Author: Ellie Alexander
Series: A Bakeshop Mystery #8
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Description: Jules Capshaw has too much on her plate—and she’s feeling the pinch: the whole town of Ashland, Oregon, is in on the surprise Elizabethan-themed wedding she’s planning for her mom and soon-to-be stepdad. But is her secret scheme half-baked? She’s hiding racks overflowing with sweet treats while Torte is topsy-turvy with a major remodel and the return of Jules’s estranged husband, Carlos. And until now, Jules had no clue about the bitter family feud that has her friend Lance frazzled and suspicious. But when a party crasher takes someone out with a serving of poisoned wine and Jules discovers the deadly cup was intended for her, it’s time to turn the tables on a killer.
This is such a delightful series and I love catching up with Juliet Capshaw, the crew at Torte and the rest of the residents of Ashland Oregon. Ms. Alexander has done a terrific job creating a cast of characters that are so genuine and real that the jump off the pages of each story. One of the aspects of this series that I have always enjoyed is the mother daughter relationship between Juliet and her mom. In this installment we get to see that on display as Juliet throws her mom and the Professor a surprise Midsummer's Night Themed wedding. Ms. Alexander has also done a really good job at writing these characters in a way that allows them to continue to grow. This is especially trust with Juliet and her relationship with her husband Carlos. While the author does leave us with a bit of wait to see what Juliet decides, I think we as readers and Juliet as a character are close to seeing a resolution.
I have always said that this is really a character driven cozy mystery series. With some of the books the mystery tends to take a backseat to the relationship issue of the characters. That's okay, because these are such great characters that, I, as a reader don't mind. There are two inter-related mysteries in this particular installment that are well done and woven through most of the books. There are some unexpected twists in terms of how the two mysteries intersect and I found the resolution to be satisfactory.
All in all, this is a fun series, with a charming setting and delightful characters that draw the reader in and keep them returning for each new book.
I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, St. Martin's, through Netgalley.