[REVIEW] Meet Your Baker

full tour schedule can be found here

Series: A Bakeshop Mystery #1
Ellie Alexander
adult, contemporary, mystery, cozy mystery
December 30, 2014
St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Book Depository | Kobo

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal… 
After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder… 
"Sure to satisfy both dedicated foodies and ardent mystery lovers alike." –Jessie Crockett, author of Drizzled with Death 
The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival’s newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her…but still. The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all… 
"Alexander weaves a tasty tale of deceit, family ties, delicious pastries, and murder.” ―Edith Maxwell, author of A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die

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Mom always says, “Make a decision based on where you’re at, at this moment in time. The choice you make tomorrow might be different, but it doesn’t matter.”
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Meet Your Baker is my first read for 2015 and I have to say that my reading year started GREAT because of this.

I read crime fiction because there’s always a thrill in what the possibly cornered suspect will do and because I just love figuring things out like who’s behind what. And Meet Your Baker just gives me more of what I asked for.

Meet Your Baker is a cozy mystery complete with a very beautiful setting, lovely relaxing café, snooping around heroine, utterly nice and caring (and somehow sweet) detective, and a very engaging murder.

Meet Your Baker is set in a real place – Ashland, Oregon. While I’ve never been there, after reading the book, it feels that I just went there and live there for a while. Alexander’s writing just gives off that great relaxing feeling where you’re reading about the place especially Torte. Torte is a very cozy place I’d like to spend some time in. Aside from the very picturesque writing, there’s also a lot of baking. Literally! There’s even a recipe at the end of the book. Allow me to quote a scene to make your mouth water :)
Nothing like breakfast at three-thirty in the morning, I though as I bit into one. The warm peach juice spilled from the sides of the flaky crust. The tang of the sweet peaches made me swoon. I’d have to make these at Torte.
I could have quoted a better one but I wasn’t able to take note on some of them. But really, this is just one of the things that are great about the book.

Moving on, the book opened nicely with the introduction of almost all the characters. You get a glimpse of them. Juliette (or Jules as she’d like to refer to herself), just came home from her work on a cruise ship. She has a lot of things on mind when all of a sudden, she found Nancy Hudson dead in Torte.

The mystery definitely kept me guessing. It’s like when you’re so sure of who did it, new things will be revealed or something will occur that will stir your mind all over again. Jules is this type of heroine who’d snoop around. She tries to analyze the things that are going on around her. Sometimes I feel she just over thinks but that’s one of the fun parts as she tells the story.

Aside from the mind boggling mystery, there’s also Jules’s personal life which is very easy to get into. I can’t completely relate to Jules’s problems because I’m not married or working or lived away from my family. But despite that, I still understand and see where she’s coming from. All those things that go into her head as she also worries about Nancy’s murder.

Jules is very easy to like. I actually liked her right off the bat. She’s this heroine who’d get herself into trouble, as in literally, just to get at the bottom of the case (and she’s not even a detective! Okay, I forgive her for that because she just makes things even more exciting!). There’s a good amount of development on Jules especially since she’s going through a good amount of problems. I like how she recalls the things that went through between her and Carlos, it made me think what happened to them.

Aside from Jules, Meet Your Baker carries a lot of really unforgettable characters. They all have great personalities that really stuck to me. One of the characters that truly stuck to me is Lance, OSF’s artistic director. He’s very animated and they way he talks would make you suspicious of him at times. Another one is Thomas, Jules’s ex-boyfriend and a deputy-in-training. He’s very nice, caring, and really gives off that I-still-care-for-you kind of vibes (or maybe that’s just me wishing they’ll be together again~).

Meet Your Baker is easily one of my favorite reads this year. It’s a nail biting mystery wrapped in a very lovely setting and compelling story. This is certainly a MUST READ especially if you’re into mystery.

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What I Like: (1) the very relaxing atmosphere the setting gives, (2) the thrilling murder mystery, (3) the great combination of murder mystery + relaxing atmosphere + baking!, (3) the whole talk about food, baked goodies, and coffee, (4) Jules, (5) the secondary characters (especially Thomas and Lance!), (6) the great development on the mystery, (7) the development on Jules and her problems were slowly presented, (8) that exciting climax! (didn’t I mentioned that in my review? It was definitely noteworthy), (9) there were no dull moments

What I Didn’t Like: N/A

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Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.

{ G I V E A W A Y }
2 winners will get a paperback copy of Meet Your Baker, Chai Tea, designer baking liners and a Starbucks gift card.
Open to US addresses only.

Ends Jan. 21, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

this event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.
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