Muffin But the Truth: A Bakeshop Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Oregon
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 27, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250854237
ISBN-13 : 978-1250854230
Kindle ASIN : B09XL6LGNL
Ashland is known for its Elizabethan charm and touches of Shakespeare around every corner, but the surrounding Rogue Valley draws adventure enthusiasts to its outdoor wonderland of high alpine lakes, mountain ranges, and pristine rivers.
Jules Capshaw and the team at Torte have been hired to cater a weekend getaway on the mighty Rogue River. Jules is going to have to put her culinary skills to the test while baking gooey chocolate chip skillet cookies over an open flame and preparing extravagant feasts under a canopy of stars. The executive team at a big city firm will be rafting the Rogue’s rapids and gathering around the campfire for spooky stories, but their dysfunction quickly begins to show. Between constant bickering and heavy drinking, Jules wonders how the team can accomplish anything.
She’s happy for a brief reprieve when they zip up their lifejackets and head out in their boats, but the serenity of the scene quickly vanishes when Jules discovers one of the execs floating face down in the water. She’s going to have to uncover the truth before she gets pulled under.
Jules Capshaw and her team at Torte are preparing for a group of business professionals coming for a weekend retreat in the Rogue Valley. Torte has been hired to cater a welcome dinner and then Jules, Carlos, Jules’ mom and her husband Doug, aka The Professor, and Carlos’ son Ramiro will join the group in the woods to prepare campsite food as their retreat continues with glamping, rafting, ghost stories, and team building.
While Jules had worked out all the details with the CEO’s assistant, Miller, when his boss arrives on the scene she micromanages everything. Then as the welcome dinner is served Jules sees huge cracks in the team. When they arrive in the woods the dysfunction is magnified especially when the wine and liquor start to flow.
Jules is a happy camper when the group hits the rapids for an afternoon of rafting. She learns that trip was filled with drama too but she was totally shocked when she finds one of the executives dead in the water the next morning. Thankfully The Professor is quickly on the scene because the death was NOT an accident . . . It Was MURDER!
I get excited every time I start a new book in this series. It is like visiting old friends. As I have said time and time again, Ms. Alexander’s characters are genuine and their dialogues are true to life. Jules is so supportive of her employees and they are growing by leaps and bounds. They are so proficient at their jobs that she knows they will go out on their own someday but so far they have been able to take part in new opportunities while keeping their positions at Torte. They truly are like family. And speaking of family, Carlos’ son Ramiro has come to the states and is attending school as an exchange student. Jules loves having him in her home and attending her school.
The new characters introduced, members are the Bamboo executive team are quite a group. The CEO is way beyond unlikeable. If she were my boss I think I would run screaming from the building. The rest of the crew seems to be very talented but poorly utilized. It was no surprise that one of them didn’t survive the retreat.
In this story, we are taken away from Ashland to explore more of the Rogue Valley. Venturing into the woods and out onto the Rogue River sounds like such a good time. Glamping would be more my style these days and of course, we can skip the dead body. And just because we are outside of his Shakespeare realm doesn’t mean Jules’s friend Lance doesn’t make an appearance. He is around and more than ready to start an investigation with Jules into the murder.
Part of the mystery was an easy solve for me but some of the details were a bit foggy. I knew the who but not the why. Every one of the Bamboo team was suspect and there were some true red herrings. I always have fun tagging along with Jules as she tries to put the clues in order. I enjoy the way she uses Lance as a sounding board and more. But this time there was a difference in how all was revealed. A nice twist!
Muffin But the Truth comes alive with Ms. Alexander’s descriptive writing style. I love when she describes what’s baking in the kitchen. She always tempts my tastebuds.
While I am a stickler about reading a series in order the author writes the stories to stand on their own. But if you really want to get to know these fabulous characters start at the beginning and enjoy!
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.
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.”