Tuesday, July 21, 2015
A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander (thoughts)
"Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for...
It's autumn in Ashland, Oregon-'tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte's famous peach cobbler. It's also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family's beloved bake shop by competing in The Pastry Channel's reality show, Take the Cake. The prize is $25,000. But as Jules quickly learns, some people would kill for that kind of dough. Literally.
Then, just as Jules dusts off her Bavarian Chocolate Cake recipe and cinches up her apron, the corpse of a fellow contestant is discovered-death by buttercream. What began as a fun, tasteful televised adventure has morphed into something of a true-crime detective show for Jules and everybody else on set. Who could have killed Chef Marco, and why? Can Jules sift out the killer before someone else gets burned?"
This is such fun mystery series and I really cannot get enough of it! It sure does make me hungry while reading it though! Ha! Seriously though, all of the descriptions of all of the yummy treats and coffees that are made at Torte have me craving sweets and iced coffee. I would absolutely love it if we had a shop just like this near where I live! Or if I could bake like Jules does. That would be even better! One of my favorite things about this series is all of the details that go into Jule's work at Torte and her baking experiences. I love that we get to see the struggles of making the shop a success and that everything isn't just perfect all of the time. In fact, it is the closeness that Jules and her Mom have while working together that really makes this series feel so real to me. I'm invested in the characters and want for them to be happy. With Jules it means wanting to continue to read and see what she is going to decide to do with her life. Right now she is at a crossroads between going back to her husband and moving on. I'm eager to see how this all plays out and I really love that Jules has taken her time in figuring everything out. It comes across so realistically as in real life you don't find answers like this instantly. It takes time to figure out what you want and I feel like that this really adds another layer to this book.
The book is also a fun read and completely light-hearted at times which provides the perfect contrast to all of the serious stuff. I loved how once again the mystery was meant to be a complete whodunnit with tons of possible motives/culprits! I spent my time reading and changing my mind on who the possible killer was. The book is fast paced and I love how with this book the author changed everything up by throwing Jules into a baking competition. As this is one of my daughter's favorite kind of shows I could just imagine it all too easily. The ending left me with some questions that I'm hoping we get answers for in the next book.
Overall, I really just can't get enough of this series! I find that I'm already itching to get my hands on that third book! This is a cozy mystery series that I can easily recommend but start with the first book so that you get the full experience. Recommended but with a warning that you are going to be hungry while reading- don't say I didn't tell you so!!
Bottom Line: A new favorite cozy mystery series for me!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a CBB Book Tour. Thoughts are my own!