Tuesday 9 February 2021

Book ~ "Nothing Bundt Trouble" (2020) Ellie Alexander

From Goodreads ~ Spring has sprung in Ashland, Oregon, and everything at Torte seems to be coming up buttercream roses. But just when Juliet Capshaw seems to have found her sweet spot—with her staff set to handle the influx of tourists for this year’s Shakespeare festival while she moves back into her childhood home—things take a dramatic turn. Jules discovers a long-forgotten dossier in her deceased father’s belongings that details one of the most controversial cases in Ashland’s history: a hit-and-run accident from the 1980s. 

Or was it? Now it’s up to Jules to parse through a whole new world of details from another era, from unraveling cassette tapes to recipes for Bundt cakes, before an old enemy brings the Capshaw “pastry case” to a modern-day dead end.

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 two years and, though she doesn't know what will happen with Carlos, she now happily shares ownership of Torte with her mother, Helen. 

Helen recently married Doug, a police officer.  They bought a house and Helen gave Jules her house, which is the one she grew up in.  While she was cleaning out the basement, Jules uncovers a journal of her dad's, who had passed away when she was a teenager, from the 1980s.  Missing him, she decides to read it.  She discovers that Doug, who had been his best friend, had asked him to help solve a hit and run murder of someone that no one seemed to like.

This is the eleventh in the Bakeshop Mystery series and I didn't like it at all.  Doug was a young officer at that time and this was his first big case and he didn't want to blow it.  I thought it was unbelievable that he would ask his best friend to help him out with the investigation and he wasn't allowed to tell Helen he was involved.  The journal took up most of the book and actually read like a book.  When one writes in a journal, they usually say something like "Doug and I talked about the murder victim" rather than a play-by-play of the exact conversation.  And this happened every time.  I didn't find the journal entries interesting since they were sooooo long and detailed.

I've now read all of the books in this series (there are 12) and, except for this one, I like the series.  I have also 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. 

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