Hi everyone! Jackie here. Today the Mystery Crew (specifically myself and Maggie) are bringing you a joint review of the cozy mystery Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander. This will be our first joint review, so we’re pretty excited about it. Watch out in the future because I’m sure there will be plenty more of these to come.

 

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Synopsis

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…

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…

 

 

Jackie’s Review
5 out of 5 stars

I am so, so glad I decided to start this series! I can tell already that this is going to become one of my favorites. I’m grateful that there are already several books out in this series, because that is going to give me plenty to read and binge my way through!

Ashland, Oregon sounds absolutely amazing and I definitely want to go there to visit sometime. Everything is described so well it’s almost like I’m there myself, which is the next best thing to actually being there. I am in love with Torte as well. I was practically drooling while reading this book with all of the delicious things that Jules creates for Torte. I’m definitely going to be trying out some of those recipes in the back of the book.

I really like that there is going to be a probably ongoing storyline in this series between Jules and Carlos. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go with that in the next book.

The mystery was very well written. I was completely stumped about who the killer was. Just when I thought I had narrowed down my suspicion on someone, things would be revealed and I would suspect someone else. I was shocked at the reveal since it wasn’t someone I had suspected at all! I’ll definitely be picking up this series soon!

 

Maggie’s Review

5 out of 5 stars!

How much do I need to say that I LOVED this book! Ellie Alexander is a mystery-writing genius – I blew through this book and adored every word. Like Jackie said, the person who turned out to be the culprit totally surprised me – which I love about a good mystery!

I discovered my love for cozies after reading Meet Your Baker – I never dreamed how much I’d love them!

This book is set in beautiful Ashland, a sleepy seaside town in Oregon, where Jules’ mother owns a bakery I’d love to visit, Torte, which is such a cute name for a sweet shop!

I really like that Jules’ friends are much like her family – very supportive, especially since Jules returned to Ashland after experiencing a major heartbreak. After a while, Jules’ broken heart begins to heal and she reconnects with her love from high school, Thomas, who is a police officer in Ashland…then Carlos returns!
I love how the story sets up scenes to surely be featured in additional books in the series! Also like Jackie, I can’t wait to binge the rest of Alexander’s Bakeshop Mystery series!
I highly recommend Alexander’s mysteries to anyone – not just those who enjoy mysteries in general and/or cozies, but to everyone! This book practically changed my reading ideals and enlightened me to the fact that cozies may just be my kind of tales!

 

There are a lot of misconceptions about cozy mysteries. The main one being that they are for older women mostly. The thing is…cozies are for everyone! (well, except maybe little children lol)

I love talking about cozy mysteries to people and today I am going to tell you why I love them so much.

 

Charming (and quirky) characters

The characters in a cozy mystery are some of the best you might ever read about! These characters are loyal to those they care about and are so kind. Many times the characters will have special or funny quirks that makes you love them even more. Of course there is usually the mean character, but you’ve got to have a villain, right?

 

Setting

Oh. My. Goodness. The settings in these books are so unique! Cozy mysteries can be about literally hundreds of different things! If you are wanting a certain theme for your cozy mystery read, I am sure that it is out there somewhere. You’ve got food cozies, career cozies, magical cozies, hobby cozies, paranormal cozies, fantasy cozies, historical cozies. The options are endless! I also love reading about the small, fictional towns that these books are set in.

 

Covers and Titles

Have you ever seen the cover of a cozy mystery? The artwork is amazing! There are usually a bunch of little hidden clues in the cover and I love searching through them to see what I can find. You can find a weapon like a gun or a knife. You can find a little skull and crossbones made from sauce in a food dish. A messy crime scene. And the titles? Oh my goodness. I love the puns in cozy mystery titles.

Some examples?
Dim Sum of All Fears
Buried in the Stacks
Eclair and Present Danger
Natural Thorn Killer

Aren’t they great?

 

Of course, the Mystery!

Don’t think that just because you’re reading a cozy mystery that you aren’t getting a good story. Sure, the murder isn’t as detailed and gory, but that mystery story line in a cozy will suck you in just like it will in a traditional mystery.

 

Those are just some of the main reasons I love cozy mysteries. Do you read cozy mysteries? What are some of your favorites?

If you don’t read them, have I convinced you to give one a try?!  🙂

 

Hello everyone! So excited to be writing this post, because today we are all going to get to know Jackie! This is a great opportunity for you all to get to know another crew member, but also for me to get to know Jackie.

So, lets begin!


Since we’ve all had to give an answer to this so far, it’s only fair that you tell us your absolute favourite book.

Well, I wouldn’t normally have an answer to this question because it is next to impossible to choose *one* favorite book. I have had so many favorites throughout the years. But! I can tell you my newest favorite book and I’m sure it’ll be one that stays at the top of my list for a very long time. It is a book that I literally just finished reading called Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover.


Sum yourself up in three words.

Quiet. Shy. Loyal.


If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you want to be left with?

Well, I’m going to have my two sons with me because I can’t live without them! They are my absolute world. As for the third thing, probably something to help us survive, whether that be a weapon or a means to make food, or something like that.


What attracted you to reading mystery novels? Are there any mystery books that particularly stand out to you?

I’m not really sure what got me into reading mysteries, honestly. I would just choose books that sounded interesting to me and the blurb for mysteries just had a way of pulling me in and leaving me wondering about the story. The mysteries that stand out to me the most are the Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson and the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.


What do you get up to when you’re not reading?

When I’m not reading, I like to work on my blog. I also spend a lot of time on social media, mostly Instagram (or bookstagram more specifically lol). I like to watch movies and catch up on my favorite TV shows. I like spending time with my kids and finding fun stuff for us to do together.


Name some of your favourite mystery TV shows or movies.

I really enjoyed watching episodes of Criminal Minds and Law and Order: SVU.


I hope you all know Jackie a little bit more, because I certainly do! Check back tomorrow to get to know Cass!

Hi everyone! Jackie here.

Today you are going to get to know Mystery Crew member Ben a little better since I will be interviewing him for Day 2 of our “Get to know the Crew” series!

So, Ben…

The question every book blogger dreads, hehe…

What is your all time favourite book?

Damn, that’s a hard question. I can only really narrow it down to two:

  • Turtles All The Way Down (contemporary YA)
  • The Truth About Keeping Secrets (YA Mystery)

What were your reading habits like as a child?

I read a lot when I was a child, I started reading with Harry Potter reading them with my Dad. Then I progressed onto His Dark Materials by Philip Pulman and the rest was history. My passion for reading was ignited and a habit for reading began which led me to where I am today.

What is a book that made you feel a lot, whether it was happiness, sadness, anger, etc?

The music of what happens. It made me feel every single one of those emotions! It might be a contemporary book, but it hits one of my other favourite genres apart from mysteries – being a diverse queer book focusing especially on latinx culture, which is amazing.

What do you like to do in your free time other than read?

Ahh, that’s a difficult question. I love to draw a lot, if you check out my YA Book Blog https://bookswithben.co.uk you’ll see that all the headers are drawn completely by me! I also do Taekwondo twice a week, and I’m one belt away from black belt. Music is another huge part of my life and I end up going to quite a few gigs.

Do you have any bookish pet peeves?

I don’t think so really!

Tell us about where you live. What is it like there?

I live in London, and it’s a lot of fun. As you can probably guess London is huge and it’s extremely busy, but as a plus side it means there is always something going on whether it be a book event or a concert or just something fun to do with some friends.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I’ve always wanted to visit Australia & New Zealand and spent a few months travelling all the ins and outs of both countries. They both seem like stunning countries that deserve time to explore them properly.

Do you collect anything?

I collect books (obviously). Apart from books though I have a huge Vinyl collection from lots of artists that I adore including but not limited to:

  • Radiohead
  • Gorillaz
  • Biffy Clyro
  • Wolf Alice
  • The Japanese House