Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am delighted to feature Donut Disturb
by Ellie Alexander today!
Donut Disturb: A Bakeshop Mystery
15th in Series
Setting – Oregon
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 28, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 125078946X
ISBN-13 : 978-1250789464
Kindle ASIN : B09LSYXLJV
Love is in bloom in Ashland, Oregon. The Shakespearean hamlet is bursting with fresh spring energy. Fragrant lilacs and the sweet aroma of vanilla cake fill the air as everyone in town gathers at Lithia Park for the celebration of the year—Thomas and Kerry’s wedding.
It’s a picture perfect day. Guests gather on picnic blankets in front of the bandshell to watch Kerry walk down the aisle and wed Ashland’s favorite detective in training, Thomas. Jules and her team at Torte have been tasked with catering the outdoor reception and everything is going according to plan until a wedding crasher shows up.
The uninvited guest isn’t just someone looking to score a free glass of champagne. It’s Kerry’s estranged father who is supposed to be behind bars. Kerry is distraught. Jules vows to do everything she can to make sure that there are no other surprises on her friend’s big day. But when the bassist for Heart Strings, the wedding band, is found stabbed with the blunt end of his instrument Jules’s promise takes on new meaning. Now she’ll have to slice through the five-tiered cake and a bevy of potential suspects in order to track down a killer before they turn the knife on her.
Readers arrive back in Ashland, Oregon just in time for Kerry and Thomas’s wedding that is set to take place in the beautiful Lithia Park. Jules and the crew at Torte are catering the event with picnic lunches the guests will enjoy on blankets in front of the bandshell, and a 3 piece band has been hired to play the music.
All the plans are set and everyone is excited but Kerry has seen her estranged father near the park. Thinking he has escaped prison she asks Jules to help her quietly catch the man and get him back where he belongs before he ruins her big day. When Kerry learns he had actually been released she gets nervous he will want to actually take part in the wedding.
As Jules concentrates on getting everything in place in the park she discovered one of the band members dead, stabbed with a piece of his own instrument. The entire town rallies to make sure Kerry’s and Thomas’s day will not be ruined by the man’s death. The ceremony will take place, the picnic reception will be held and the bridal couple will leave on their honeymoon as planned. Then The Professor with the assistance of Jules and yes, even Lance will do everything they can to catch the killer before the killer ruins someone else’s day.
I really enjoy this series mostly because the group that works at Torte is so genuine. They truly are like one big happy family. They care about each other and rally to help wherever they can. This time they all pull together to seamlessly cater Thomas and Kerry’s wedding reception all the while working to be sure the customers of Torte still have their needs filled. After 15 books in this series, these characters are still fresh and continue to grow in each new book. I love that Carlos and Juliet’s relationship is growing stronger every day and that he has really made himself at home in Ashland. It is a true credit to the author that she can create so many wonderful characters that readers continue to love and are engaged by.
Jules has her hands full this time with all the wedding preparations, an upcoming Sunday Supper, keeping up with all the normal daily stuff at Torte before you add a murder investigation to her plate. The two remaining members of the wedding band, Heartstrings, and the arrival of Kerry’s father tangled things up as they each bring their own drama. Plus because they are not residents of Ashland they make pretty good suspects. At times it felt a little bit like the investigation was going in circles but new clues gave some definition to get it back on track and moving forward.
Steph’s parents also arrive in Ashland for her graduation and they were not at all what I or Jules expected.
The setting of Ashland is one of my favorites. Ms. Alexander’s words really set a scene. “Flaxen rolling hills, dense old growth forests, and a bevy of wildlife hedged in on the plaza which resembled an Elizabethian village. Visitors often commented that it looked like every shop and storefront had been plucked straight from the pages of a Shakespearean manuscript.” Springtime there sounds absolutely breathtaking.
Ms. Alexander also takes time to give vivid descriptions of all the fabulous things being baked and served at Torte including Andy’s special coffee drinks, the marvelous wedding cakes, the food being included in the picnic boxes, and more. I am glad you can’t gain weight while reading about food or I would never be able to lift myself out of my chair.
Donut Disturb is a very clever title for this fun and entertaining cozy mystery. Readers are given just a little snippet of what Jules’ future could hold and I am super excited for the 16th book in the series! Muffin But the Truth is set to be released on December 27. I can’t wait to kick off the new year with the latest Bakeshop Mystery.
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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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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.”