Sunday 13 August 2023

Book ~ "Catch Me If You Candy" (2023) Ellie Alexander

From Goodreads ~ Halloween has arrived in picturesque Ashland, Oregon, and all of the ghouls and goblins have descended on Main Street for the annual parade. It’s a giant street party and Torte is right in the mix.

Jules Capshaw and her team have been baking up autumn delights and trick-or-Torte bags filled with sugar cookie cutouts, spiced cider and mummy munch. It’s the end of the season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which means that the costumes for the parade are going to be out of this world. The elaborate guises even extend to pets. The grand marshal of this year’s parade is no other than a regal pug aptly named King George. Jules is delighted to get to share the experience with Carlos and Ramiro but things take a dark turn when she discovers a dragon slumped in front of the bakeshop.

Jules is distraught when she realizes the dragon is dead. She’s also shaken because a few days before the parade, her mother's Mahjong partner, Helen, discovered a warning note about a dragon in an antique game set. Jules hopes it’s just a random coincidence but as the clues begin to unfold it becomes evident that there’s been a murder on All Hallow’s Eve. Can Juliet sift out the truth before the killer comes after her?

Juliet (aka Jules) was raised in small town Ashland, OR, which has a Shakespearean theme. She grew up helping her parents in their bakery and went on to culinary school. After working for many years on a cruise line, where she met her Italian husband, Carlos, she moved back home to take over the family bakery, Torte. Though she shares ownership of it with her mother, who is married the local head of police, Jules does the day-to-day running of it. Carlos runs the winery they own. Ramiro, Carlos' son from a previous relationship, is in high school and spending a year with them.

Jules' mother and her friends play mahjong on a regular basis. One of the friends had recently bought an antique set and found a note inside saying a dragon would soon be killed. It's the Halloween season and Ashland has a big fun parade where revellers dress up. Coincidentally, someone dressed as a dragon ends up dead in front of Jules' bakery, which sets Jules off to find out what happened and if the death and message are connected.

This is the seventeenth in the Bakeshop Mystery series (I've read them all). It works as a stand alone but I found there wasn't as much background included as others in the past. While it started out okay, I found it got draggy ... I've like others of hers more.  I love dogs but thought Jax's obsession with her dog, Pippa, was way over the top. 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.

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