Saturday 23 January 2021

Book ~ "Fudge and Jury" (2017) Ellie Alexander

From Goodreads ~ It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter - unless murder taints the batter. 

Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for - literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead … right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream? 

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. 

Ashland is quiet as it's not theatre season.  The Chocolate Festival is happening this week, though, and that's keeping Jules and her staff busy getting ready for it.  Evan Rowe is the owner of Confections Couture and has been the winner of festival for many years.  Before the festival begins, he is going around checking out what everyone else has to offer.  He collapses and dies right after tasting some of Torte's samples.  Murder is suspected and since Evan wasn't a nice man, there are a number of people who could have wished him dead.

In the meantime, Torte is undergoing renovations.  In addition to painting, the long awaited ovens are arriving.  Plus Jules and her mother are considering taking over the basement under their bakery and expanding.

This is the fifth 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. There are recipes at the end.  I look forward to reading the others in this series.

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