Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Crime of Passion Fruit: A Bakeshop Mystery

Thank you for visiting today.  Ellie Alexander is the author of A Bakeshop Mystery series.  You can visit the author on Facebook and follow her on Amazon as well as Goodreads.  The novels in A Bakeshop Mystery series are Meet Your Baker, A Batter of Life and Death, On Thin Icing, Caught Bread Handed, Fudge and Jury, and A Crime of Passion Fruit.  Another One Bites the Crust will be the seventh book.  It is currently available for pre-order and will be published on January 2.  Ellie Alexander will be releasing Trouble is Brewing on September 5. It is A Bakeshop Mini-Mystery.  It will introduce Sloan Krause who is the star of Death on Tap (first book in A Sloan Krause Mystery series).

A Crime of Passion Fruit by Ellie Alexander is the sixth book in A Bakeshop Mystery series.  Jules Capshaw receives a call from her estranged husband, Carlos asking for her assistance.  The pastry chef on the cruise ship quit unexpectedly and his replacement will not arrive for a week.  The captain would like Jules to return and offers an incentive of an all-expense paid trip for her mother, Helen and her fiancé, Doug Curtis (the Professor).  Jules and Helen leave Torte in the hands of their capable staff and Lance.  Lance, Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is at loose ends and states he will “supervise” the staff while they are away (oh, dear).  Jules quickly settle back into the routine of ship life, but it is inevitable that she will stumble over a body.  Jules discovers a blonde woman floating in the salt water pool.  The same blonde woman she noticed sneaking around the crew area of the ship.  But who is the victim?  No one seems to know her identity.  The captain asks the Professor to investigate the crime (there goes the vacation).  Jules and the Professor need to capture the killer before the ship arrives at its next port.  Jules has her hands full with baking scrumptious treats for the passengers, searching for clues, Carlos and a rocky ship from a squall they are passing through.  Can Jules and the Professor catch the killer or will Jules end up as fish bait?

A Crime of Passion Fruit is easy to read and has a nice steady pace.  I thought A Crime of Passion Fruit had more of the cozy element than mystery.  There are numerous food descriptions in the book.  The whodunit is in the background in this story and can easily be solved.  The suspect pool is limited.  I identified the culprit early in the story.  The cruise ship was a nice change of pace and I appreciated how the author included the characters from Ashland into the story.  A Crime of Passion Fruit can easily be read alone.  All the necessary background details are provided.   My rating for A Crime of Passion Fruit if 3 out of 5 stars.  I did find it unbelievable that Jules would have time to run around the ship hunting down the Professor and looking for clues.  She is running a large pastry kitchen (that works virtually around the clock as we are told more than once) that would command her full attention (I know it is fiction, but it needs to be slightly realistic).  Also, a cruise ship has their own security to conduct investigations (and there are laws and regulations to follow when a crime is committed on a ship).  A Crime of Passion Fruit reminds me of the Love Boat.  I can see Captain Stubbing asking the Professor for his assistance and Jules reminds me of a female version of Gopher with her sleuthing.  There is a repetition of information (seems a common theme lately in cozy mysteries).  I wish I could say the Carlos and Jules situation was resolved, but it was not (sigh).  I am not a fan of Carlos (#TeamThomas).  He does not support Jules in her investigations (he wanted to promise “you will bake and stay in kitchen”).  I do not feel the love between Jules and Carlos.  There is lust, but that it is not love.  At the end of A Crime of Passion Fruit, we are left with a little cliffhanger (which means I will be reading the next book in A Bakeshop Mystery series to find out what happens). 

I appreciate you visiting today.  I will be reviewing A Letter from Lancaster County by Kate Lloyd next time.  May you have a very pleasant day.  I am currently reading Dead Storage by Mary Feliz.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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