Thursday 31 December 2020

Book ~ "A Batter of Life and Death" (2015) Ellie Alexander

From Goodreads ~ 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?

Juliet (aka Jules) was raised in small town Ashland, OR, but dreamed of seeing the world.  She grew up helping her parents in their bakery, Torte, and went on to culinary school.  She got a job with a cruise line and didn't get home often after that.  She met her husband, Carlos, an executive chef, on a cruise and things were going well until she discovered he had a secret.  With a broken heart, she headed home to figure things out.  It's been a couple months and she now shares ownership of Torte with her mother.  She and Carlos had agreed to not contact each other until the new year but Jules thinks of him often.

The Pastry Channel has come to Ashland to film their show, Take the Cake.  Jules has been asked to be one of the contestants.  Torte could use the $25,000 prize money to buy a new oven among other things so she agrees.  When one of the other contestants is murdered, Jules can't help but get involved, especially since she was the one who found the body, her mother is dating the chief of police and Jules' high school boyfriend is a police officer.  Did someone want to win the contest enough to kill off the competition?

This is the second in the Bakeshop Mystery series and I liked it.  I've read all in this author's Sloan Krause Series.  This works as a stand alone ... I'd recently read the first one and the last one in the series and there was enough information provided.  It's written in first person perspective in Jules' voice.   It was a quick light read and is a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity. There are recipes at the end.  I look forward to reading the others in this series.

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