A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander is the second book in the “Bakeshop” mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, June 2015
Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for.
It’s autumn in Ashland, Oregon-’tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte’s famous peach cobbler. It’s also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family’s beloved bake shop by competing in The Pastry Channel’s reality show, Take the Cake. The prize is $25,000. But as Jules quickly learns, some people would kill for that kind of dough. Literally.
Then, just as Jules dusts off her Bavarian Chocolate Cake recipe and cinches up her apron, the corpse of a fellow contestant is discovered-death by buttercream. What began as a fun, tasteful televised adventure has morphed into something of a true-crime detective show for Jules and everybody else on set. Who could have killed Chef Marco, and why? Can Jules sift out the killer before someone else gets burned?
It was fun spending time with Jules and her friends in this evenly-paced light drama. The author did a great job in setting up this tale and I enjoyed the intricacies of each scene that when it was all piece together, resulted in a finely tuned mystery. It was fun sifting through all the clues and narrowing down the list of suspects, especially when I thought I knew who did the deed, but then the author changed direction to keep me teasingly reading. Jules is very likable as is her mother and the employees at the family’s bakeshop. The rest of the cast of characters interact well with Jules for a fulfilling tale and I like that the dialogue brings the story to life. A good read and I look forward to see what happens next with Jules and the family bakeshop.