FUDGE AND JURY: A Bakeshop Mystery ~Ellie Alexander
“A delectable tale of murder and intrigue…This bakeshop mystery is a real page-turner, and we look forward to other in the series, just as tasty.” (Portland Book Review)
FUDGE AND JURY finds us in Ashland, Oregon in the most marvelous Bakery one can imagine, which is located just down the street from the Historic Ashland Springs Tower Hotel and the Shakespearian Festival Campus. Ashland is one of the favorite sites on my list of best places to visit even though I have never seen a play or the Festival in my visits. I have stayed at the Ashland Springs Hotel and eaten at the pubs after strolling through the wonderful downtown with its marvelous shops and lovely people. Ashland is also known for it’s snow and ski adventures.
Juliet has moved back to her hometown with a broken heart. She left Ashland to go to culinary school and then worked on a series of cruise ships where she met her husband Carlos, another chef, who omitted that he had a son and the discovery, was an undoing. Our lead character has come home to TORTE her parent’s bakery; now run by her mom alone they are busy preparing for the March Chocolate Festival, the biggest Chocolate event in the Pacific Northwest. The bakery is also getting a kitchen remodel with new ovens arriving and lots of painting and inventory. Hands are busy and the rain is raining heavy and hard.
“Food is an expression of art and love.”
The book is part of a series and Alexander includes incredible descriptions of textures and smells of the lovely baking, coffee, and chocolate wafting through the building. There is a cozy feeling to the whole adventure. There is also a relationship theme to the story. The workers at TORTE form an interesting group and community; it is evident that there is respect for each other and a joy in their efforts. They each experience the town’s citizens and good people as worthy of respect. At the chocolate festival, Juliet and her mother are encouraging to the other participants and assist the new entrants in their efforts. It is this caring cooperative spirit that attaches to Juliet’s curiosity and questioning and assists in developing the solution to the murder!
This is a gentle read with some interesting problems to solve and certainly makes one want to read the next in the series and to eat some lovely food, especially chocolate. Ellie Alexander has created a delightful read with FUDGE AND JURY.
“Ellie Alexander writes the bestselling Bakeshop Mystery series for St. Martin’s Press, set in the Shakespearean town of Ashland, Oregon and featuring a romantic, artisan pastry chef, Juliet Montague Capshaw.
Ellie 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.”