Author: Ellie Alexander
Series: A Bakeshop Mystery #5
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published: January 2017
Description: 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?
This is one of my favorite series and I was happy that I was finally able to read this one before the next book is released in June. If you read my reviews, you know that I love character driven cozy mysteries. That is the reason why I find this series so entertaining and enjoyable.
Ellie Alexander has crafted a charming cozy mystery set in the Pacific Northwest which sets the stage for Torte, a place I think everyone who reads this series would love to have exist in real life. Added to the charming setting, Ms. Alexander has crafted a warm, wonderful, fun main character in Jules. She is someone I think we could all see ourselves having as a friend. One of my favorite things about this series is the relationship between Jules and her mom. It feels very real, genuine and their relationship jumps off the page. I also like the relationship Jules has with her staff. It is a great combination of being their boss, mentor and a bit of a friend as well. The rest of the town rounds out a fun, interesting and sometimes quirky cast of secondary characters.
The mystery in this installment was really good. It almost seemed like the perfect crime. As always, this author throws in plenty of twists and turns that give the reader a number of suspects, motives and keeps us guessing. Here's a surprise, I managed to guess the identity of the killer, albeit about 25 pages before the book ended, but I did not guess the reason behind the murder. The mystery unfolded nicely and carried through the entire story.
This is a wonderful culinary themed cozy mystery series that has a great cast of characters and mysteries that are well written and keep the reader engaged and guessing until the end. I am looking forward to the next book due out the end of June.