Author: Ellie Alexander
Series: A Bakeshop Mystery #3
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
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.
This is the third book in this series and is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Set in the Pacific Northwest, the setting for this series is a bakery. Jules and her mother run Torte, the small town bakery. Part of why this series is becoming one of my favorites is the way the author writes her characters and the relationships between them. The characters are all likable and written so that the reader can relate to them. Jules has come home after marriage trouble and I feel that the author has written a great story line involving the mother daughter relationship and family ties. In addition, she also does a great job of developing the relationships between the main character and all the secondary characters. And, in my opinion, this series has a great cast of secondary characters. Things are not always easy for Jules as she tries to find her footing but the characters are written with warmth, humor and in a way that the readers can relate. The atmosphere of the town and the bakery are delightful and add to the pleasure of reading this story.
In this third installment, the author has created a mystery that is isolated to the resort where Jules is catering the annual board meeting for the town's theater board. The mystery is solid and there are plenty of twists and turns with the introduction of Jules' husband Carlos, who has come to win her back and in the process becomes a suspect. The plot has a nice pace and I didn't feel as if there were any lulls as the mystery unfolded. With all of the characters located in one place, there was no shortage of suspects. I liked how the author laid out the clues to the mystery without being obvious as to the killer's identity.
All in all, I think is a wonderful series, with great characters that are warm, funny and likable. Each story has had a solid mystery with twists and turns that keep the reader engaged throughout the story. Add in a culinary cozy theme, set in a great location with wonderful recipes included at the end and the result is a charming series. I am looking forward to the next installment which is due out mid-2016.
I received and ARC of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Look for this book to be available December 29, 2015.