[REVIEW] A Batter of Life and Death

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Series: A Bakeshop Mystery #2
Ellie Alexander
 adult, contemporary, mystery, cozy mystery
 June 30, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

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?

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you can reamy review of the first book of The Bakeshop Mystery series here. this review DOES NOT contain any spoilers from the first book so there's nothing to worry about.

Meet Your Baker, A Bakeshop Mystery #1, is my first cozy mystery. I love mysteries and this book opened me up to a great and sweet combination of mystery, crime fiction, romance, and a whole lot more.

When I received my copy, I got really excited. I was really excited to jump back to Jules' life. I got really excited to read more mouthwatering food talks. I got excited to read more about Ellie Alexander's Torte! And this, my friends, did not disappoint. 

The Mystery! The synopsis really says the whole mystery. The first couple of chapters introduced the contestants of Take the Cake as well as a couple of staffs. We get to read through some backgrounds but not really deeper into them (these things happens later on). Then Chef Marco was found dead once again by Jules. 

Solving the Case. I really can't stop myself from comparing this to Meet Your Baker which I also really enjoyed. The number one thing I kept on comparing with the two is my engagement into the mystery. While I really enjoyed this, I wasn't as absorbed in here as much as I was in Meet Your Baker which is a bit of a let down. But other than that, I don't think I have more issues about this book.

The romance between Jules and Thomas, highschool sweetheart and ex-boyfriend, was really interesting. A smile would come up form me every time Jules thoughts linger around Thomas or during the times when Jules would feel a bit (or maybe not really a bit) jealous whenever Nina, fellow Take the Cake contestant, would hang around and show interest to Thomas. This relationship is definitely something I'd love to tune in to. The way things ended for them then and how Jules' feelings for Thomas are going starting to go back is just too sweet to pass!

The characters were really great. While Meet Your Baker had a nice focus on Jules, A Batter of Life and Death really highlighted the rest of the characters such as the part-timers at Torte which I ended up really fond of. Their internal issue, Stephanie and Sterling, is quite interesting to read. The contestants of Take the Cake is also very good and strong. I like how each of them are very distinct from each other and how all of them are (somehow) equally suspicious which each of them having their own secrets to keep.

A Batter of Life and Death had more food talks than Meet Your Baker. While I'm not a foodie, I really enjoyed the baking aspect of this book, the food criticisms were equally entertaining, and Jules
private baking time and coffee routine :D

Revelation. While this was not very engaging, it was certainly an entertaining read. The climax was really suspenseful and caught me off guard. This really kept me thinking and the revelation was more of an okay to me. The ending was really nicely presented. I like how everything had fallen into place.

OVERALL, A Batter of Life and Death is a great sequel to Meet Your Baker. While I admit that the first book a better, this one isn't really so bad. In fact it was still great. It had the same exciting mystery ride (although not as engaging), the same great characters, the sweet food talks, and the well wrapped-up ending. This series is certainly a MUST READ!!

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What I Like: (1) all the food talk!, (2) the romance between Jules and Thomas (OTP!), (3) the great set of characters, (4) Jules' relationship with her mom, (5) Jules' stubbornness (ugh, I love her and I love early morning coffee routine!),

What I Didn’t Like: (1) the mystery wasn't very engaging (but it was generally okay),

~this book was provided in exchange for an honest review~

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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.

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