Sunday, August 6, 2017

Book Review: Caught Bread Handed A Bakeshop Mystery, Book 4 Ellie Alexander

Caught Bread Handed
A Bakeshop Mystery, Book 4
Ellie Alexander

Book Information:

Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Sold by: Macmillan
ASIN: B0191K3GN2

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About the Book:

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?

In Caught Bread Handed it is wintertime and even though the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is on hiatus, Ashland is still buzzing.  A chain restaurant has muscled its way into the downtown business district, ruffling the feathers of the historic district.  When the new owner is found dead, many of the townsfolk have the motive for murder.

 This installment of the Bakeshop Mystery continues with the appearance of Jules' estranged husband Carlos in Ashland.  He wants her to understand he didn't mean to hurt her but Carlos' appearance has Jules flustered.  Not sure how to rectify his appearance, Jules has to put her feelings on the back burner because her focus needs to remain on Torte and, unfortunately the murder.

I enjoyed book 4 in the series. We finally get to see Jules in her home environment with Carlos by her side. I'm still not sure how Jules' love life is going to play out in this series with her in Oregon and her husband on a cruise ship. It will be interesting to follow that thread through the rest of the series. How the author weaves multiple stories within each book fascinates me. Each thread makes sense as you move along in the book, some intersecting with the murder and others just additional everyday life. The book was descriptive and was able to immerse myself into the town of Ashland and the lives of its residents.

The world building continues as new events or businesses begin to take shape and new characters are introduced.  The familiar favorites are always a pleasure to see on the pages; Jules' mom, Stephanie, Sterling, Lance, Andy, Thomas, and The Professor.  I connected with all of  the favorites on some level and can't imagine these books without them. The conflicting emotions that engulf Jules are profound and realistic.  Her uncertainty and love toward Carlos is palpable; easily recognized but tumultuous.

The story was fast paced and engaging.  I enjoyed trying to unravel the murder mystery. Every time I thought I had things all figured out, the author tossed in a complication that changed my mind. Ellie Alexander did a great job keeping everything under wraps and revealing things methodically and at the right time. 

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book from NetGalley.

My Rating:

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