On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
On Thin Icing: A Bakeshop Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 29, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B00Z637EIM
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.
Winter in Oregon can be temperamental and the means business is a bit slow with no tourists visiting the Torte bakery. So when Jules is asked to cater a retreat by Lance, the head of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the board of directors at a resort up in the woods she gladly accepts.
A huge snowstorm sets in soon after everyone arrives, but that does stop 1 surprise guest from arriving just a bit later. Jules is shocked when her estranged husband Carlos comes walking through the door. They have so many things to work through and she doesn’t know how they can do that with all the responsibilities she has for the retreat. Thankfully she has brought along Torte employee and aspiring chef Sterling who immediately hits it off with Carlos.
Things take a deadly turn when Jules discovers the body of the bartender that had been pushy, obnoxious, and flirtatious since the moment she arrived the next morning. He was definitely up to something underhanded too. With the snow, it is going to take time for the police to arrive but Jules calls in her favorite officers Thomas, her high school boyfriend, now deputy detective, and the Professor, her mother’s boyfriend, and lead Ashland detective, who slog through the snow to come to her aid. She is totally taken aback when they think Carlos is a prime suspect. Jules is juggling a lot but she knows there are better suspects than her husband so she is going to cut through all the clues and figure out who really iced the bartender.
I really got a kick out of this story and my mouth was watering too! The food created in this story was so tempting, oh to have a wood stove!
But I am getting ahead of myself.
The focus this time was really on Carlos and Jules with Sterling really striving. Sterling becomes Jules’ sounding board while twisting around the clues to the murder and her true right hand in the kitchen. They make a great team. He also gives Jules the time she needs to try to set her relationship with Carlos in a better direction.
We also meet the owner of the retreat and the maintenance man along with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival board of directors and Lance’s new assistant. All the characters are defined and most continue to develop throughout the story. I wanted to know more about one character but maybe they will show up in a future story. The dialogue is snappy and believable.
The story had a great flow and the mystery was strong and well-plotted. My focus was pulled to three characters but I was still surprised by the big reveal.
I really enjoy the author’s writing style. It is very descriptive. She really brought everything so clear in my mind’s eye, the Lake of the Woods Resort, the weather, even the ride up to the resort, the kitchen, the food, and the people. It was so easy to escape right into this story.
The author leaves Carlos and Jules’ relationship still in flux which made me pick up book four, Caught Bread Handed almost immediately. I am very excited to get all caught up on this series!
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About the Author
Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), 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.
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*This book was from my personal collection.