Monday, February 19, 2024

A Smoking Bun - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: A Smoking Bun (A Bakeshop Mystery #18) by Ellie Alexander

Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  The mountains are calling in Ashland, Oregon, where pastry chef turned amateur sleuth, Jules Capshaw, is baking up a bevy of spiced curry buns and chai cookies for a moonlit snowshoe tour. Ramiro’s family is visiting from Spain and Jules can’t wait to take them up to her beloved Mount A with its charming and rustic lodge, backcountry trails, and star-filled skies that stretch for miles. Their winter wonderland adventure is nothing short of magical and the merry party opts to return to the slope the next day for the Downhill Dummy.

The annual competition is a favorite amongst snow lovers. Contestants strap makeshift dummies to skis and send them hurling down a death-defying ski jump in hopes of catching big air. The team at Torte is in the mix this year with their own replica of a tiered cake and a baker who closely resembles their fearless leader. It’s a fun and festive atmosphere as dummies sail past the crowd to huge cheers and applause. Until one of the dummies takes a deadly detour and lands atop Fitz Baskin.

Fitz is a guide on the mountain and his icy dealings have made for frosty relationships with everyone he encounters. Suddenly there are more suspects than snowdrifts as Jules dives into the investigation. She unearths a web of secrets and motives that threaten to shake the rustic mountain lodge to its core. Can she catch the killer before they strike again, or will the truth be buried forever under fluffy layers of fresh snow?

Genre:  Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  This is one of my favorite cozy series so I pick up the newest book without even glancing at the blurb.

My Impression:  I have enjoyed pretty much every book in this series and this was no exception.  The mountains have long been a background of this series and skiing is frequently mentioned as Jules' long time barista is a big fan of snowboarding.  However, this is the first book where the ski resort has really been front and center in the mystery.  In fact, Jules and family come into contact with the victim when on a nighttime snowshoeing tour.  

The victim is not a likable guy.  Instead, its kind of amazing that he managed to survive long enough to get offed fairly early in the book.  I enjoyed following along for the investigation with Jules and spending time with the usual Torte crew as well as Lance and the other Ashland residents.  As well, I enjoyed spending more time with Ramiro and his family.

While you can easily jump into this series at any point it is best read in order as the relationships of the characters is very important.  As well, this series has the cozy mystery tendency to have a lot of side stuff going on.  We see Jules bake, spend time with Ramiro's family, spend time at Torte and go on adventures through Ashland.  While this is an absolute delight to long-time readers I imagine it could be a bit tedious if you are coming into the series part way through.  

This was a fun read in a thoroughly enjoyable series.  I was pulled into the book from the first page to the end and this is proving to be a series that never disappoints.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I've enjoyed everything I've read by this author.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you are a cozy mystery fan this is an absolute must read series - though I do recommend starting from the beginning.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I really want to read this series. It sounds so good.

  2. I like the sound of this series and I like when it develops various side goings on. I have #2 on my shelf (just checked) must get on to it.