Saturday 30 January 2021

Book ~ "A Crime of Passion Fruit" (2017) Ellie Alexander

From Goodreads ~ Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary cafe to royal pastry palace. 

Meanwhile, Jules's estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can't resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary.

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 almost a year and she now happily shares ownership of Torte with her mother, Helen. 

Torte is undergoing renovations ... Jules and Helen are expanding to the basement and there is a lot of work to be done as it's been a while since the space had been used.  Just as the work is about to start, Jules gets a call from Carlos asking her if she can fill in on for a few days on the cruise ship he's on until the new pastry chef can start.  He sweetens the deal by inviting Helen and Helen's beau, Doug, to come along and stay on the cruise for free for a vacation they both need.  How can Jules say no?

The cruise has barely begun when Jules finds a young woman dead in the pool.  No one knows who she is and the captain asks Doug, who is a police detective in Ashland, to investigate.

And in the meantime, Jules comes to terms with what she wants to do with her life.  Step back into her old life and be with Carlos or go back to Ashland to the life she's come to love?

This is the sixth in the Bakeshop Mystery series and I liked it.  I've been reading the books in this series and have read all in this author's Sloan Krause Series.  This book works as a stand alone ... there is 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 (Helen and Doug , who have been dating for a year or so and are in their 50s, have their own staterooms, though they do have a connecting door). There are recipes at the end.  I look forward to reading the others in this series.

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