Caught Bread Handed (Bakeshop Mystery Series #4)

Caught Bread Handed (Bakeshop Mystery Series #4)

by Ellie Alexander

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Overview

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250088048
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Series: Bakeshop Mystery Series , #4
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 667
File size: 3 MB

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." Find her on Facebook to learn more!
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. She is the author of the Bakeshop Mysteries, including Meet Your Baker and A Batter of Life and Death, as well as the Sloan Krause mysteries. You can find her on Facebook to learn more!

Read an Excerpt

Caught Bread Handed


By Ellie Alexander

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2016 Kate Dyer-Seeley
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-08804-8


CHAPTER 1

They say that home is where the heart is. That could be true. But what if my heart was lost? What if my heart couldn't find its way home?

Technically I'd been home for six months. Home for me was my childhood town of Ashland, Oregon. It's a magical place with its Elizabethan architecture, charming Shakespearean-themed shops and restaurants, inviting outdoor parks and public spaces, and mild Mediterranean climate. Not to mention the warm and welcoming locals who can make a stranger feel like they've lived in Ashland for decades upon meeting for the first time.

Our family bakeshop, Torte, sits in the center of my hometown. It's located in the downtown plaza just a few hundred feet from Lithia Park and Shakespeare's stairs, a set of cement stairs that lead from the park's expansive lawn to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's theater complex. Walking around the plaza is like stepping back in time. Storefronts are designed in Tudor style with narrow symmetrical buildings, timber framing, and ornate windows.

Ashland has something for everyone from its world-famous stage productions, to its funky artistic community, and wide open spaces perfect for adventure lovers. The only thing it didn't have at the moment was snow. Usually in January, Mt. Ashland's slopes were coated in deep layers of snow. But not this January.

I looked out Torte's front windows. The sun hung low in the late afternoon sky. A group of musicians with banjos and an accordion were busking in the center of the plaza. Two well-dressed tourists stopped in front of the bubbling fountains to listen to them play. It looked like spring outside. Bistro tables had been set up in front of restaurants and shop doors were propped open. It was hard to believe that people were meandering through downtown without coats in January, especially since winter had begun with an epic storm.

A week ago I had been at Lake of the Woods Resort, a remote alpine lodge, for a catering job and had ended up snowed in. Thick white flakes dumped from the sky for three days. Snow fell in record levels causing power outages and making travel impossible. Ashland had been hit by the blizzard too. Customers had to strap on cross-country skis for their morning coffee fix. After the storm blew over the sun emerged from the clouds. It melted the snow and ushered in a stretch of unseasonably warm weather.

I had to admit that I was a little disappointed. I hadn't experienced a winter in over a decade and I had been looking forward to a change of seasons. My work as a pastry chef for a renowned cruise line had taken me to every corner of the globe. It had been an adventurous ten years. I'd seen nearly every tropical port of call, but the ship always sailed under sunny skies. Winter meant island hopping in the Caribbean and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. Snow was unheard of in the warm blue waters where tourists took refuge from winter's harsh winds and swirling storms.

In anticipation of the cold-weather months in Southern Oregon, I bought myself a new wardrobe of sweaters, jeans, and thick wool socks. From the looks of the busy plaza outside, I wasn't going to need them anytime soon. People milled around the fountains and information kiosk wearing shorts and thin sweatshirts. Definitely not winter attire. They looked like they belonged on the upper deck of the cruise ship, not Ashland in January. Since I'd returned from Lake of the Woods the temperature in Ashland had been holding in the mid-sixties. At this rate, I was going to have to break out my summer clothes again.

The sound of mixers churning in the background and the smell of sweet rolls rising in the oven made the lack of snow more manageable. Breathing in the comforting scents brought an instant calm to my body. Being home again had been better than I had ever expected. When I returned to Ashland six months ago with a broken heart, I thought it would be a temporary stop until I found my land legs and figured out what was next for me. That quickly changed. The community had welcomed me in, and working at Torte with Mom and our incredible young staff had given me a new sense of purpose and direction. There was just one lingering problem (literally and figuratively) — my estranged husband, Carlos.

I glanced across the plaza and shook my head. Carlos was at the Merry Windsor chatting with a bellboy in a green-and-gold-stripped uniform. Of course. I couldn't escape him. I wasn't sure I wanted to.

I watched them talk. Carlos's dark hair fell in a soft wave over one eye. The sleeves of his casual white shirt had been rolled up to the elbows, revealing his bronzed forearms. He'd been telling everyone in town that he brought the Spanish sun with him. "You see, this is how we winter in Spain. We drink in the sun along with some lovely Spanish wine."

Everyone was charmed by Carlos, myself included. It was impossible not to fall under his spell. His sultry dark eyes and Spanish accent were practically irresistible, as was his naturally relaxed personality. He'd been in Ashland a little over a week and had managed to bewitch everyone in town.

Almost everyone. Richard Lord, the owner of the Merry Windsor, where Carlos was staying, didn't look pleased that Carlos was distracting the bellboy from his work. I shook my head again as I watched his animated speech and hand motions. The bellboy chatted happily as if he and Carlos had been friends for years. Carlos had that effect on people.

My mom, Helen, had the same gift, but she used it differently. Her approach was to offer up a hot cup of coffee, a fresh pastry, and a listening ear. Carlos tended to lure people in with his witty banter and whimsical pranks. Both approaches achieved the same result. Mom and Carlos had a way of putting people at ease. I wasn't sure that I had the same ability. It's something I've been trying to work on. I think that I come across as too serious sometimes.

Carlos turned in my direction and caught my eye. He blew me a kiss and then waved with both hands in an attempt to get me outside. I shook my head and pointed to the kitchen. Heat rose in my cheeks as I left the window and walked back to my workstation. My husband had caught me staring at him. Normally that wouldn't be a bad thing, but right now it was for me. Having Carlos in Ashland for the last week had been equally wonderful and confusing. He was leaving for the ship in three days. I couldn't get distracted now. I had too much to do. Like getting our wholesale orders out the door, I said to myself, focusing on the stack of orders resting on the kitchen island.

I leafed through them, making sure everything was ready for tomorrow morning's shift. Thanks to some new restaurant accounts, Mom and I would finally be able to get the new ovens that Torte so desperately needed. We'd been barely getting by with one functional oven. New kitchen equipment came with a hefty price tag. We had been saving every extra penny for the last six months, and taking on extra wholesale accounts. It had paid off. We were so close that I could almost taste the fresh bread baking in shiny new stainless steel commercial ovens. I'd even gone so far as sketching out how we might make some minor tweaks to the kitchen floorplan and modernize our ordering system.

Having the new wholesale accounts had been great for our bottom line, but it meant that things were very tight in Torte's already small kitchen. I had been coming in earlier than usual in order to bake and deliver bread to our wholesale clients before the morning coffee rush. The long hours were taking a toll on my body. I shifted my weight as I restacked the order forms and surveyed the kitchen. Everything was running smoothly, as usual.

Stephanie, the college student who had been helping with pastry orders in the back, rolled sugar-cookie dough on the butcher block. "Is this thin enough, Mrs. Capshaw?"

Mom tucked a strand of her brown bobbed hair behind her ear and nodded in approval. "Perfect."

"I'm going to grab a coffee. Need anything?" I asked.

Mom dusted a pan of brownies with powdered sugar. "No, thanks." Her brown eyes narrowed. She caught my apron as I passed. "Hold up there, young lady."

"What?"

"How many cups is that for you today?"

"Uh. I don't know. Not that many. Maybe a couple. I haven't been keeping count." I looked at my feet. If I made eye contact with her I knew that she'd catch me in a lie.

Mom threw her head back and laughed. "Ha!" She turned to Stephanie. "Did you hear that? Not many. By my count you've had at least a gallon."

"A gallon?" I overenunciated my words and played along. "Hardly." Then I folded my arms in front of my chest. "Plus it's my duty to carefully sample our coffee offerings. You wouldn't want us serving bitter coffee to customers, would you?"

Mom flicked my apron and shook her head. "Stephanie, you and I may need to stage a coffee intervention."

Stephanie looked up from the cookie dough and offered us both a rare grin. "I'm in."

I left them brainstorming ways to keep me from the espresso bar and headed for the front of the bakeshop. As I was about to ask Andy, our barista, for a double Americano, a woman's voice called my name.

"Juliet! You are just the person I wanted to see. Can I bother you for moment, dear?" An elderly woman with silver hair stood near the pastry case holding an almond croissant in one hand and clutching the counter with the other.

It was Rosalind Gates, the president of the Ashland Downtown Association. She wore a black T-shirt with the words SOS — SAVE OUR SHAKESPEARE written on the front.

"Sure." I scanned the dining room and pointed to an empty booth near the front windows.

Rosalind looked a bit unsteady on her feet. "Let me help." I offered her my hand and guided her to the booth.

"Thanks, my dear," she said as she carefully lowered herself into the booth. "My hip has been creaky lately."

Before I could ask her what she needed she pointed a bony finger across the street. "Look at that monstrosity. We have to put a stop to this right now. That woman has gone too far this time. Way too far."

My eyes followed Rosalind's quivering finger. She was pointing to ShakesBurgers. The chain restaurant had opened last week. Many local business owners weren't thrilled about it. Downtown Ashland is known for its eclectic shops and restaurants. The plaza is a hub for small, family-owned businesses. ShakesBurgers was the first chain to take ownership of a building downtown and most people weren't happy about it. Not only was the neon fast-food burger joint out of place in the historic Shakespearean village, but they had also taken over one of Ashland's beloved restaurants, the Jester.

Alan Matterson had opened the Jester last February. He was an old family friend who had run an extremely successful food booth at the farmers' market since I was a kid. His hand-dipped corn dogs were legendary around town, as was Alan's entertaining personality. In any place other than Ashland, Alan might have struggled to find his niche. Here, though, he blended right in. No one gave his black-and-white-checked jester jumpsuits or his zany hats a second look.

Locals flocked to the Jester for Alan's home-style cooking. The restaurant was themed after a medieval court. Tourists loved the restaurant's brocade façade and funky collection of jester hats and scepters that hung from the walls and ceiling. Alan greeted each customer who walked through the door with a goofy joke and a little jig. Kids' meals came with a gag gift — like waxed candy lips or a fake camera that squirted water. The Jester's food was equally irreverent. Alan served his signature corn dogs along with pink-and-blue-swirled cotton candy and banana splits piled high with Umpqua Valley ice cream and topped with sprinkles and maraschino cherries.

It seemed like the Jester would be a lasting success, but in early December right before the holiday season a CLOSED sign was posted on the front door. A week later the building was listed for sale and before anyone could blink, a construction crew ripped down the Shakespearean façade and carted away the cotton candy machine.

One of the issues with running a seasonal business in Ashland is calculating for the slow season. Sadly, many of the shops and restaurants that open in February when OSF kicks off their new season end up closing in November and December when the tourists return home. Watching it happen to a friend like Alan had been devastating. What made it even worse was having a chain like ShakesBurgers move in.

Mindy Nolan, a wealthy real estate developer who owned a number of chain restaurants, swooped in, purchased the building, and gave it an overnight makeover. She opened ShakesBurgers two weeks later. The two restaurants could not have been more different. ShakesBurgers had over thirty stores in eight western states. They specialized in fast food — burgers, fries, anything coated in grease. Unlike the other shops in the plaza, ShakesBurgers had painted the exterior of the building a shocking lime green and installed neon flashing signage that included an animated dancing milkshake and hamburger and a dialogue bubble pulsing their tagline: Our burgers make your buns shake.

It all happened so fast. One day the Jester was there and thriving. The next day it was gone. Some of my fellow business owners had expressed concern about Mindy and how she had handled the takeover. The word "hostile" had been tossed around. Rumors tend to spread quickly in a small town. I've learned that it's best not to make assumptions. I hadn't had a chance to talk to Alan, since he'd gone into hiding since ShakesBurgers had opened.

While Mindy was in the middle of renovations, she caught me in the plaza one day and asked if we'd be willing to source all of the bread and buns for ShakesBurgers.

"You're Juliet, right?" She hoisted a box of precut frozen potatoes in one arm and extended her hand. "I'm Mindy Nolan. Word is you bake the best bread in town. I want to source all of our buns from you. We try to partner with local businesses, you know, throw the small guy a bone, when we launch a new store. I don't take no for an answer. You might as well say yes."

Mindy's condescending attitude was off-putting. "I'm not sure," I replied. "We're pretty busy right now."

"A small business owner turning down hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars per month in new revenue before you've even had a chance to hear my pitch, are you crazy?" She set the box of frozen potatoes on the sidewalk and folded her arms across her chest. Her lime-green shirt with a cartoon logo of a burger oozing with melting cheese blended in with the garish color of the building.

I didn't appreciate Mindy's approach. "I'll have to talk it over with my mom," I said, trying to end the conversation.

Mindy continued to press. "I'll make it worth your while. This could be a very lucrative deal for you. ShakesBurgers is one of the fastest growing chains on the West Coast. You're going to want to be in on what we have to offer."

I disagreed. Working with the chain would anger my fellow downtown business owners. I couldn't betray Alan, and I didn't want Torte's products associated with a giant corporation. "Like I said, we'll talk about it, but I don't know that it's going to be a match," I said to Mindy.

My instincts were right. When I told Mom about Mindy's proposition she held up her hand to stop me before I'd even finished speaking. "Juliet, no. No amount of money is worth it. We can't do that to our friends."

"It would be more money, though," I said. My voice didn't sound convincing. "It would get us even closer to new ovens."

Mom was adamant. She stood firm. "No, it's not worth it. She can get her buns from Richard Lord. They seem like a match made in heaven, don't you think?"

I agreed. "Absolutely. I'm glad you think so too. She accosted me with a box of frozen potatoes in her hand. That was my first red flag."

"And Alan." Mom put her hand to her heart. "We couldn't do that to him. He's still upset about losing the Jester. I saw him the other day and he wasn't even wearing one of his funny hats."

* * *

"Juliet, you're not working with the enemy, are you?" Rosalind's voice brought me back into the present moment.

I tore my gaze away from ShakesBurgers. "The enemy?"

She ripped off a bite of flaky croissant. "There's a rumor going around that Torte is supplying ShakesBurgers with buns." Her hands trembled slightly as she spoke.

"That rumor is false. I promise. Mindy approached us about using our products, but Mom and I both declined."

"Thank goodness." Rosalind let out a long sigh. "I told everyone that there was no way that Torte would agree to such a thing." She paused and took another bite. "The rumor mill is working overtime. The latest is that Mindy has hired two OSF actors to dress up in hideous hamburger and milkshake costumes to hand out fliers around town. It's absolutely sacrilegious. The woman is single-handedly destroying Ashland and I intended to put a stop to her."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Caught Bread Handed by Ellie Alexander. Copyright © 2016 Kate Dyer-Seeley. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Caught Bread Handed (Bakeshop Mystery Series #4) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
PollyBennett More than 1 year ago
Very nice addition. I am really enjoying this series. The author pulls off the murders in a small town nicely. It was nice getting to know the main cast of characters a little better with each addition. This is one of the best cozy series that I have read in awhile.
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
My first book by this author/in this series. I enjoyed the story, and would be interested to go back and read the first books in the series. I defnitely would LOVE to be able to eat some of the foods they prepare. They all sound delicious.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Caught Bread Handed - Bakeshop Mystery Book 4 Author: Ellie Alexander Published: 6-28-2016 Publisher: St. Martin's Press Pages: 320 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Culinary Mystery; Amateur Sleuths; Cozy ISBN: 13: 9781250088031 ASIN: B0191K3GN2 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.25 Stars I received a copy of Caught Bread Handed from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Description From the Publisher: 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? My Review Mindy Nolan has turned many of the business owners against her so when she turns up dead not many are heartbroken. I personally disliked her and she was not even real. Juliet shows her faith in her friends and loyalty when she searches for the killer to clear her friend. All the characters are strong individuals. The scenes are written in vivid text so that you can actually envision the ShakesBurger restaurant and feel the nausea it brings to the viewer as it aesthetically assaults the eye. I found the plot well developed and to flow smoothly. There are plenty of clues and a few red herrings to keep the reader involved. My rating of "Caught Bread Handed" is 4.25 out of 5 stars.
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Caught Bread Handed, the fourth book in Ellie Alexander’s Bakeshop Mystery Series picks up about a week or two after On Thin Icing. However, this is a complete standalone read, with barely anything mentioned about what happened in the previous books. Caught Bread Handed finds many residents of Ashland, Oregon upset with a new restaurant in town. Known for its love of Shakespeare, the downtown area has many small, family-owned shops and restaurants which boast Elizabethan touches. Mindy Nolan has chosen to go against what’s usually found downtown and bring in a chain restaurant that is neon bright and doesn’t fit in. Clashes between Mindy and various residents ensue. While making her morning deliveries, Jules finds an unconscious Mindy. When police arrive, surprises are revealed. One of the reasons I like this series so much is because Ellie not only incorporates a mystery, but she gives readers a true romantic angle. Jules Capshaw is in the midst of trying to figure out what’s good for her career and her personal life. She’s still trying to come to terms with a secret revealed by her husband in a previous book and figure out where her marriage stands. The mystery is solid in that you find yourself trying to figure out what’s going on along with Jules. I’ll admit to really liking the way it played out. I think the romantic conundrum Jules finds herself in took up most of the book and didn’t truly allow for a lot of mystery solving on her part. Without a doubt I’m looking forward to reading more books in this series. Ellie continues to write characters both main and secondary that you want to know. The small town setting of Ashland, Oregon is perfect and the recipes and food descriptions found in the book are incredible. **Received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
Samantha1020 More than 1 year ago
This is seriously one of my very favorite cozy mystery series, and I've been waiting impatiently to read this book for a very long time. Even when I got an early copy I forced myself to wait until closer to the release date because I knew that I would be left wishing for the next book after I finished. Which is exactly what happened and now I'm going to have to try (try being the key word here) and patiently wait for book five. I love many things about this series but one of my very favorite things about it is all of the characters. This series features such a great cast of characters, and I love that we as the readers are getting to know them more and more as we get further in. I'm not even sure if I read these books for the mystery so much as I read it for the characters. The author has just brought these characters to life for me. It almost makes me feel like I could go visit this perfect little town myself. Although I fully admit that I love the characters the most about these books there are other elements that I love as well. Namely all of the delicious food descriptions that the author shares throughout the story. My family knows by now that my cooking skills are iffy at best but it doesn't stop me from wishing that I could cook like Jules. These books make me seriously hungry and I'm always tempted to try some of the recipes that are included at the end. The mystery story line in this book was done quite well also although to be honest that was the part I cared about the least. I was more worried about what was going to happen with Jules especially with her estranged husband Carlos leaving to go back to the ship he works on. I'm not a huge fan of his (I like Thomas her old boyfriend more) but I knew that this book might change things with their relationship which left me eager to see what was going to happen. Slight spoiler here but nothing was fully resolved which is why I am really anxious to read the next book in this series. I love how there aren't easy answers given in terms to her relationship with Carlos. It just feels more like real life and I appreciate that. The ending of this book wrapped everything up quite nicely and left me satisfied. I'm always left wishing for more after these books but isn't that what always happens with a series that you love? Overall, I loved this book just as I have loved every book in this series. I really can't recommend them enough but especially to cozy mystery fans. This is a series that should be read in order just so that you can get the full feel for all of these characters. Each book could be read alone but I really think the overall experience would be improved if you read them in order. Highly recommended! Bottom Line: I can't say enough good things about this series or this book! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley as part of a CBB book tour.
csrsvivr More than 1 year ago
Torte, a lovely quaint bakeshop in Ashland Oregon is home to Jules Capshaw and her mom. Ashland is known for its Oregon Shakespeare Festival during the summer months and Jules helping police solve murders – often! Jules once again stumbles upon a dead body or a murder in progress….while dealing with an estranged husband getting ready to head back to the ship where he is the head chef. He came to Ashland to woo Jules back. Will Jules solve the murder(s), meet her baking commitments, keep the oven going in Torte and get her life back on track? Read the book and find out. Fantastic read!!!
AuthorsWebTVHost More than 1 year ago
Alexander is an accomplished writer and truly knows how to keep a series interesting and entertaining. This latest installment of the Bakeshop Mystery Series was well worth the wait. Jules and Carlos have no idea how to resolve the challenges in their relationship, and Thomas tends to appear at the most awkward of times, but that’s what keeps it entertaining. Of course, there’s a murder, and of course, Jules is right in the middle of it all. This one threatens the very look and feel of the theater district that everyone loves so much. The recipes keep getting better and better and the Tomato-Orange Soup is to die for! I love the new coffee concoctions in each book and can’t wait for the next. As these characters continue to develop and evolve, you find yourself getting more and more immersed in their lives. It would seem that Helen’s life will change considerably as we go forward, but that’s why we love Torte and all its’ people. Once again, I’m left eagerly anticipating the next one.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Caught Bread Handed by Ellie Alexander is the fourth book in A Bakeshop Mystery series. Juliet Montague Capshaw has returned to Ashland, Oregon from Lake of the Woods where she had catered an event (and helped catch a killer). Her husband, Carlos, who had shown up unexpectedly, has returned with her. Torte, her family’s bakery, is busier than ever. The only thorn in their side is the monstrosity that has opened up across the street. ShakesBurgers is the new “restaurant” that took over where Jester (a unique restaurant owned by Alan Masterson) used to be. Mindy Nolan ripped down the Tudor façade and painted the place a neon color. It sticks out like a sore thumb in this Shakespearian town (home to the Shakespeare Festival theater complex). Rosalind Gates, president of Ashland Downtown Association, has called an emergency meeting to see about getting rid of the eyesore (or making them put an old looking façade on the place to match the rest of the area). The next day Juliet finds Mindy Nolan dead in ShakesBurgers. Rosalind, of course, ends up being a prime suspect. Juliet starts poking around trying to get answers (and avoid talking to her Carlos). Time is running out for Carlos and Juliet. Carlos has to return to the cruise ship soon (where he works) and he would like Juliet to return with him. But Juliet has found her place in Ashland and Torte. Is there any chance for their marriage? Who wanted Mindy Nolan out of the way like day old bread? You will have to read Caught Bread Handed to get the answers. Caught Bread Handed is easy to read, has some engaging characters (like the Professor and Helen Capshaw), and is set in a beautiful location. I feel that Caught Bread Handed is really not a stand-alone book. The author does update the readers on Juliet’s past and how she came to return to Ashland, but I think it would be helpful to have read the previous novels (or at least the first one in the series). I felt that Caught Bread Handed is more about a day in the life of Juliet. The majority of the story talks about baking, cooking (the Sunday Suppers at Torte), Juliet not knowing what to do about Carlos, Carlos teaching Sterling, Juliet ogling Carlos when he is not looking, and more baking. Pages of the book are devoted to each item Juliet bakes for Torte (the ingredients, the mixing, the baking, the smell) than to the mystery. We do not get many clues, but the killer is apparent (at least I thought so). I give Caught Bread Handed 3 out of 5 stars. I wanted more substance and time devoted to the mystery. I am also tired of Carlos and Juliet. It is time to resolve the situation (enough is enough). One thing I thought was unusual was how quickly a new business opened. Mindy Nolan and her partner purchased, renovated, and opened ShakesBurgers within two weeks. It just does not seem plausible (and odd considering such a historic type town). The next book in the series is Fudge and Jury. I will read it and then decide whether or not to continue with the series. I received a complimentary copy of Caught Bread Handed from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest evaluation of the book.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book; this is the fourth book in the A Bakeshop Mystery series written by Ellie Alexander. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. This was such a great read and full of surprises. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
As delicious, and intoxicating as the pastries in Torte, CAUGHT BREAD HANDED is the perfect ingredient in this culinary mystery series! I remember pick up the first book in this series, MEET YOUR BAKER, and thinking how wonderful it sounded. Understatement! I was hooked before I was done with the first chapter. I’ve excitedly waited for each new installment since. CAUGHT BREAD HANDED is a superb mystery that’s filled with excitement, fun, mystery, yummy food, great characters, a lovely location, everything readers look for in a cozy, and of course a murder victim, and enough suspects to keep you second guessing yourself. There was only one aspect of this story, concerning a couple of characters, one in particular, I wasn’t really thrilled with. Other readers will no doubt be very happy with it. As for me, I’m waiting to see how it plays out in future books. CAUGHT BREAD HANDED was a great book. You’re going to want to check it out, as well as the rest of the series! You’ll find eight delectable recipes, and an expert from the next Bakeshop Mystery, all at the end of this book!
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
Juliet Capshaw is a strong character who really grows in this story. Back from a recent catering job, Juliet is happily baking in her kitchen at Torte, the family owned bakery in the charming town of Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Working with her is her talented staff, her mother and Juliet's husband Carlos. Before returning to Torte, Juliet was working on a cruise ship, where she met and married her husband. Now that she is home, she seems happy, however her relationship with her husband is still rocky. Carlos will be returning to the ship soon, so Juliet is hoping to work out some of their issues. Baking keeps Juliet focused and when a new eatery moves in across the street, Juliet will need to keep focused, especially after she may have witnessed a murder! There are a few different stories going on in this book and you will be kept on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The mouth-watering recipes will have you dashing to the kitchen to whip up your own delectable treats. This is a fun, interesting series that will leave you wanting more! I am looking forward to the next book in this great series. I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.