I am in full holiday themed reading mode right now! This is my second holiday themed mystery post of the week and I am thrilled to be able to share this book with you guys!
I only recently discovered Ellie Alexander in the last couple of years and started her Bakeshop Mystery series like mid way through but it’s been a absolute pleasure to read.
Not to mention she is from my home state and truly makes Oregon sound like the coolest place to live in! Oregon definitely has it’s perks but whenever I read a novel set here, I have a sense of pride for my state because no one can truly capture Oregon’s magic like a local author!
Torte, Ashland’s favorite bakeshop is decking the halls and brewing up cups of holiday cheer. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is dark for the season, but spirits are high as twinkle lights illuminate Main Street and snow falls softly on rooftops. Torte is bustling with activity. Jules and her team are rolling out dozens of Christmas tree cutouts and dusting them with sparkling green sugar. Helen’s signature Antoinettes, a delectable almond cookie filled with raspberry preserves and slathered with chocolate buttercream, are an instant hit. As are Andy’s peppermint bark mochas and eggnog shooters. While carolers serenade shoppers in the plaza, Jules packages up festive boxes of holiday sweets. She feels a bit like Santa Claus as she delivers glistening Christmas stolens, dainty tea cakes, and mincemeat pies.
To cap off the merry season, Jules and Helen host their annual staff party at the historic Winchester Inn’s Dickens Feast. The six-course dinner is a beloved tradition, complete with Yorkshire pudding and a Christmas goose. Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even a cheerless Ebenezer Scrooge delight dinner guests with jokes, friendly banter, and surprise gifts. As snow piles up outside the hot buttered rum and mulled wine keep everyone toasty inside. However, just as the dessert course is about to be served the power goes out. When the glow of warm light returns, the merriment evaporates. One of the guests is sprawled out in front of the twenty-foot Christmas tree. Suddenly Jules finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Her only wish this Christmas is to catch a killer. (summary from Goodreads)
While I have skipped around in this series, I have never felt lost within the books. Sure there are little side plots and characters that have moved fluidly through the series, but with Alexander’s books the focus is first and foremost the mystery. Oh and the food of course…..let’s not forget about the food! Whenever I read one of her books I instantly gain ten pounds, the description of the foods and sweets is just too much to handle and I find myself desperately searching for goodies to accompany my reading!
Unlike where I am at in Salem, Oregon the town of Ashland Oregon often gets snow (I know since I have driven through there in the winter!) and the way that Alexander describes the town is enchanting and I love reading about it!
This book was full of lovely descriptions, yummy food, and of course a murder! With all of Alexander’s books I am usually kept guessing right up until the end who the murderer is, and this book was no different. There were plenty of twists and red herrings to keep me interested and involved in the mystery. But what really held my interest was simply the description of Oregon in the winter time. It’s such a magical place and I loved reading about my home state through Alexander’s eyes! Such a fun read!
This is the tenth book in the Bakeshop Mystery series and I have found that the ones I have read are a delight and I can’t wait to read more! I definitely need to go back and read some of the others in the series though, not to get caught up but just to enjoy more of these charming and memorable characters!
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