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?
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Four stars: A terrific cozy, bursting with chocolate, and a surprising twist with the murder.
Spring is right around the corner, and the gang at Torte is busy remodeling and painting as well as preparing decadent chocolate creations for the upcoming Chocolate Festival. Luckily, things seem to be going smoothly, and Jules has her fingers crossed that they can finish painting, install the new ovens and participate in the Chocolate Festival. Everything is going to plan until the unthinkable happens. One of the participants, Evan Rowe a famous chocolatier, dies after sampling some of the fares. Did someone inadvertently kill him with nuts or is there something more sinister than chocolate being served?
What I Liked:
- Meet Your Baker continues to be a cozy mystery series that I just can't resist. I love the setting, the characters, the food, the mysteries and the delicious recipes. This is a fun series that I find perfect for when you need a light, cozy, escape read. These books are perfect for stormy afternoons, even better for snow days.
- I loved that this one was all about chocolate. My mouth was watering to taste the delicious chocolate creations being served at the Chocolate Festival. Luckily, the author provided a couple of the chocolate recipes at the end to try. Yum!
- The murder mystery was clever, and I loved the little twist as to how the victim actually died. It was a unique and rather uncommon way to murder someone. I also appreciated that there were several suspects with motives and some interesting developments. I did figure out who the killer was, but it wasn't an easy mystery to solve. A good, solid mystery.
- I continue to love the gang at Torte, and I enjoy seeing them grow as they not only develop the business, but their relationships. The characters at Torte function like a nice, little, happy family.
- I liked that this book refrained, for the most part, with the romance. There really isn't movement as far as Jules' romantic life, except that she seems to have settled her heart on one man. I appreciated that this one didn't have romantic drama.
- One thing that I adore about food based cozy mysteries are the recipes. This installment includes some delicious recipes for chocolate truffles, a rich cake with mocha frosting, meatloaf sandwiches, a chicken sausage quiche, a wonderful latte drink, and chocolate pasta with white chocolate sauce. Yum!
- The ending tied up all the main story threads. The remodel of Torte was done, the murder was solved and things were going well for Jules and the Torte gang. No cliffhangers or nagging questions.
And The Not So Much:
- One thing that bothered me a bit was the rather callous way the whole murder was handled. You would think if a world renowned chocolatier was murdered right before the Chocolate Festival that there would be more fall out. Instead, the Chocolate Festival proceeds as normal after a small delay. It just didn't feel realistic to me. Plus, no one seemed upset at all about Evan's death.
- Even though I was glad to get a reprieve from the romantic drama, it kind of bothered me that one of the suitor's was completely AWOL again. No contact until the final pages. What was up with that? I wish things would settle out one way or another.
Fudge and Jury is another delightful installment in one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I love the setting, the characters, the food and the mysteries. This book featured an exciting murder mystery with an unexpected twist regarding the murder weapon. I highly recommend this series when you want a light, cozy, mystery. This book was a perfect snow day read.
I won a copy of this book from the author. I was not compensated for this review, and all opinions are my own.
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Don't miss the rest of the series:
Look for book six in June!