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.
The Bakeshop mysteries are:
“Delectable.”—Portland Book Review
“Delicious.”—RT Book Reviews
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. 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
They say that love makes the world go round. Given the contagious feeling of love in the air in my warmhearted town of Ashland, Oregon, I suspected that the saying might be true. Ashland's amorous tendencies were heightened with preparations for what locals were calling "the wedding of the century." My mom and her longtime beau, the Professor, had finally decided to tie the knot and everyone was humming with eager anticipation. Torte, our family bakeshop, was no exception. For the past few weeks, we had been hand-pressing dainty lemon tarts with mounds of fluffy whipping cream, testing new recipes for strawberry sponge cake, and finalizing the menu for the wedding feast. Mom and the Professor had agreed on an inclusive guest list. That meant that anyone in our little hamlet who wanted to come to the wedding was invited. That also meant that my team and I were going to be baking around the clock to ensure that we had enough food to feed the masses.
To complicate matters, Mom and the Professor each had a trick up their sleeve. They had wanted to surprise one another with a Midsummer Night's Dream wedding on the summer solstice. But the ruse was on them. Neither of them had been able to secure a venue, since Ashland was a prime destination for summer weddings. After I'd had dozens of conversations with each of them, they had both come to the same conclusion — the wedding would have to wait. Only, it wouldn't. We were one step ahead of them. Wedding plans had been going on underground for the past month, and the entire town was in on the secret. We had created an elaborate decoy party, the grand reopening of Uva, a gorgeous hillside vineyard that I was now a one-third owner in. We had sent invitations for a reopening bash, asking guests to come in Elizabethan attire for a celebratory Midsummer's Eve dinner under the stars. At last count, we had over two hundred and fifty RSVPs, and (fingers crossed) hopefully Mom and the Professor were none the wiser.
Keeping the real reason for the festivities a secret from Ashland's lead detective and my very astute mom was going to be no small feat. After tossing around several white lies, we decided our best bet was to host a party. That way we wouldn't have to try to hide vats of artichoke dip and hundreds of peach cobbler cupcakes. I had roped my friend Thomas in to help keep the Professor occupied. Thomas was Ashland's deputy, and the Professor's right-hand man. As of late, the Professor had talked openly about retiring, or at least scaling back, after the wedding. Thomas used the opportunity to distract the Professor by pummeling him with questions about police procedures. Throwing Mom off the scent wasn't as easy. Her sharp walnut eyes seemed to pierce through me when she would ask if I was going overboard on the food for the launch party. I had fumbled through a lie, claiming that the frenzy of preparation around Torte was also due to trying to stockpile product for any temporary closures we might incur during our basement renovation. I'm not sure she bought my story, but she was distracted with trying to find a venue for the wedding and didn't press further.
If we could make it through the next few days without spilling the beans, we should be in the clear. The wedding was on Saturday night — less than a week away.
Time to get baking, Jules, I thought as I unwrapped sheets of filo dough and glanced at Torte's steamy kitchen windows. The sun had yet to fully rise. It cast a purplish glow on the plaza. There was something calming and almost magical about baking in the quiet predawn hours. I loved the idea that while I was kneading bread dough my friends and neighbors were fast asleep. It was as if mornings were exclusively mine. Not many people ever witnessed the sun's slow ascent, the way the sky shifted from deep purple to pink and how light drifted across the treetops. Every sunrise was slightly different. Some days the bricks on the plaza across the street glowed a burning orange, like the sun was begging villagers out of their beds. While other days it lagged behind wispy clouds, encouraging a lazy lie-in.
Sunrises were like pastry. No two scones or turnovers ever came out exactly the same. Sure, the average connoisseur might not notice the nuance of a slightly thinner crust or browning of crystallized sugar, but each sweet and savory treat that I pulled from our ovens had its own unique signature.
I patted the cool dough and stole another look outside. Antique street lamps cast soft halos on the sidewalk. A maroon banner with Shakespeare's bust flapped in a hint of wind. The new season of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival had kicked off last month, bringing tourists and theater lovers to our small southern Oregon town. From now through the end of summer the bakeshop would see a steady stream of customers. This was our busy season, so of course we were adding in a wedding, launching a new winery, and finishing our basement expansion. No one ever claimed that I strayed away from a challenge. I just hoped that I wasn't in over my head.
Dusting my hands with flour, I set to work placing thin layers of the filo dough on the kitchen island. Then I brushed them with melted butter. I planned to create a stacked strawberry pastry with honey, a touch of salt, and toasted almonds. If it went according to my vision we would feature it as our breakfast special for the morning rush, and potentially add it to the ever-growing list of desserts for the wedding. Once I had brushed the sheets of dough with butter, I layered fresh sliced strawberries, drizzled them with honey, and sprinkled them with toasted almonds and coarse sea salt. I repeated the layers until I had a four-inch stack. I finished the pastry with a final coat of golden butter and then slid it into the oven.
With my test pastry in the oven, I turned my attention to our daily bread and specialty cake orders. About thirty percent of our business came from wholesale accounts. We delivered bread and pastries to several restaurants on the plaza and throughout Ashland, like the Green Goblin on the opposite end of the Calle Guanajuato. They used our breads for pub-style sandwiches and offered their customers custom cake slices. It was beneficial for both of us. The Green Goblin was primarily a bar, but maintained a basic menu. Our partnership allowed them to feature locally made baked goods at a discounted rate and gave us consistent weekly income and some word-of-mouth marketing. As I kneaded sourdough starter and flour on the island, I thought about how lucky I was to live and work in such a supportive community.
Soon, the kitchen was alive with the scent of sweet bread. I was so lost in the process of twisting braids of challah dough that I didn't even realize that the sky had lightened until I heard Stephanie and Andy come inside.
"Morning, boss," Andy called in his usual chipper tone. He wore a Southern Oregon University T-shirt, cargo shorts, and flip-flops. "It's already warm out there. I think it's going to be a cold brew kind of day."
"Sounds delish," I replied with a wave.
Stephanie trudged in after him. Even though they both attended SOU, their styles couldn't have been more different. Her violet hair had been dyed black at the tips. She wore a pair of skinny jeans and a black tank top that matched her surly attempt at a smile. "Hey." She gave me a nod and headed to grab an apron.
Andy stared at the racks of bread. "Dude, how long have you been here?"
"I don't know. A couple of hours, maybe." I glanced at the clock on the wall behind me and gave him a sheepish look. "I couldn't sleep. Too much to do." That was true, but there was more to my lack of sleep than just our bakery production. As excited as I was about Mom's wedding, I had a lot on my mind. My estranged husband, Carlos, was arriving with his son Ramiro in two days. I had never met Ramiro, and while I was confident that we would get along, I couldn't silence a small, nagging fear that he might not like me. I hadn't even known that Carlos had a son until I found a stack of letters in our tiny room on the ship. Learning that Carlos had a son had been a shock, but what made it painful and confusing was the fact that he had kept it from me. I left without giving him a chance to explain. Maybe it hadn't been my most rational moment, but returning to Ashland and cocooning myself among longtime friends had given me space and distance. I had had to come to terms with Carlos's decision. Not that I entirely understood it, but I had forgiven him. It didn't serve either of us for me to hold on to my anger. And, the truth was that I was excited about meeting Ramiro. The way Carlos spoke of his son had opened a desire for a family within me that I hadn't even realized existed. Hopefully, meeting Ramiro in real life would live up to the expectation I had created in my head.
One thing I was worried about was trying to find some time to talk to Carlos alone. He hadn't told me about purchasing a share in Uva. Apparently, keeping things secret was a pattern. I wasn't sure what that meant for his long-term plans, and quite honestly what that meant for me. After a quick return to the Amour of the Seas, the cruise ship where we had met and eventually married, I had come home resolved that it was time for me to leave that life behind. Did buying into Uva mean that Carlos also had different plans? Was he thinking of leaving the vagabond lifestyle of the sea too?
Then there was the issue of Richard Lord. Richard owned the Merry Windsor hotel across the plaza from Torte. He'd been a thorn in my side ever since I returned home. It had started when I discovered that he was trying to swindle Mom out of her ownership of Torte. His business practices were shady at best. Normally, I went out of my way to avoid any interactions with the pompous Mr. Lord. Alas, that wasn't going to be possible any longer. Richard was also a one-third partner in the winery and had made it crystal clear that he would do whatever it took to buy us out. For some reason, Richard had been extremely accommodating with Mom's wedding plans. That should have given me peace of mind, but instead it had me on edge. I didn't trust Richard's motivation. Maybe there was a small chance that he had changed his ways, but I suspected his recent sickening sweetness was part of a bigger plan. The question was, what?
Finally, most of my insomnia was due to worry over my friend Lance. Lance was the artistic director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. His plays had won multiple awards and had become revered throughout the theater community as cutting-edge. OSF bent gender roles, casting women as the lead in many of Shakespeare's classics and producing works by underrepresented artists. Thanks to Lance's visionary spirit, OSF had become more than just the charming outdoor Elizabethan theater that attracted traditional theater lovers and Shakespeare enthusiasts. Sure, the company was committed to working its way through the bard's canon, but it was also willing to take risks and showcase plays written and staged to challenge personal beliefs and leave the audience with questions.
Lance had recently been accused of murder. Fortunately, it turned out that he wasn't a killer, but he had been struggling with the board of directors at the theater and had taken off for an unknown locale right as the new season had commenced. That wasn't like him. Nor was his erratic behavior and his crazy spending habits. We had been out of touch for two weeks. During the time he'd been gone I'd taken it upon myself to ask around to see if I could come up with any clues to explain the sudden and dramatic shift in his personality. Thus far, nothing had come to light.
The sound of Andy firing up the espresso machine shook me from my thoughts.
He adjusted his well-worn baseball cap. "Okay, if you've been here for hours you need a cold brew — stat. I brewed a batch last night that's chilling in the walk-in. I'll have it ready for you in less than two secs." He flashed me two fingers and sprinted to the fridge.
"You know that I'll never turn down your coffee," I called after him, brushing my hands on my bright red Torte apron. Our current space included the kitchen, which opened to the espresso bar and pastry counter. The front of the bakeshop housed a variety of bistro tables and window booths. My parents had painted the dining area in teal and red — royal colors — in honor of my dad's love of the bard and all things Shakespeare. Short of freshening up the paint and modernizing our ovens, Torte hadn't changed much since the day my parents first opened the front doors. I liked it that way and intended to keep the same welcoming vibe in the newly renovated basement. Mom and I had discussed the possibility of an expansion someday. Neither of us had expected that our dreams would come to fruition so quickly. The basement space became available at the same time that the city announced an incentive program and low-interest loans for small-business owners. One afternoon I was touring the soggy basement and the next thing I knew I was signing a contract for a major remodel.
Progress had sped up over the past few days. The electrician was due later in the afternoon for the final inspection. After that it would be a matter of paint, trim, and then the fun stuff — like arranging furniture and artwork. Our goal was to move wholesale baking operations downstairs within the week. Once we had the new kitchen up and running we could tear through the current kitchen to create stairs between the spaces. The dining room, espresso bar, and pastry counter would expand and customers would have additional seating options downstairs with a view of the brick pizza oven and our bakers at work. Our architect, Roger, had found a way to add a woodstove in the seating area so that customers could cozy up with a latte and pastry on cold winter afternoons. I felt like a kid at Christmas every time I went downstairs to check on progress. We were so close I could hardly wait.
"What do you want me to start on? It looks like you're almost done with the wholesale orders." Stephanie stared at the whiteboard, which had the day's tasks outlined, and then back to the racks of bread. "Weren't you just lecturing me about not getting enough sleep?"
She had a fair point. Mom, the team, and I had almost had to stage an intervention because Stephanie had been so sleep-deprived, thanks to a neighbor with a love of show tunes keeping her awake every night. Her lack of sleep had impacted her personal well-being and her baking. Thankfully, a good set of earplugs was all it took to get her back on track. Was I in the same position? Typically, I thrive on little to no sleep. It comes with the territory — bakers' hours. In my line of work sleeping in is unheard of. Bakers rise with their bread in the wee hours of the night.
I didn't feel rusty or sluggish, but then again, I also felt like I was operating on autopilot. "True," I replied with a chuckle. "But I'm the boss so the rules don't apply, right?"
Stephanie scowled. "Ha!"
"Promise me that if I start acting loopy, you guys will keep me in check?"
"Oh, we'll keep you in check," Andy replied before Stephanie had a chance. He handed us glasses of iced coffee with a lovely layer of something creamy on the top. "You don't have to worry though. This is my toasted-coconut cold brew. One glass of this will have you revved up and ready to bake for days."
Stephanie dunked a spoon into her coffee and swirled the thick coconut milk together with the dark brew. "I don't know about the coffee, but we've got your back, Jules."
I fought a tightness in my throat. Stephanie's outward appearance and aloof attitude sometimes gave the impression that she didn't care. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don't know how Mom and I had lucked out with such a stellar young staff, or what we would do without them.
"Thanks," I said, taking a sip of the coffee. The rich espresso and bright coconut flavor were a perfect pairing.
Andy returned to his post while Stephanie and I reviewed what I had already completed and what needed to be tackled next. Desserts had begun to outshine the cake at many weddings that we had recently catered and Mom's nuptials would be no exception. We had sketched out a tablescape for the reception with a combination of whimsical and elegant dessert offerings sure to please every palate. I tasked Stephanie with working on the dough for what would become milk and cookie shots.
"How am I supposed to make the dough into cups?" Stephanie asked, washing her hands with lavender soap.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Till Death Do Us Tart"
Copyright © 2018 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a fun addition. The wedding sounds wonderful, more fun with Lance and a lovely ending.
In Till Death Do Us Tart, Jules Capshaw and her Torte bakery crew are planning a wedding. In fact, the whole town of Ashland, Oregon is helping to plan and set up the secret Midsummer’s Eve themed wedding of Jules’s mom Helen and Police Detective Doug Curtis. Adding to Jules’s stress level is the expansion and remodeling of the bakery. In order to keep her mother from seeing all of the desserts being made, their architect Roger keeps sending Helen on wildgoose chases. The bright side is that after being away on vacation for three weeks, Jules’s best friend and OSF Artistic Director Lance is back in town. Turns out Lance wasn’t really soaking up the sun in some tropical locale but in fact was in Medford. Yep. It seems the polished, sophisticated, flamboyant Lance Rousseau is actually a local boy. For the past few weeks, Lance has been a mere ten miles away, spending time with his dying father. If that wasn’t surprise enough for Jules, Lance telling her that he thinks his younger brother, Leo, is trying to kill their father is. Turns out Lance’s family owns The Brown Group, one the largest lumber companies in Oregon. After Mr. Brown dies, Lance is more convinced than ever that his brother and his employees are behind his death. He even hires private investigator, Megan Antonini to prove his assertion. As Megan is conducting her investigation, she drinks a poison laced glass of wine she is sure was meant for Jules. When Megan dies, without revealing who she thinks tried to kill Jules, Jules and Lance decide to do their own investigation into both deaths. I love Ellie Alexander’s Bakeshop Mystery series. The books are all standalone reads. All the main characters are amazing and likeable. Reading the books is truly like hanging out with friends, except for the murder part. It looks like things are moving in the right direction for Jules and Thomas. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the citizens of Ashland. **Received a copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed the book.**
The 9th book in this series just released and I knew I had to get reading – as this is a series I love to read in order. And I did not want to miss Helen and the Professor’s wedding day! I love how much all the characters have grown throughout this series. I also loved Lance and Jules as a detective team. I hope that continues in future books! I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a strong addition to a fun series!
Jules has more than her hands full as she is planning a secret Mid Summer's Night wedding for her Mother while supervising her staff and a huge renovation/addition to their bakeshop. The last thing she needs is for her best friend Lance to get her involved in a murder mystery. This is a great series that continues to stay fresh throughout each new installment. The cast of characters is always fun, unique and full of surprises while still making you feel like you know them as friends.
When I picked up Till Death Do Us Tart and began to read, it was like catching up with old friends. I’ve developed a real fondness for the staff at Torte with Juliet at the top of my friends list. I’ve read all eight in the Bakeshop Mystery series and each one just gets better. And because I love to cook, a real bonus for me are the recipes at the end of each book. It would appear that Alexander spends as much time in the kitchen as she does writing; the recipes are always to die for (pun intended). Yes, there’s a lot of baking; yes, there’s always the romance of Ashland; and yes, there’s always a murder – but each book’s plot is well-crafted and are never boring. I can only hope Alexander continues to develop new scenarios for Jules and her friends because if this series ever ends, I will be most sad. Once again, great job and a fabulous read!
I always enjoy my visits to Ashland, Oregon and to Torte. It is like visiting with old friends, they are so likeable and work so well together. Jules and her team at Torte have been very busy finalizing plans for the surprise wedding of Helen (Jules' mother) and Doug (aka The Professor) under the guise of a grand reopening celebration at Uvo Winery owned by Jules, Carlos, Lance and Richard Lord (Jules' nemesis). While this is going on, there are major renovations at Torte, even causing a closure for a few days. Carlos (Jules' estranged husband) and his son are visiting to help with the preparations. The mystery in this book involves Lance and his family. It was nice to finally learn more about this quirky character. Lance has hired a private investigator because he is sure his brother hastens his father's death of money. This book kept me turning pages quickly. There were several twists and surprises along the way. With more than one death, attempted murders and the introduction of Lance's boorish brother, the reader is kept guessing. There is a hint romance between Jules and Carlos, as well as a possible love interest for Thomas, Jules' childhood boyfriend. With some new characters introduced in this story, we continue to learn more about Ashland and the area. It definitely grows on you and makes me want to visit there more than ever. Another wonderful addition to the Bakeshop Mystery Series and one that left me wanting more. I can hardly wait for the next book in this series to find out where Jules, Carlos and the crew at Torte will go next. The publisher, St. Martins, generously provided me with a copy of this book after my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
I absolutely love this series, and this was a great addition to it. I love the mystery plotting, character interaction, and relationships, and the setting of Ashland and Torte. The mystery in this one involves Lance's family and was another one that kept me guessing with just enough clues. I'll be continuing to read this series as long as Ms. Alexander keeps writing them!
This is the eighth book in The Bakeshop Mystery Series. I have not read any of the previous books, but that was not a problem. Other than the backstory of Jules' estranged husband, Carlos, you are given many details about the characters. In addition, the author gives wonderful descriptions of the town she lives in, Ashland, Oregon. I have to say, Ms. Alexnder's details of the town gave me very nice visuals in my mind. More than usual for me, so kudos to her for this! The main character, Jules Capshaw, has way too much on her plate in this story. She is running her business, Torte, trying to plan a secret wedding for her mother and The Professor, planning the Grand Re-opening of the winery she recently purchased with her estranged husband and Richard Lord, the town grouch. As if that is that is not enough, Carlos is back in town with his son, Ramiro, whom she has never met. Her BFF, Lance's father is murdered? Oh, and that is not all, but Ms. Alexander packs so much into her story you just have to read it for yourself! This is definitely one of my favorite cozy series and I will be going back to read books 1-7. I am giving this a solid 4-star rating.
Till Death Do Us Tart by Ellie Alexander is the eighth tale in A Bakeshop Mystery series. Jules Capshaw has a lot of on her plate. She is busy planning a surprise wedding for her mother and the Professor. Everyone in Ashland, Oregon is in on the surprise except the couple getting married. The nuptials will take place Uva, the vineyard that Jules now owns shares in along with her estranged husband, Carlos (and the horrible Richard Lord). Carlos will be arriving in Ashland along with his son, Romero in two days. It is a Midsummer Night’s Dream wedding and guests have been asked to wear Elizabethan themed attire. The renovations of Torte are still ongoing. The downstairs will be complete within the week and then they can begin work upstairs. As if that is not enough, Lance returns to town and he has a problem. He believes his brother, Leo is poisoning their father and that someone is following him. He would like to invite Leo and his entourage to the wedding (oh no) as part of his plan. Then Lance’s father passes away under suspicious circumstances and a wedding guest collapses from poisoned wine. That glass of wine, though, was meant for Jules. Are the two cases connected? Murder, mayhem and the makeover of Torte are on the menu in Till Death Do Us Tart. Return to Ashland, Oregon in the latest A Bakeshop Mystery. While Till Death Do Us Tart is the eighth book in the series, it can be read alone. The author does provide the necessary background details for readers. Till Death Do Us Tart is nicely written and it has a fast pace. Ellie Alexander has a conversational writing style that makes her books easy to read and enjoy. There are many cozy moments with baking, friendship, the vineyard, touring the town and the wedding. Carlos is back in Jules life and the attraction between them in undeniable. Jules is falling back in love with Carlos, but she is not sure if he would be happy in Ashland. While I liked the mystery, I thought it was a cinch to solve. I would have liked a better wrap up of the mystery at the end. I wanted more facts and less assumption. My rating for Till Death Do Us Tart is 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). Many delectable delights are mentioned in the book. They will have your mouth watering (there are recipes at the end of the book). We are left with a small cliffhanger at the end. Readers will have to wait for the next A Bakeshop Mystery to discover what happens next with Jules. Till Death Do Us Tart is a light-hearted, charming cozy mystery that will leave you smiling.
Romance, family and murder blend into another wonderful tale in the A Bake Shop Mysteries series. A magnificent surprise wedding and the return of Carlos are the highlights that bring joy to the Till Death Do Us Tart, the latest book in the series. The family that Jules and her mother have created at Torte expands by one when Carlos brings his teen-aged son to meet Jules. In the midst of the happiness of the wedding and reunion, a tragic event tears Lance to pieces, so naturally he turns to his already overloaded friend to investigate a possible murder. The amazing characters are the thing that keep bringing me back to this delightful series. The mystery, unlike the great characters, did not meet Ellie Alexander’s usual high standard. It was good, better than many, just not as good a puzzle as she usually brings us. I excited to receive an ARC of Till Death do Us Tart via NetGalley and will spread the word to friends and follows. While the mystery wasn’t my favorite, the book was still awesome.
Till Death Do Us Tart by Ellie Allexander is the 8th in the Bakeshop Mysteries. This is the second book I have read and I am hooked. Jules is trying to pull off a surprise wedding for her mother and the professor, the renovations are nearly finished.and her ex is coming to town. Though, she already has a full plate, her buddy, Lance, enlists her help on investigating his family. Is he being paranoid or is someone out to end his father's life. Jules is going to find out, especially when she discovers she may have also been a target. This is a terrific cozy with a great cast of characters, mystery, and romance. The story line flows with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. I'm already looking forward to returning to Ashland, Oregon and Torte. I was given an ARC from Netgalley and St Martin's Press for an honest review.
This is the first book that I have read in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed it even though it probably would have been better to read others first. I plan to go back and check out others in the series. The characters were likable and well developed with a multilayered mystery that kept me interested. Juliet Capeshaw and her mother own a delightfully sounded pastry shop, Torte, in the picturesque town of Ashland, Oregon. Her mother and her fiance', Doug (the Professor) want to have an Elizabethan themed wedding but haven't been able to work it out. Unbeknownst to them, Jules and the Torte crew as well as the whole town are planning a wedding for them at the Uva Winery where Jules is a partner. Jules is also helping her friend, actor and theater director, Lance, investigate who might be trying to kill his father-even looking at Leo, Lance's brother. There are different other suspicious characters to look into as well. Torte is being remodeled and expanded for extra cooking space as well as serving spaces by a contractor whose wife appears to hate Jules; but why? The wedding is lovely and turns out really well until someone poisoned a glass of wine intended for Jules but drank by an investigator hired by Lance. Jules is also on edge because her estranged husband, Carlos, and his son, Romiro, are in town from Spain for the wedding. What is to become of their marriage? This book has all the qualities to make a fun cozy mystery-a small town of quirky characters where everyone knows each other, a murder plot with twists and turns, a pool of suspects and yummy sounding foods! This is a fun read with a ending that I really didn't see coming. I highly recommend. I received a complimentary ARC from St. Martin's Press through NetGalley. The thoughts and opinions stated are mine only.
This is the first book I have read in the series, but it won’t be my last! Ellie Alexander and the town of Ashland Oregon are planning one heck of a surprise wedding for her Mother. But there are more secrets being kept in town than just the wedding when Ellie finds that her best friend Lance is actually a fairly local boy and still has family in the area and his father has expressed fears for his l life shortly before he passes away. With the wedding, a possible murder, a visit from Ellie’s estranged husband and his teenage son, and a threat against Ellie’s life, things are certainly busy in Ashland. It certainly makes for a fun read and lots of mystery. This is a great book to add to your Summer must read list!
What a deliciously good series! I love all of the folks at Torte. In this installment of A Bakeshop Mystery, we meet more magnificent characters as author Ellie Alexander takes us on a ride with many delightful twists and turns. Love is in the air, but someone is not in a celebratory mood and poisoned wine gets served. Who was the poison meant for? Why? And who did it? These questions will compel you to keep turning the pages. This book can be read alone, but I highly recommend you read the others in the series, not because you have to, but because they are so good.