by: Ellie Alexander
Series: Bakeshop Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Amazon | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads
The latest installment in the Bakeshop Mysteries: Christmas comes to Ashland, OR—but all Jules wants is to catcher a killer.
Torte, Ashland’s favorite bakeshop is decking the halls and brewing up cups of holiday cheer. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is dark for the season, but spirits are high as twinkle lights illuminate Main Street and snow falls softly on rooftops. Torte is bustling with activity. Jules and her team are rolling out dozens of Christmas tree cutouts and dusting them with sparkling green sugar. Helen’s signature Antoinettes, a delectable almond cookie filled with raspberry preserves and slathered with chocolate buttercream, are an instant hit. As are Andy’s peppermint bark mochas and eggnog shooters. While carolers serenade shoppers in the plaza, Jules packages up festive boxes of holiday sweets. She feels a bit like Santa Claus as she delivers glistening Christmas stolens, dainty tea cakes, and mincemeat pies.
To cap off the merry season, Jules and Helen host their annual staff party at the historic Winchester Inn’s Dickens Feast. The six-course dinner is a beloved tradition, complete with Yorkshire pudding and a Christmas goose. Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even a cheerless Ebenezer Scrooge delight dinner guests with jokes, friendly banter, and surprise gifts. As snow piles up outside the hot buttered rum and mulled wine keep everyone toasty inside. However, just as the dessert course is about to be served the power goes out. When the glow of warm light returns, the merriment evaporates. One of the guests is sprawled out in front of the twenty-foot Christmas tree. Suddenly Jules finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Her only wish this Christmas is to catch a killer.
Date of birth: 1984
Physical Description: I’ve always been tall and thin with pale blond hair and light eyes. I enjoy the fact that I’m tall now, since I work in a professional kitchen. It’s easy to reach spices on the top shelves.
Occupation: Artisan Pastry Chef
Town of residence: Ashland, Oregon
Pets and names: Alas, I have no pets. Maybe one day, but for now I’m too busy baking.
Best friend/partner in crime-solving: Lance, the Artistic Director at the Shakespeare Festival who likes to moonlight as a amateur sleuth.
3 likes in no particular order:
1. Ashland, our small town is not only charming but the most welcoming community I’ve ever known.
2. My staff at Torte. They may be young, but they are eager to learn and some of the most talented bakers I’ve ever known.
3. Butter. Butter is a baker’s best friend.
3 dislikes in no particular order:
1. Richard Lord, the owner of the dreaded Merry Windsor across the plaza.
2. When bad things happen in our little hamlet. I’ve learned to make it my mission to try to do whatever I can to help restore normalcy.
3. Processed food. We bake everything fresh and by hand at Torte.
Drink of choice: Coffee, always coffee.
Favorite food: Hummus.
Favorite dessert: Do I have to pick one? That’s torture for a pastry chef, but if I’m forced to choose, I would have to say our chocolate mocha torte with hazelnut buttercream and fresh apricot preserves.
Favorite color: Blue. It reminds of my time at sea.
Favorite way to spend an evening: Hosting one of our Sunday Suppers at Torte, my family bakeshop. We pick a theme and create a meal and experience around food where neighbors and friends coming together for a shared meal.
Hobbies: Jogging and hiking—I love exploring the many trails through Ashland’s crown jewel Lithia Park.
Best memory to date: When my mom and the Professor, Ashland’s resident detective and Shakespeare buff, tied the knot on Midsummer’s Eve. It was the most beautiful and romantic wedding I’ve ever been a part of.
If you could have a do-over, what would you do differently? I would have put a bit more thought into leaving my husband and the only life I had ever known on the ship. But, then again if I had thought too much I might have not have returned home and fallen in love with Ashland.
What’s something you’ve said you would never do, but in fact have done? Investigate a murder! When I first discovered a dead body in the bakeshop, I never would have imagined that I might become involved in the case.
Words to live by: Never underestimate the power of pastry.
Purchase A Cup of Holiday Fear from:
The Bakeshop Mystery Series:
On Thin Icing ~ Review
Caught Bread Handed ~ Review
Fudge and Jury ~ Review
A Crime of Passion ~ Review
Trouble is Brewing ~ Review
Another One Bites the Crust ~ Review
Till Death Do Us Tart ~ Review
Live and Let Pie ~ Review
🎄 You can read my 4.5 Star review of A Cup of Holiday Fear here. 🎄
Meet the characters of the Bakeshop Mystery Series here.
When not writing, you can find her testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouse or brewpubs nearby. You’ll also find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of “research”.
Ellie loves hearing from readers and interacting on social media. Be sure to follow her to learn about her writing process, upcoming books, special events, giveaways, and more!
Places to find Ellie Alexander:
Ellie is giving away a signed copy of A Cup of Holiday Fear. This giveaway is US only. Just answer the question below. Good luck.