Rating: Very Good
Description: Torte―the beloved small-town bakeshop run by Jules Capshaw―is set to hit the stage. But who would have guessed that murder would makes a surprise appearance?
It’s the role of a lifetime for Jules. The Shakespeare Festival has returned to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torte has been cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event. But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Jules’s friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house. . .and the next morning, Anthony is dead. Jules knows that Lance loves his drama―and his just desserts―but she also knows that murder is way off-script for him. Now it’s up to Jules to cut through a bevy of backstage betrayals and catty co-stars who all have their own secrets―before the curtain drops on someone else. . .
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: This is one of my absolute favorite cozy mystery series so there was no way I could resist this one!
My Impression: This series feels just like visiting old friends. I love getting back to Torte and checking in on Jules, Andy, Stephanie, Sterling, and now Bethany. This one even had a bit of romance with Jules' mom doing some wedding planning as well as the excitement of the new expansion at Torte. I do wish Torte was a real place because despite all the murder it would be on the top of my list of places to visit! The food descriptions are mouth watering and Alexander brings the whole place to life.
While the murder doesn't occur until well into the book the plot starts going right away. Lance has been a reoccurring character in all the previous books and here he's front and center and going to pieces a bit more than usual. It was sweet that even though he drives Jules absolutely crazy she was worried about him as was everyone else at Torte. I was swept up right away into life in Ashland and the murder just hooked me even more. As I would expect from this series the mystery is well done and page turning. I had a few ideas prior to the reveal but there were still a few surprises.
This is a fast paced mystery with a fantastic setting and some of my favorite cozy characters. It was an absolute delight and I can't wait for the next book!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely! This is on my must read list and she has another series that I'm looking forward to starting.
Would I Recommend this Book? Definitely! If you enjoy cozy mysteries this is a must not miss series. I think you could jump in with this book with no problem but don't miss the previous books in the series - they're all great reads!