Series: A Bakeshop Mystery #1
Format Read: eGalley
Source: from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reading Challenges: Cruisin' Through the Cozies 2015, NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2015
Release Date: December 30, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.
Blurb from goodreads:
Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…
After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…
"Sure to satisfy both dedicated foodies and ardent mystery lovers alike."
--Jessie Crockett, author of Drizzled with Death
Returning home as an adult is never easy. Juliet, or Jules as she prefers, has come home after being away for many years. She's a pastry chef on a cruise ship, her marriage is in trouble, and she's come to lick her wounds and make some decisions. Her mother owns and runs a pastry shop, the same one that Jules grew up and where she learned her craft initially. But returning home isn't the joyful reunion you might expect. She's not yet ready to discuss her marital problems with her mother and it turns out that her mother is keeping secrets, quite a few secrets actually, from her. Despite the personal issues, they work well together in the bakery. But Jules is home barely a day when there's a murder at the bakery after hours.
One of my pet peeves in cozy mysteries is when it really makes no sense for the heroine (the leads are almost always women) to be investigating. Despite the fact that Jules is a chef, not a career field that lends itself to investigation, it made sense that she was investigating. The murder happened at her and her mother's place of business and she herself is attacked at one point. Her involvement was believable and also believable was her interactions with the police. They weren't portrayed as bumbling idiots nor were they overbearing and dictatorial. In fact, she and one of the officers were close friends growing up and there's some mild flirtation between them now.
Jules is a smart woman, a talented baker, and a woman I wanted to sit down, have a glass or two of wine, and watch a movie with. She's not perfect, but she tries to do right and be good, she's caring, she's funny, and a little over the top at times (there's a scene towards the end with a suspect that was funny, embarrassing, and terrifying all at once). She's an every day person, not particularly special or unique but pleasant, friendly and hardworking. I enjoyed spending time with her.
The mystery itself kept me guessing and Alexander gives us several red herring. The final culprit was a surprise to me but not completely out of left field, there were hints. I loved the feel of the town and all of the little details that were woven in. My lungs wouldn't fare well in Ashland, between the rain and the smoke from the forest fires but it seems like a nice little town nonetheless.
"Meet Your Baker" was well-paced, smooth, engaging, and an enjoyable way to spend several hours. I'm looking forward to more in the series if only to possibly meet the mentioned but never seen husband Carlos.
Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.
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Giveaway: 2 winners will get a paperback copy of Meet Your Baker, Chai Tea, designer baking liners and a Starbucks gift card. Open to US addresses only. Ends Jan. 21, 2015
Be sure to check out the schedule for the list of reviews, interviews and guest posts by the author! The tour started January 5th and runs through the 16th.
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