Published December 29th 2015 by Minotaur Books
Synopsis: Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the treats are killer good.
It’s the dead of winter in the sleepy town of Ashland, which means no tourists-and fewer customers-for Jules Capshaw and her bakery. But when she’s asked to cater an off-season retreat for the directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, business starts heating up…until Jules finds a dead body in the freezer.
Someone at the retreat has apparently iced the bartender, a well-known flirt with a legendary temper-that is, before a killer beat him to the punch. Then, from out of nowhere, Jules’s own ex-husband shows up at the shop-and soon becomes a suspect. With accusations piling up higher than the snow-and thicker than a chocolate mousse cake-Jules has to think outside the (recipe) box to find the real culprit…and make sure he gets his just desserts.
My Review: I am enjoying the Bakeshop Mysteries. This one is your locked door mystery in a sense. Jules and Sterling have set off from Ashland to Lake of the Woods, a lakeside resort in the Southern Oregon Cascades to cater a three day retreat for Lance and the Shakspeare Company Board. Shortly after everyone arrives, the worst snowstorm in history hits. They are snowed in with only one landline (no cell phone coverage up there) and sure to lose power. When Carlos (Jules estranged husband) shows up, it sets Jules or Julietta as he calls her, heart a flutter. When she finds the body of the obnoxious bartender on the second day, she starts to investigate as the police cannot get there. The Ashland police finally arrive and that complicates things even more for Jules. Now there are two men vying for her affections while she is just trying to bake and cook scrumptious meals.
The series is full of wonderful characters, enticing food descriptions (recipes included), and intriguing settings. Being in the warm Florida sun while reading this book made me think about being snowed in with my family back home and yearning for that. I like Jules very much. She is a strong character who stands up for what she believes in and is finally discovering her strengths and talents. The others who work at “Torte” the family bakery in Ashland are all different characters who add to the business and story. Carlos is a romantic who is head over heels in love with his Julietta and will do whatever it takes to get her back. He is a latin lover that all the women are attracted to, but he only has eyes for Jules.
This book could be read as a standalone, but I recommend you read them in order if you can. There is a lot of background and if you know it, you would enjoy the book much more. Otherwise, I recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers as well as those “foodies” who love to read about food and get new recipes to try. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.