Saturday, July 1, 2017

Crime of Passion Fruit - Cozy Mystery Review

A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery) by Ellie Alexander

Rating: Very Good
Source:  NetGalley

Description:  Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary cafe to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules's estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can't resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary . .

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambeing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can't anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she's ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  This is a series I've really been enjoying and I'm excited to see Jules in cruise ship mode.

My Impression:  I've been reading this series since the beginning and have completely enjoyed every single mystery.  This one might just be my favorite.  The bulk of this book takes place on Jules' former cruise ship when she takes over as temporary pastry chef. Working on cruise ships has always been a big part of Jules' story so to see her actually at work there was really fun as well as getting a peek at what ship life is like for the crew on a cruise ship.  Typically in the out of Ashland books I've really missed the Torte setting and the characters there but my enjoyment of the cruise ship more than made up for it.

The mystery as expected from this solid series was well done and I enjoyed the not just whodunnit part but the who exactly is the victim aspect.  Jules role in the investigation is a little more official in this one as the Professor asks her to help him navigate the politics and personnel of the ship.  I do love when an amateur sleuth has a reason to poke around!

And then there's the food...  Jules is a pastry chef and the descriptions of her creations make my mouth water.  There's peach coffee cake, crepe cakes (stacks of super thin cakes with pastry cream in between), lemon jelly rolls, cupcakes, and all kinds delicious and decadent sounding desserts.  Luckily, the back has several of the recipes that are mentioned throughout the book (I'm most excited about the lemon jelly roll) and for when you're feeling a little desserted out you can try Asian Noodle Salad or make a Monte Christo Sandwich,  All will pair well with a Mai Chai - one of Torte's top barista's creations - full of chai spices and tasty tropical accents.

If you enjoy mysteries and love foodie books this is one of the best combinations I've found. The mystery is solid, the characters are interesting and likable, and the food descriptions are enough to make me want to get into the kitchen and start whipping up my own creations.   This is a series I always enjoy and always look forward to the next book though I don't recommend reading on an empty stomach!

I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads


  1. Sounds like a great read, love the cruise ship setting, and just have to love on the title. Those cozy mystery titles are so clever.

  2. If you've ever been on a cruise then you know there will be plenty of food! Good review. I sent you an email, just finished a book I want to send you :-)

  3. I love that title and the cruise ship setting sounds like a winner too. Sounds fun, and ever since The Woman in Cabin 10 I've been interested in mysteries on cruise ships. Granted that wasn't a cozy but still... what a great setting for a murder mystery! The food doesn't sound half bad either... :)

  4. I haven't tried a cozy yet - is there one you would recommend for a newbie? Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  5. I really want to try this series!

  6. I love it when a series continues to get better. I haven't read this series yet, but I'd like to! I am glad you enjoyed this one, Katherine.

  7. I love a good culinary cozy and this is a new-to-me series. I'm going to add the author to my wish list.

    1. yay! the first three books are available from Audible!

  8. Sounds like an interesting series. We are cruisers so I would get right into it..

  9. I haven't tried one of these food-related novels yet, but they sound like fun! Thanks for the review -


    2017 Big Book Summer Challenge

  10. That sounds so cool! Neat on the location of the ship and yum on the pastries! I bet that would make me hungry, too. lol

  11. This sounds so good! I have read this series but I love that the mystery really has two parts. Plus that cover is awesome!

  12. I read the previous books in the series and enjoyed them so I'm looking forward to reading this one. She also has a new series coming this fall based in Leavenworth, WA about a female beer brewer. ;-)