Jules Capshaw has too much on her plate - and she’s feeling the pinch: the whole town of Ashland, Oregon, is in on the surprise Elizabethan-themed wedding she’s planning for her mom and soon-to-be stepdad. But is her secret scheme half-baked? She’s hiding racks overflowing with sweet treats while Torte is topsy-turvy with a major remodel and the return of Jules’s estranged husband, Carlos.
And until now, Jules had no clue about the bitter family feud that has her friend Lance frazzled and suspicious. But when a party crasher takes someone out with a serving of poisoned wine and Jules discovers the deadly cup was intended for her, it’s time to turn the tables on a killer.
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 over a year and she now happily shares ownership of Torte with her mother.
Jules' mother is engaged to Doug, the town's head of police, and Jules is planning a surprise A Midsummer Night's Dream-theme wedding (to tie in with the town's Shakespeare Festival) for them at the winery she is a part owner in. The whole town is in on it and Jules is secretly baking for it while hiding it from her mother and Doug.
Carlos and Ramiro, his teenage son, arrive from Spain for the week to attend the wedding. Jules has never met Ramiro and only recently learned of his existence. This is causing extra stress.
And if she didn't have enough on her plate, her best friend, Lance, has been out of town for a couple weeks and when he returns, she finds out then where he was. He was visiting his father in the next town who is dying. When he does pass away suddenly, Lance suspects his brother, Leo, had something to do with it and includes Jules in his investigation.
This is the eighth 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.