Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Chilled to the Cone: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review @StMartinsPress @BakeshopMystery


Chilled to the Cone: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1250214386
ISBN-13: 978-1250214386
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?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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. 

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.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads


Coming June 29, 2021
Also by Ellie Alexander

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Killer Kung Pao: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review


Killer Kung Pao: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228301
ISBN-13: 978-1250228307
Kindle ASIN: B084F9217G

Is life at the Ho-Lee Noodle House becoming too hot to handle?

Lana Lee’s plate is already plenty full. Running her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village is challenging on the best of days. But just when Lana thinks she might be able to catch her breath before the weekend—which she’s eager to spend with her equally overworked boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau—Lana witnesses a car accident in the parking lot. And now she has no choice but to get involved.

June Yi, of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, is a serious businesswoman well-known for her heartlessness. But June meets her match when she rear-ends the Cadillac belonging to Mah Jong lover Mildred “Millie” Mao. As each woman curses—and threatens—the other, it becomes clear to Lana that trouble lies ahead. Still, who could have imagined that Millie would end up dead at the beauty salon? The evidence suggests that she was electrocuted while having a foot bath, and all eyes are on June. Can Lana find a way to solve this case before another fatality occurs in Asia Village?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

What starts with a crash ends with a sizzle and Lana Lee finds herself involved in another murder mystery.

Headed home for a quiet weekend with her handsome detective Lana witnesses an accident in the parking lot of Cleveland’s Asia Village. There is no love lost between June Yi, of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, and Lana, in fact, she tries to avoid June at all costs so when she sees June back straight into Mildred “Millie” Mao Cadillac she tries to make herself invisible. When their argument escalates and the police arrive Lama is going to have at least give a statement about what she saw. She just hopes that the end of her involvement.

But then both women show up at the hair salon at the same time as Lana. Praying the women stay separated and oblivious to each other’s presence isn’t too much to ask, is it? But it is not meant to be. Shortly after they see each other, the lights go out and when they come back on, Millie is dead and June is the prime suspect. When June’s sister asks Lana to help clear her sister of the crime Lana is forced to say yes, even though she thinks June really could be the killer.


This series continues to be a favorite. I really enjoy the characters. This time we get to know the Majong Matrons that come to the Ho-Lee Noodle House every morning for breakfast. They always seem to know the latest gossip but this time two of the matrons were at the salon right before the murder occurred. Again Lana teams up with her roommate Megan to do a little sleuthing. I really enjoy their relationship and how well they know each other. I also love the way Lana’s relationship with boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau continues to grow. Ms. Chien has created a strong cast of core characters that continue to develop more in each story plus she gives us truly interesting new characters in each book for us to like and dislike too.

The mystery this time was quite puzzling, especially because anyone present in the salon could have done the deed. The investigation takes Lana from one end of town to the other and she ruffles a few feathers along the way. I was totally twisted up in my thinking by the time everything was revealed.

Killer Kung Pao was a fun read. The current mystery wrapped up but there are lingering threads yet to be addressed. You know Lana is going to stumble into another mystery so I am very excited about Fatal Fried Rice hitting my Kindle in March. I  recommend the entire series to all cozy mystery lovers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here, 
Dim Sum of All Fears here,
Murder Lo Mein here, Wonton Terror here, and Egg Drop Dead here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)


Coming March 9, 2021

*This was from my private collection. 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Cup of Holiday Fear: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway


A Cup of Holiday Fear: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250214343
ISBN-13: 978-1250214348
Kindle ASIN: B07PCL3XS8

It’s Christmastime and everyone is heading to Torte, the most cheerful bakery in town. There’s no place like home for the homicide…

 

Ashland, Oregon, looks as pretty as a postcard this holiday season. The halls are decked, stockings hung, and eyes are all aglow—mostly thanks to the buttered rum. Jules Capshaw and her staff at Torte are busier than ever. . . still, even the town’s most in-demand bakers need to take a break. So Jules invites everyone to celebrate at the local Winchester Inn’s Dickens Feast, a six-course extravaganza with Yorkshire Pudding, Christmas goose, and all the trimmings. But as the weather outside becomes frightful, things inside turn less delightful when one of the guests ends up as dead as Scrooge’s doornail. Now it’s up to Jules and her helpers to make a list of suspects—and check it twice—to try to find out who’s naughty, who’s nice, and who’s guilty of murder…

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things are merry and bright in Ashland, Oregon and people are keeping the elves at Torte busy baking all kinds of holiday treats. They are all looking forward to a little respite by attending the annual Dickens Feast at the Winchester Inn and having others wait on them. The popular six-course feast has been taking place forever and Jules and Helen are excited to share the event with their staff. Lance also joins the party as Jules plus one.

The evening starts with a little snow, great food, and fun entertainment and ends with an unconscious innkeeper and a dead body. Jules and Lance are quickly following the trail of breadcrumbs to help the Professor and Thomas catch the Scrooge that ruined their party with MURDER.


I love this series! Spending the holidays with Jules and everyone in Ashland is a real treat. The author paints the scenes so vividly you can almost feel the snowflakes landing on your face and taste all the cookies, cakes, breads, and lattes served at Torte.

After ten books the characters have become old friends but that doesn’t mean we know everything about them. Lance is having a hard time with the holidays and opens up to Jules. Their friendship just warms my heart. Helen and Doug are blissfully happy and have hearts as big as all outdoors. They open their home for the holidays to be sure no one spends the holidays alone. Doing so lets us get to know Marty a little bit better. We meet Jon and Emma Winchester who own the inn. They have been friends with Helen and her now-deceased husband for years, opening their businesses at the same time. All the characters are interesting, have purpose, and are wonderfully written. They make wish I could meet them all in person.

The mystery was very well-plotted with plenty of suspects and twists. The victim was a real shrew and had ticked plenty of people off. Lance and Jules’s investigation was not only fun to follow but funny at times too. They do make a great team.

What I love most about this series is the way I get as wrapped up in the daily life of the characters as I do in the mystery. I want to know about the Torte staff crushes, Helen and Doug’s plans, that Jules is missing Carlos, all of Lance’s drama, and what baking at Torte. This time after the case was wrapped we go to Helen and Doug’s for Christmas Eve dinner. They have invited several guests. Doug rises to give a little speech that was poignant and brought tears to my eyes. I found great meaning in his message, words I needed to hear personally this time of year. Moving forward a few pages, the tears were still present but a big smile appeared on my face. The ending was absolutely perfect.

Your Escape With 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.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away a paperback copy of the book!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 17, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Live and Let Pie: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @dollycas @StMartinsPress

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Live and Let Pie: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 31, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250159393
ISBN-13: 978-1250159397
Kindle ASIN: B07DNBH26W

Life is sweet once you step into Torte, everybody’s favorite small-town bakeshop. But what happens when it becomes the scene of a crime?

 

The heat is on for pastry chef, family business operator, and unlikely sleuth Jules Capshaw. Just when she thought she could enjoy some time away from the kitchen, Jules manages to discover a skull during a picnic by the lake. As if unearthing remains that may be connected to a missing-persons case from the 1960s isn’t enough on her plate, Jules must contend with the unsolved matter of her own marriage while her estranged husband Carlos sails the open seas, awaiting a verdict. Then there’s Jules’s bitter landlord Edgar, who is intent on making a sweet deal on a vacant lot down the block from Torte—until he turns up dead. If only Jules could find a recipe that would let her bake her cake and eat it, too…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is so much going on in this 9th installment of the Bakeshop Mysteries. Carlos has returned to his cruise ship and Jules still doesn’t know what she wants as far as their relationship. Helen and Doug have returned from their honeymoon and are househunting to find the perfect place. She is putting in fewer hours at Torte but both she and Jules are very excited about their grand reopening with their new expanded space.

Jules takes a little time away from baking when she goes to look at a house with her mom. When she takes a little walk around the lake she arrives just as 2 young girls diving for treasure find a human skull. A skull that may belong to a man that disappeared back in the ’60s. There is also a piece of property for sale that has several parties very interested so when the owner is killed there are plenty of suspects. Jules is in the middle of it all but she may find herself spread too thin.


All my favorite characters are back and are joined by some new employees at Torte. This causes some tension in the ranks. Again, the new characters evolve quickly throughout the story and the continuing characters continue to grow. Jules has a chance to take a huge step thanks to her mom, but the stress of a life with Carlos or without needs to be rectified soon.

I was very captivated by both mysteries and the way they intertwined. They were so well-written, I was totally surprised when the killer was revealed. The person wasn’t even on my radar. Nicely played Ms. Alexander.

As I have come to expect there is a lot of baking and brewing and eating and drinking going on. Torte is my kind of place and the food descriptions had my stomach growling.

The characters in this series always keep me coming back for more. From the drama of the murders to the daily happenings at Torte I am all in. The author has found the perfect cozy recipe to keep readers engaged and entertained.

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.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away a Kindle copy of the book!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 27, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Till Death Do Us Tart: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @dollycas @StMartinsPress

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Till Death Do Us Tart: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 26, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250159373
Kindle ASIN: B077XKS2SY

Torte—the small-town bakeshop no one can resist—is hosting a midsummer night’s wedding . . . where merry-making and murder are served up in equal measure. Till Death Do Us Tart is Ellie Alexander’s eighth delectable novel in the Bakeshop mystery series.

 

Jules Capshaw has too much on her plate—and she’s feeling the pinch: the whole town of Ashland, Oregon, is in on the surprise Elizabethan-themed wedding she’s planning for her mom and soon-to-be stepdad. But is her secret scheme half-baked? She’s hiding racks overflowing with sweet treats while Torte is topsy-turvy with a major remodel and the return of Jules’s estranged husband, Carlos. And until now, Jules had no clue about the bitter family feud that has her friend Lance frazzled and suspicious. But when a party crasher takes someone out with a serving of poisoned wine and Jules discovers the deadly cup was intended for her, it’s time to turn the tables on a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Can you keep a secret? Because Jules is planning a big surprise. A surprise Midsummer’s Night Wedding! Her mom Helen and Doug aka “the Professor” are going to be thrilled with the wedding of their dreams. The whole town is in on the surprise and are excited for the bride and groom. Jules is doing a ton of baking for the big event but she is also dealing with the remodeling project at Torte. She is nervous too because Carlos is flying in for the wedding and bringing his son, Romero, who she has yet to meet. Lance is bringing his own family drama to the nuptials in the form of his brother Leo and his entourage. Lance believes his brother is slowly poisoning their father and he wants Jules help to prove it.

Sadly Lance’s father suspiciously dies before the wedding and then a guest collapses at the reception. It appears her glass of wine contained poison. Poison is a common denominator  . . . are the cases connected? When Jules learns the doctored wine was meant for her she makes a vow of her own. Catch the killer before they kill her!

______

I have been looking forward to Helen and Doug’s wedding and thanks to Ms. Alexander’s wonderful descriptive writing style she took me there for every delightful moment. From the dresses to the sparkling lights and the delectable food I was treated to a fabulous event. That is until one actual guest keeled over.

There were quite a few new characters introduced and we learned a lot about an original character. Jules’s feelings about Carlo are still muddled but I loved meeting his son. All the characters new and old are well-developed for their place in the story/series but the author leaves room for them to grow.

The mystery was very well done with plenty of twists. With Jules and Lance in the middle of the investigation you know there is going to be drama and excitement. There were also be some truly funny moments too.

Till Death Do Us Tart has a nice quick pace and cleverly meshed subplots. Life in Jules’ world in never dull. In fact, there was a cliffhanger at the end of the book that had me picking up Live and Let Pie immediately after finishing this one. That review will be coming soon.

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.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away the copy I received from Paperback Swap!
This is a gently used book.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 20, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This was from my personal collection. 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Another One Bites the Crust: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @dollycas @StMartinsPress

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Another One Bites the Crust: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (January 2, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250159350
ISBN-13: 978-1250159359
Kindle ASIN: B072QWFWRV

Torte—the beloved small-town bakeshop run by Jules Capshaw—is set to hit the stage. But who would have guessed that murder would makes a surprise appearance?

 

It’s the role of a lifetime for Jules. The Shakespeare Festival has returned to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torte has been cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event. But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Jules’s friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house. . .and the next morning, Anthony is dead. Jules knows that Lance loves his drama—and his just desserts—but she also knows that murder is way off-script for him. Now it’s up to Jules to cut through a bevy of backstage betrayals and catty co-stars who all have their own secrets—before the curtain drops on someone else. . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Ashland, Oregon just in time for the return of the Shakespeare Festival. Jule’s friend and artistic director of the festival should be over the moon but he is acting stranger than his normal strange. He has decided he needs to hold a start of the season party with authentic desserts from the 1500s which he expects Jules to bake. Jules already has a lot on her plate with the construction at Torte and planning her mother’s upcoming nuptials. She knows she can’t say no to Lance, especially when she knows something is going on with him.

The party is going great until a fight breaks out. A fight between Lance and the young actor playing Antony in the play, who is a method actor so he only answers to that name. Lance thinks Anthony is bad-mouthing him to the festival board and trying to get him fired. The party breaks up but later when Anthony is found dead Jules knows Lance is in a world of trouble.


Jules, her mom, Lance, Andy, Sterling, Bethany, Stephanie, Thomas, and the Professor come together in this 7th installment of this fun and entertaining series. I truly feel like I am visiting old friends every time I open a Bakeshop Mystery. All the characters are genuine and because of Helen, Jules’s mom’s huge heart they are all truly a family.

We are introduced to a new character when Doug needs to take a step back from the investigation due to his friendship with Lance. Detective Kerry’s attitude pushes Jules hard to help her friend in any way she can. For me, the jury is still out on Detective Kerry.

Along with the opening of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Torte is doing a big expansion and Helen and Doug, the Professor are engaged and want to get married right away, as soon as they can find an available venue large enough for all their guests. Then there is the mess Lance finds himself in. I love the way Ms. Alexander blends the mystery with all the real-life happenings of the entire cast along with the yummy food and Andy’s signature beverages and recipes.

The mystery has a quick pace and is so well-plotted. Twists and some exciting moments made this a very fast read as the pages flying, there should have been smoke coming out of my Kindle.

Another One Bites the Crust contains everything I love about cozy mysteries. Fun characters, an entertaining mystery, just enough drama, and some romance thrown in too. The current mystery is solved but the author teases us with just enough information to excite us for the next Bakeshop Mystery. The one good thing about being late to the party for this series is that I don’t have to wait months for the next book. Watch for my review of Till Death Do Us Tart coming soon.

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.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away the copy I received from Paperback Swap!
This is a gently used book.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 13, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Egg Drop Dead: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review

Egg Drop Dead: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228328
ISBN-13: 978-1250228321
Kindle ASIN: B07WF36RHJ

In the fifth in Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop delectable mystery series, Egg Drop Dead, the Ho-Lee Noodle House takes its business to the next level—only to end up in hot water.

 

It was supposed to be a fancy, intimate dinner party by the pool. Instead, Lana Lee’s first-ever catering event turns into full-course madness when a domestic worker is found dead. Is the party’s host Donna Feng, the sweet-and-sour owner of the Asia Village shopping plaza where Ho-Lee is situated, somehow to blame? That’s what Lana—whose plate is already plenty full with running the restaurant, pleasing her often-disapproving mother, and fretting over her occasionally-serious boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau—must find out.

 

Before the police arrived at the crime scene, Donna had entrusted an odd piece of evidence to Lana: a thumb drive shaped like a terra-cotta soldier. Now it’s up to Lana to lead her own investigation, digitally and in real life, into a world of secrets involving Donna’s earlier life in China, whether the victim had a dark agenda, and if the killer is still out there. . .and plans to strike again.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Business is slow at the Ho-Lee Noodle House so Lana Lee has decided to branch out into catering. Her first client is a family friend, Donna Feng who hires Lana to cater her birthday party. The party is interrupted when the nanny fails to keep Donna’s two teenage daughters busy and out of sight. Donna loudly voices her displeasure. When the nanny is later found dead in the pool Donna becomes the prime suspect. This isn’t Donna’s first entanglement with the police. She was also on the suspect list recently when her husband was murdered (Death By Dumpling). Donna entrusts Lana with a unique thumb drive and asks her to find the real killer.


I like Lana Lee more and more as I read each story. She is smart, and her sleuthing skills are improving, but she is still a little wishy-washy at times. She needs to think a little more before she leaps into what can turn out to be dangerous situations. This time boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau is not in charge of the murder case but that doesn’t deter her determination. She is aided by friend/roommate Megan and when the killer turns up the heat, a private investigator is hired at Lana’s request. The secondary characters are all well developed too while still giving them room to grow. I love the family dynamic of the Lee family.

The mystery is full of twists. Being linked back to Donna’s life in China gave the story more depth. Donna had theories she wanted Lana to investigate and while reading I had some theories of my own. The story wrapped up surprising me and with plenty of excitement. Ms. Chien takes us on a wild ride.

Egg Drop Dead has a great cast of characters, a very intriguing mystery, with a bit of romance and humor in all the right places. This is such an entertaining series. I hope to buy, read, and review Killer Kung Pao soon so I am ready when Fatal Fried Rice releases on March 9, 2021.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here
and Murder Lo Mein here and Wonton Terror here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)


Coming March 9, 2021

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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery) by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress


A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Oregon/Cruise Ship
Publisher : St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 27, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250088070
ISBN-13 : 978-1250088079
Kindle ASIN : B01MRU56AS

Torte–everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop–is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .

 

Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary…

 

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jules has an offer she would like to refuse, going back to work on the cruise ship Amour of the Seas for a week to help out her husband Carlos, but then he sweetens the pot by offering to let her mom, Helen, and her beau the Professor come along. There is a lot happening at Torte but the staff says they can take care of everything and encourages them all to go and enjoy their time a sea.

Excited for the trip they board the ship for a relaxing week but just like at home a dead body mucks up their plans. The Captain quickly pulls the Professor into the investigation and Jules starts to do some snooping too. She is also questioning her relationship with Carlos. She is so happy working at Torte with her mom, but should she stand by her man and return to baking on the ship? With a killer on board, she needs to keep her wits about her and try to keep those she loves and the passengers safe. She can worry about her love life later.

______

With every book in this series, I love the characters more. I was afraid with Helen and Jules away from the bakery the Oregon characters wouldn’t have much presence in this story, but the ship has computers and there is email. With Lance, Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, “in charge” of Torte there is never a dull moment. 🙂

Ms. Alexander as written a great whodunit. The victim is an apparent stowaway that no one knows. Who would want her dead? They have the added drama of catching the killer before they get to the next port where the killer could get off and be lost forever. Taking place on the ship does mean a limited number of suspects too. I set my sights on the killer early on but that sure didn’t take away my enjoyment of this story. I was totally caught up all the things happening within these pages.

I loved that the story was set on a cruise ship. Going on a cruise has been on my bucket list forever. The author describes the scenes and people vividly. I tuned in to my days of watching Loveboat and let the author just take me away.

As the story ends Jules’s relationship with Carlos is still up in the air and I am still on the fence about who I want for her love interest. While the murder is solved there is so much going on in Jules life and Helen’s too. I am so excited about this series. Another One Bites The Crust is next up. Watch for my review of that one soon.

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.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly frpm Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 7, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my personal collection. 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Fudge and Jury (A Bakeshop Mystery) by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @BakeShopMystery

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Fudge and Jury (A Bakeshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (January 3, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250088054
ISBN-13: 978-1250088055
Kindle ASIN: B01H035XWY

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious.

 

It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter.

 

Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Everyone at Torte is excited for the annual Chocolate Festival as the shop will have a featured role at the event. They also are having new ovens installed and a little painting and reorganization taking place while the shop is closed for the festival. So it is all hands on deck to get everything done.

Jules and Helen are handling the festival and are getting their booth set up when chocolatier, Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, is making the rounds of the neighboring booths. Soon after he samples a cake at the Torte booth the man keels over dead. At first, it is thought the man died due to his peanut allergy but Jules adamantly states there are no nuts in the cake and there was no cross-contamination. It wasn’t her cake so now she is out to find what killed Evan Rowe before all her plans are fudged up for good.


Each book in I become more engaged and invested in these characters. Helen Capshaw really treats her staff like family and having Jules home working side by side with her mother is so heartwarming. The people they bring in their lives like Thomas, the Professor, and Lance all bring their own personalities to the story. We are also introduced to some eclectic characters unique to this story. All the dialogue rings true and all the interactions are meaningful. Sadly Carlos has returned to his ship.

The mystery this was a puzzler with a whole festival full of suspects. Who had contact with the famous chocolatier? Did they pull off the perfect crime? I was following right along with Jules right up to the big reveal.  The whole thing was very well-plotted and written. The pages were literally flying.

There are delightful chocolate descriptions throughout the book. My mouth was watering and I was truly craving chocolate of any kind by the time I reached the end of the book. The author does include recipes in the back of the book and this time she includes a savory one too, Chicken Apple Sausage Quiche, I can’t wait to try.

Fudge and Jury is my favorite book right now in this series as I continue my quest to catch up on this series.


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.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away the copy I received from Paperback Swap!
This is a used book.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 15, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my personal collection. 

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #15 – 2020

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be visiting New York, Scotland, and California!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery
by Vivien Chien
Release Date – August 27, 2019
Setting – Ohio
My Flashback Friday Read – My Review


Deep Fried Revenge (A Farm-to-Fork Mystery)
by Lynn Cahoon
Release Date – April 7, 2020
Setting – Idaho
My Review will be up tomorrow! 


Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping
Release Date – April 28, 2020
Setting – Pennsylvania
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this week for Cozy Wednesday!


A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
by Julie Seedorf
Release Date – December 21, 2019
Setting – Minnesota
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!

Scheduled Escapes


This Magick Marmot (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape
Release Date – April 7, 2020
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Book Tours stops here next Tuesday!


A Stroke of Malice (A Lady Darby Mystery)
by Anna Lee Huber
Release Date – April 7, 2020
Setting – Scotland
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery)
by Judith Gonda
Release Date – February 26, 2020
Setting – California
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!

Future Escapes

April 6 – 12, 2020


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent