by: Ellie Alexander
Series: Bakeshop Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: December 29, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
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.
"An intriguing new series."-Reader to Reader
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.
"A delectable tale of murder and intrigue."-Portland Book Review on Meet Your Baker
Ellie Alexander is a new author to me, however, I’ve had my eyes on the Bakeshop Mystery series since the first book Meet Your Baker. When I was offered a chance to read On Thin Icing, I jumped at the opportunity. On Thin Icing is the third book in the series and can definitely be read as a standalone.
This installment of the series finds Juliet “Jules” Capshaw working on extending the Torte brand. She has accepted a weekend catering job from Lance, the artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, to cater a board retreat weekend at the lovely mountain resort of Lake of the Woods.
What I liked:
- The setting ~ Ellie has created a wonderful world for her characters to exist in. Ashland, Oregon is described as picturesque with falling snow and a true sense of community.
- The characters ~ Jules is a pastry chef who has returned to her hometown, after deciding to take a break from her marriage. She helps her mother Helen run the family bakeshop, Torte. Jules is a little torn between her feelings for Thomas and her feelings for Carlos.
Thomas was Jules’ high school boyfriend and is a Deputy Detective in training with the Ashland police department. The two have reconnected in the months since she has returned to Ashland.
Carlos is Jules’ estranged husband. He’s an acclaimed chef in the travel industry. Carlos is 10 years older than she is. They have been married for three years, but he’s kept a secret from Jules that has put their marriage in jeopardy.
Sterling works the Torte counter. He’s an aspiring chef who’s has an old soul and sees things beyond his years. Sterling is Jules’ confidant who she runs murder scenarios with.
Helen is the owner of Torte and Jules’ mother. She has a heart of gold, which has resulted in Torte not always running in the black. She treats every staff member of Torte as if they were part of the family.
Doug, aka the Professor, is Helen’s boyfriend & Ashland’s lead detective.
I have to admit that I was a little concerned with so many characters being introduced to me. The above is just a handful of the characters in the book. I’m happy to say I was able to keep everyone straight.
3) On Thin Icing is like having a cooking instructor inside a cozy mystery. While Jules is trying to figure who the murder is, she’s also offering the reader up cooking tips.
Who knew so much could happen in one weekend. Not only does Carlos show up unexpectedly, but Jules discovers a dead body. Add to that, a blizzard has knocked out all the power to the resort, the roads are impassable and Jules and everyone at the resort are stuck with a murderer in close proximity. To the rescue comes Thomas and the Professor, who don’t actually have jurisdiction over the resort, but are the only ones who can reach the resort and start the investigation.
My one true negative of the book was that the murder didn’t occur until about 30% in. I personally like to have my death happen earlier on. Ellie Alexander made up for that with little breadcrumbs to keep you guessing. I admit to figuring out who the killer was and then second guessing myself. Since I’m admitting to things....Knowing Carlos was going to show up, I predetermined that I wanted Jules to be with Thomas. But after meeting Carlos and finding out what secret put a strain on their marriage, I can now say that Carlos is an interesting character and I think Jules should give him another chance.
I am definitely looking forward to returning to Ashland, Oregon to find out what other cooking tips and murders are served up.
**Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
Purchase On Thin Icing from:
The Bakeshop Mystery Series:
(Clicking the book covers will take you to Amazon.)
You can read my On Thin Icing interview will Ellie Alexander here.
Places to find Ellie Alexander: