Source: Blog Tour
Description: It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter.
Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: I've been reading this series since the beginning and it's one I've really enjoyed!
My Impression: This is my 5th visit to Ashland, Oregon and the amazing sounding bakery Torte. I was very much looking forward to spending more time with Jules, her mom Helen, Sterling and everyone else who inhabits the world Alexander has created. Visiting with these characters is almost like visiting with old friends and I always look forward to catching up with them.
The food talk is amazing. This is not a book to be read on an empty stomach - particularly if you have a sweet tooth. In this book because of the Chocolate Festival (this needs to be a real thing and it needs to be near me!) the focus is most definitely on the sweet and the treats described are amazing sounding! Luckily, there's several recipes in the back of the book which I'm hoping to attempt. I was pleased not to see much of Jules' usual nemesis, Richard Lord, in this book, but would have loved some more time with Sterling, Andy, and Stephanie. I'm super curious about the plans for Torte that are discussed some in this book. I can't wait to see what happens next in that area!
The mystery was intriguing and I always love it when there are tons of suspects but the way it was done seems impossible. I was pleased with the solution and enjoyed how it was done. My only complaint there was that I had a hard time believing that Evan who knew he would be eating from different vendors and knew he had life threatening allergies wouldn't have an epi-pen with him but that's only a small piece.
While I like Jules there was a lot of complimenting her in this book and that got a little towards the eye rolling side. Yes, I get that she's a brilliant pastry chef and attractive but it seems to be commented on a lot. As well, I'm about ready for the subplot involving her estranged husband Carlos to be wrapped up. While it isn't overwhelming it does take up space that I would have rather been focused on the mystery or the inner workings of Torte.
Despite a few small issues this is a series that I consistently enjoyed and am always left looking forward to my next visit to Torte. While it is the 5th in the series I think it could be read on its own without any problem though the previous books are fantastic!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! This has been a series that I've consistently enjoyed and am looking forward to more.
Would I Recommend this Book?: If you enjoy cozy mysteries this is a fun series and this is a really solid addition. I think anyone who enjoys foodie cozies would thoroughly enjoy this book.