious where that story line will go. I’m on the fence myself, so I’m just moving along with what the author decides for them and Thomas!!)

Overall audience notes:

  • Cozy mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: murder (main character walks in on a body)

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Book Review

Book Review: On Thin Icing (A Bakeshop Mystery #3) by Ellie Alexander

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Cozy mystery
Length: 304 pages
Author: Ellie Alexander
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: December 29th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the treats are killer good.

It’s the dead of winter in the sleepy town of Ashland, which means no tourists-and fewer customers-for Jules Capshaw and her bakery. But when she’s asked to cater an off-season retreat for the directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, business starts heating up…until Jules finds a dead body in the freezer.

Someone at the retreat has apparently iced the bartender, a well-known flirt with a legendary temper-that is, before a killer beat him to the punch. Then, from out of nowhere, Jules’s own ex-husband shows up at the shop-and soon becomes a suspect. With accusations piling up higher than the snow-and thicker than a chocolate mousse cake-Jules has to think outside the (recipe) box to find the real culprit…and make sure he gets his just desserts.

HIT AN ICE PATCH.

This was the first snag in this series for me. It wasn’t bad at all (my three star rating is a positive in this situation!), just missing some key elements for me.

I liked that there was a switch up in location. Getting out of the bakery and seeing some new sites. I did miss seeing some regular characters and how things are working for them. This is a long series so I imagine I’ll see plenty of everyone eventually.

CARLOS. *sigh* I knew he had to play a legitimate role eventually, so here it is. I honestly don’t know how things are going to shake out. I know how *I* want them to shake out, but unfortunately that remains to be seen. I’m hopeful though!! I actually really love that there’s a bit of romance interlude throughout. I always love a good romance component and this fits in well alongside the mystery aspects.

This mystery was a lot easier to solve with less characters roaming around. I actually called this one (and surprised myself) when I was right. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I hope that that trend doesn’t continue.

These are such a light and simple series. I’m excited to read the next one and see how things keep unfolding!

Overall audience notes:

  • Cozy mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: murder by gunshot

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Book Review

Book Review: A Batter of Life and Death (A Bakeshop Mystery #2) by Ellie Alexander

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Cozy mystery
Length: 304 pages
Author: Ellie Alexander
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: June 30th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for…

It’s autumn in Ashland, Oregon-’tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte’s famous peach cobbler. It’s also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family’s beloved bake shop by competing in The Pastry Channel’s reality show, Take the Cake. The prize is $25,000. But as Jules quickly learns, some people would kill for that kind of dough. Literally.

Then, just as Jules dusts off her Bavarian Chocolate Cake recipe and cinches up her apron, the corpse of a fellow contestant is discovered-death by buttercream. What began as a fun, tasteful televised adventure has morphed into something of a true-crime detective show for Jules and everybody else on set. Who could have killed Chef Marco, and why? Can Jules sift out the killer before someone else gets burned?

HOOKED.

Yes. I have been hooked in by this series. I just love mixing in cozy mysteries in-between my big fantasy books. I love that there’s so many genres of books out there y’all.

This was another good read. I had picked out my assumed killer at the beginning, but found myself, yet again, delightfully wrong. I love the reveals and the messes Jules ends up in. My favorite small parts are when the character acknowledges how often they’re around murder, like isn’t that the point of the book? lololol

I’m also loving the subtle romance I’m seeing. Loving the second chance vibes that better be happening. Carlos has got to go.

These are simple and fun reads. I love the bakery setting and really want to try some of the dessert recipes that are at the end of each book!

Overall audience notes:

  • Cozy mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: flirting
  • Violence: murder, physical attacks, attempted murder

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