I am happy to be hosting my second tour of 2015. I have cut way back on tours the past couple of years, so when I do participate it is for a book I am excited about, and today's book fits the bill. I wanted to read Meet Your Baker because a I enjoy a good cozy mystery every now and then, and I couldn't resist the Oregon setting. I am pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Ashland, Oregon, and I am hoping to visit. If you are in the mood for a light, fun cozy mystery, I highly recommend Meet Your Baker. As part of the tour today, I have a review for you and a chance to win a terrific prize. Let's get to my review:
Meet Your Baker (A Bakeshop Mystery #1) by Ellie Alexander
Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…
After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…
The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival’s newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her…but still. The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Four Stars: A fun, pleasant cozy with an amazing setting.
Jules opens the door to her mother's bakery at 3:30 AM. She is ready to start her day baking, as she knows it will settle her mind. Jules has returned home after several years of living at sea. Jules ran home after discovering her husband's betrayal. Now she is back home in Ashland, Oregon nestled into her mother's bakery. Jules doesn't plan on staying long, but things quickly change when someone is murdered in the bakery, and Jules learns some unsettling truths. Can Jules help catch a killer and save the bakery?
What I Liked:
- Every once in awhile, I like to indulge in a good cozy mystery. There is something comforting about one of these light mysteries, and I ate up Meet Your Baker. I loved the setting of Ashland, Oregon, and I adored the bakery, Torte. If you are in the mood for a terrific little mystery set in a delightful bakery, grab this fun cozy and some sweets and settle in for a great winter read.
- To me what makes a cozy is the setting. I loved the small town of Ashland, Oregon. I liked meeting the town folk and learning more about the Shakespeare Festival. After reading this, I immediately wanted to visit. The highlight of the book, though, is the Torte Bakery. I loved losing myself in this cozy little spot bursting with so many delicious sweet treats. If only I could pack my bags and head there for a small vacation. I absolutely loved reading about all things pertaining to baking, and at the end of the book there are several recipes for some of the treats mentioned in the book. I can't wait to try a few of the recipes myself.
- The mystery is solid even though it reads like a typical cozy. Once Jules has settled back into her small hometown, a newcomer is murdered, someone that had a nasty reputation in town. Jules quickly finds herself in the middle of the investigation because the murder occurred in her shop. There are plenty of people with motive to kill the victim and lots of red herrings. When the killer was finally unmasked, I was shocked. I love that I was completely caught off guard. I would have never guessed the killer.
- Jules was a likable main character and easy to get behind. I appreciated that she came home and quickly set about finding a new path after the betrayal. I enjoyed watching her find her niche and seeing her get to work in the bakery. I liked seeing her grow, and I am interested to watch how she will progress from here.
- I liked that all the loose ends for the main mystery were wrapped up at the end, and that there weren't any cliffhangers. However, there are several small questions that I am interested in following up on in future books. I especially want to see the bakery flourish and find out what Jules' romantic future holds.
And The Not So Much:
- I loved the twist involving the killer, that was a nice surprise, but everything else reads like a predictable cozy. You have a nice small town, a nasty person murdered, and a person who has no affiliation with the law is one of the main investigators. This book has all the basic ingredients of a typical cozy, so if you are looking for a cozy that is original, this one isn't, but still it is a pleasant read.
- I was a bit put off by the reason why Jules ran out on her marriage. I can understand her feeling betrayed, but I don't think she handled it maturely. She didn't really even give her husband a chance to explain. Plus, the reader doesn't learn the truth until near the end, after the buildup I was expecting a lot more.
- There isn't any type of resolution for Jules in her personal life. I don't know I was expecting her to come to a decision one way or another. Not a big deal, but I was hoping for a bit more as far as that story line went.
Meet Your Baker was the perfect, pick me up winter read for me. I loved the cozy small town of Ashland, Oregon, and I especially enjoyed the delicious bakery. The mystery is well done. There are lots of suspects with motives and plenty of red herrings leading up to a shocking reveal. If you are in need of something quick, cozy and fun grab Meet Your Baker. I highly recommend it for fans of cozy mysteries.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
About the Author:
Ellie Alexander 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. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.
Now for the giveaway: Two lucky winners will win a paperback copy of Meet Your Baker, Chai Tea, designer baking liners and a Starbucks gift card.
Open to US addresses only.
To enter fill out the Rafflecopter. Please note this giveaway is not hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings, and I will not be responsible for selecting the winners and distributing the prizes. For all contest details visit Candace's Book Blog and Promotions. While you are there be sure to check out all the other tours Candace is hosting.
For more chances to win follow the tour:
Fic Talk – Review
Her Book Thoughts - Review
I Wish I Lived in a Library - Review
Fire & Ice - Review
Gin’s Book Notes – Review
Book Lovers Lounge – Review & Author Interview
Ting’s Moms Books – Review
I Read Indie – Guest Post
If These Books Could Talk - Review
Leisure Reads – Guest Post
Candace’s Book Blog – Review
Jane Reads – Review & Guest Post
Dr. Pepper Diva – Review
Curling Up With a Good Book – Author Interview
Charles Reads – Review
A Thousand Words, A Million Books – Review
Books-n-Kisses – Review & Guest Post
Bookish Wanderlove – Review
Girl of 1000 Wonders – Review
Njkinny’s World of Books – Review
Rainy Day Ramblings – Review
CBY Book Club – Guest Post
Bea’s Book Nook – Review
The Blacksheep Project – Review
She’s Got Books on Her Mind – Review
Whimsical Nature – Review
A Tiffyfits Reading Corner - Review
A big thanks to Candace for allowing me to be a part of the tour. Be sure to visit her blog for more tour opportunities.