Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…
Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon.
Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen?
Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary…especially when murder is thrown into the mix.
When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking down the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat.
And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back.
Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start…and risk getting burned?
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
It is January in Ashland, Oregon, and it is unseasonably warm. Jules and the Torte gang are busy preparing their daily menu, despite the spring like weather. Jules is troubled because her estranged husband Carlos has been in town, winning over the hearts of everyone, including her, but now he is set to leave in a few days. She is torn between following her heart or staying put in Ashland and continuing to help her mother restore Torte. Unfortunately, trouble comes storming in when a fast food chain sets up shop in the middle of historic downtown. Many townsfolk aren't happy with the neon lights and the fast food menu in the Shakespeare district. A town meeting is called, and tempers flare. The next morning, Jules stumbles upon the body of owner of the new restaurant. Who would kill Mindy?
What I Liked:
- What can I say? I always love settling back into the picturesque town of Ashland, Oregon. I love the characters, the town, the bakery and most of all the food. I can't get enough of all the decadent descriptions of the food. If you want a simple cozy mystery series, you should try Bakeshop Mysteries.
- What makes a good cozy for me is one that grabs your senses, and I love how the author of these books manages to awaken all of my senses, especially scent and taste. I can almost smell and taste all the yummy goodies that the gang bakes in the Torte bakery.
- I love the cast of characters. They are eclectic and fun. Especially in Torte, you have the matron, Helen, wise and kind in her later years, the fiesty Jules, who is struggling to find her way as she enters middle age, and then there are the three college students, Sterling, Andy and Stephanie, who make up the staff of Torte. One mustn't forget some of the other colorful townsfolk such as Lance, Richard Lord, the Professor and Thomas. Finally, add in the enigmatic and sexy, Carlos, whom I especially enjoyed getting to know.
- The mystery in this one is a bit more simple and it wasn't too hard to guess who done it. What I liked this time around was the way it all was done up. It felt more believable this time.
- The romance heats up in this volume. I was worried that a love triangle was in the works, but things seem settled. Jules has chosen her suitor, and the other is placed firmly in the friend category. Unfortunately, things aren't all sewn up with the romance as there are still conflicts to overcome.
- At the end of the book, there are several recipes that I am interested in trying. There is one for a Red Velvet Cake with a flour frosting, Potato Casserole, Tomato Orange Soup, Chocolate Crinkle Molasses Cookies and a Lemon Olive Oil Cake. Yummy!
And The Not So Much:
- This time around, there are several story threads that are introduced, and many of them were left undone. I wished that more had been done up by the end.
- I didn't think that the red herrings in the mystery were as believable, and some weren't developed well. It was apparent from the beginning, to me, who the killer was.
- The other issue I am having with the series is that it is taking place over a short period of time, a span of just a few months, and it is unrealistic to have so many murders in this quiet town in such a short time span.
- There was a big focus on a local winery and the owner, and then it was left hanging. I was a bit put off by this story line just because it didn't seem to fit well with the story, and then when the author did tie it in, it just felt out of place.
Caught Bread Handed is another delightful entry in the Bakeshop Mysteries series. This is certainly a series that will tickle your senses and delight you with its laid back, comfortable charm. I can't get enough of Ashland, Oregon and Torte Bakery, and I will eagerly be awaiting the next volume. If you want simple, good reading, I urge you to grab this series.
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.
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