Caught Bread Handed: A Bakeshop Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 28, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B0191K3GN2
Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…
Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary…especially when murder is thrown into the mix.
When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking down the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start…and risk getting burned?
There’s a new restaurant in the Shakespeare part of town and the only thing that blends this restaurant with the rest of the businesses in the area is its name ShakesBurgers. The facade of the building has been updated and is ultramodern and that has more than one of the merchant’s panties in a twist, especially Rosalind Gates, president of Ashland Downtown Association. The new owner Mindy Nolan doesn’t seem to care and has no plans to bow to their wishes even after a town meeting.
Jules notices the door of ShakesBurgers is ajar the next while she is out making her deliveries and when she steps inside she makes a ghastly discovery. Mindy dead on the floor and her partner trying to save her. Calling in her favorite police officers, Jules tries to shake off what she had seen, but can’t let it go.
Jules is also trying to make a huge decision regarding Carlos. Can they have a life together? What does that mean for her career?
I am really enjoying the characters in this series and the way they continue to evolve. All the relationships are captivating and interesting. The dialogue rings true. The story is very character-driven as most of the focus was on their lives at the restaurant Torte. Jules’ life is filled even before adding hubby Carlos to the mix. As in the last book, Carlos seems to fit in with everyone everywhere he goes. He is supportive and happy to do anything he can for Jules, her mom, and the restaurant. Carlos and Jules aren’t the only ones working on their relationship. Romance seems to be blooming a Torte for another couple too. And the Professor and Jules’ mom may be entering a new area of their relationship.
One of my favorite things in the book is the way the business is expanding with things like the Sunday Supper. Carlos takes the reins this time and really pulls out the stops. Torte is facing real situations, cash crunches, needing new equipment, etc. and I like that everything is not always rosy and they need to work hard every day for success.
To me the mystery this time was pretty basic. I was laser-focused on the real culprit very early in the story, I was just waiting for Jules, Thomas, and the Professor to catch up. I wish there had been a little more depth and more investigating but I was very pleased with the exciting ending.
As with all books in this series, the food described in just awesome and there are recipes at the back of the book.
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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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