Print Length: 285 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Sold by: Macmillan
About the Book:
Torte--everybody's favorite small-town family bakeshop--is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .
Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary cafe to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules's estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can't resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary . .
Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambeing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can't anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she's ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As Jules, her mom, and all the employees of Torte continue the expansion of the bakery, Jules receives a request from her estranged husband Carlos. It seems that the cruise ship is down a pastry chef and he really needs her help. All-expenses-paid cruises are offered to sweeten the deal so how could Jules say no?! Being around Carlos is comfortable yet discomforting but Jules’ feelings for him take a back seat when a stowaway is found floating face down in one of the pools. Helping the Professor now takes up her spare time as they try to find a murderer aboard the ship.
I liked how this story primarily took place on a cruise ship. I’ve been on cruises before and I loved being taken back to those vacations. Of course, none of my vacations included death so that’s where the similarities end. I missed the rest of the cast though, since Jules, her mom, and the Professor were the only ones on the vacation. We get snippets of those taking care of Torte but the dynamics were completely different. Doing an off-property book is wonderful and takes the story in a different direction and the author does a seamless job of bringing everything right back around.
The Bakeshop Mysteries are great and each story is different, containing not just the murder mystery but other threads. The author does a fantastic job weaving multiple stories within each book. Each thread makes sense as you move along in the book, some intersecting with the murder and others just additional everyday life. The books are descriptive and I am able to immerse myself into the town of Ashland, or in this case, the goings-on and inner workings of cruise ship crewmembers.
The world building continues as new events take shape, book settings change, and new characters are introduced. The familiar favorites are always a pleasure to see on the pages. I enjoy the characters including Jules, Jules' mom, Stephanie, Sterling, Lance, Andy, Thomas, and the Professor. I connect with all the favorites on some level and can't imagine these books without them.
The story is 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 does a great job keeping everything under wraps and revealing things methodically and at the right time.
This book was given to me to review.
View all my reviews