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: An Unexpected Peril (Veronica Speedwell #6) by Deanna Raybourn

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction / Mystery
Length: 336 pages
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: March 2nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A princess is missing, and a peace treaty is on the verge of collapse in this new Veronica Speedwell adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

January 1889. As the newest member of the Curiosity Club—an elite society of brilliant, intrepid women—Veronica Speedwell is excited to put her many skills to good use. As she assembles a memorial exhibition for pioneering mountain climber Alice Baker-Greene, Veronica discovers evidence that the recent death was not a tragic climbing accident but murder. Veronica and her natural historian beau, Stoker, tell the patron of the exhibit, Princess Gisela of Alpenwald, of their findings. With Europe on the verge of war, Gisela’s chancellor, Count von Rechstein, does not want to make waves—and before Veronica and Stoker can figure out their next move, the princess disappears.

Having noted Veronica’s resemblance to the princess, von Rechstein begs her to pose as Gisela for the sake of the peace treaty that brought the princess to England. Veronica reluctantly agrees to the scheme. She and Stoker must work together to keep the treaty intact while navigating unwelcome advances, assassination attempts, and Veronica’s own family—the royalty who has never claimed her.

NOT THE SAME.

It’s official. This series has lost its steam. I honestly think it should have ended around book 4 (maybe 5 with a better ending?). Each book has a new case to solve, but there isn’t enough progression personally to keep me overall invested.

This was my first listen on audio for this series too! I didn’t LOVE it, but I could listen to it at a very fast pace so that was nice.

I do love my main man Stoker. He never gets old. I love his snark and romantic self and how he is always trying to protect Veronica. If I could just get Veronica to ADMIT SOME DANG FEEEEELINGS, it would be better. I would love some reciprocation. Then I can really cheer on this power couple. They do actually have conversations and work through disagreements which is really great to see.

The mystery here was fine. I was definitely distracted by other characters enough to not see the true murderer and involvement of other parties. I like the twists towards the end and getting to know the full story.

A mixed bag all around. I don’t love these like I originally did, but it’s kind of nice reading about them again at the same time?

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction mystery / romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to mentions of closed door scenes
  • Violence: physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: murder, mountain climbing accidents (resulting in death), kidnapping, attempted murder

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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: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Thriller/Mystery
Length: 336 pages
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: December 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

TWISTED.

McManus tends to keep me on my toes. This was once again the case in The Cousins.

A audio book tangent: I loved it. Had a full cast and great narration if you want to read it in this format!

Anywho, what a wild web that was woven in this story. There’s lots of twists, not a ton of action, and plenty of mystery. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I’m reading and don’t catch some of the twists. One of the twists really blind-sided me and I was like WHAAAAT. So that’s fun. I tend to base my ratings/thoughts on thrillers by how well it kept me in the dark. This did a pretty good job.

There’s many, many unlikeable characters. I think I came to like 2 or 3 of them by the end. And there’s flashbacks here too! I thought they fit in well to the story, even if I always think flashbacks kind of take you out of the present plot. These were necessary or honestly, I don’t know what would be happening.

Definitely an interesting story. I was entertained and sometimes that’s all I’m looking for in a read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult mystery/thriller
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: multiple murders, miscarriage, car wreck with a death, loss of loved one(s), alcoholism

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