Nothing Bundt Trouble: A Bakeshop Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Kindle ASIN: B082RT7Z6S
This time, Torte’s pastry chef and amateur sleuth finds herself coming out of the oven and straight into the fire in Ellie Alexander’s Nothing Bundt Trouble: A Bakeshop Mystery.
Spring has sprung in Ashland, Oregon, and everything at Torte seems to be coming up buttercream roses. But just when Juliet Capshaw seems to have found her sweet spot—with her staff set to handle the influx of tourists for this year’s Shakespeare festival while she moves back into her childhood home—things take a dramatic turn. Jules discovers a long-forgotten dossier in her deceased father’s belongings that details one of the most controversial cases in Ashland’s history: a hit-and-run accident from the 1980s. Or was it?
Now it’s up to Jules to parse through a whole new world of details from another era, from unraveling cassette tapes to recipes for Bundt cakes, before an old enemy brings the Capshaw “pastry case” to a modern-day dead end.
Spring in Ashland means Juliet Capshaw is getting settled in her childhood home that was given to her by her mother and the Professor after they moved into their new home. While going through boxes in the basement she finds her father’s journal detailing a time in the ’80s when he assisted the Professor on his first case. A hit and run death of a young actor. Juliet’s parents had recently opened Torte and they had taken on a side job provided desserts for a new dinner theatre. This brings her dad into contact with all the players, one of which could be a killer.
Juliet is excited to read the journal after losing her dad all those years ago but is surprised the case had not been solved. After going over the case with her step-dad she decides to ask Lance to help her revisit the suspects and the evidence to try to solve the cold case.
After reading the first ten books in this series we have gotten to know Juliet and her mom quite well. Now we get to travel back in time to get to know Will Capshaw. We also see how much the city of Ashland has changed and the things that have stayed the same. With the journal, the author takes an interesting approach entwining the past and present with a focus on the same mystery. I really liked the time Doug, aka The Professor, and Jules took reading the journal together. Her father’s words were not only focused on the murder case but expressed the love he had for his wife and their daughter. We learn that Jules is so much like her dad. She has always been inquisitive and curious about what happens around her. The apple did not fall far from the tree. For her to pick up the unsolved case made perfect sense.
In the present times, the staff at Torte are also planning a 1980’s themed dinner complete with costumes, a disco mirror ball, music, and recipes including the pineapple inside down cake that was served in many households including mine back in the day. All the ’80’s references brought back a ton of memories, like the mirror ball my graduating class purchased for our school prom, along with the crazy clothes and hairstyles. What a delightful trip back in time.
Nothing Bundt Trouble is a unique story that tugged on my heartstrings. This series features some of my favorite cozy characters. It was a real treat to get to know Helen, Jules, Doug, and finally Will’s stories from the past. It makes them more complete. The love story between Helen and Will just shines. Thank you, Ms. Alexander for writing this book. I loved it.
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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.