Chilled to the Cone: A Bakeshop Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Kindle ASIN: B089RZS1NJ
Pastry chef and amateur sleuth Juliet Capshaw finds herself on thin ice as she attempts to solve her latest case of small-town murder in Ellie Alexander’s Chilled to the Cone: A Bakeshop Mystery.
The deep freeze has thawed in Ashland, Oregon and Torte is gearing up for a busy spring. When a surprise opportunity to launch a pop-up ice cream shop comes her way, Jules jumps at the chance to showcase Torte’s signature iced drinks and cold custards. But selling the desserts of her dreams comes at a price. . .and, before she knows it, Jules’s life swirls into a nightmare. One of the town’s most colorful characters, a street performer known for wearing capes and a cone-shaped hat, turns up dead just as Torte 2.0 is set to open its doors. Can Jules get the scoop on what happened to “The Wizard” of Ashland before her new business venture reaches a chilling conclusion?
Torte is growing again. This time across town in a pop-up space. Scoops will feature Torte’s signature iced drinks and frozen concrete custards as Andy and Sterling take their delicious creations to the new venue. The place needs some updating but the Torte crew is up to the task. That is until The Wizard, one of Ashland’s colorful characters known for his cape and cone-shaped hat, usually seen riding his bike is killed near the new pop-up shop. The murder gives Jules the chills but with a little help, she is confident she can take the killer down.
I am so excited that I finally got all caught up on this series and was able to read this book the day it was released.
Chilled to the Cone takes us back to Ashland as the busy season is about to take off. All the characters I have come to love are back and Spring seems to be a time of romance for several. I was pleased to see Carlos in town and that he and Jules are working on their relationship. It has reached the time for them to make some hard decisions. I also enjoyed how Andy and Sterling are growing in their jobs at Torte. The way Jules and her mom encourage their employees is really satisfying. The staff truly is an extended family and each person is valued for their unique talents and personalities. Lance and Jules continue to lean on each other and join in a little sleuthing. They are a fun team. All the characters have really grown over the course of the series in realistic ways but there’s still room for future growth.
Ms. Alexander gives readers a nice mystery with plenty of suspects and twists and turns. Several characters were involved in trying to solve the murder. The killer was at the top of my personal suspect list but the motive didn’t completely lock in until the very end. They shared the spotlight with a couple of other viable individuals but this person never fell from my top spot. The way the mystery played out was very exciting and I was totally engaged from beginning to end.
The story was very well-plotted. The author takes on a theme of homelessness and mental illness in a way to bring awareness without detracting from the mystery.
As usual, the author tempts our taste buds with several food and drink descriptions. Thankfully we have a Culver’s here in town so I could satisfy my custard cravings with one of their concrete mixers. They have a wide variety of flavors but none as creative as Sterling’s.
Chilled to the Cone is a delightful addition to the Bakeshop Mystery Series. Ellie Alexander never disappoints. Her characters draw you in and the mysteries hold on tight.
The bad thing about being all caught up on this series is that I now have to wait for the next story to be released. Mocha, She Wrote will be released on June 29, 2021. But the author does have another series for me to investigate. The Sloan Krause Mysteries will be headed to my Kindle soon.
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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.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”