Saturday, January 15, 2022

Bake, Borrow, and Steal by Ellie Alexander

Bake, Borrow, and Steal
 Book Summary

As the autumnal hues of November fall over the Shakespearean hamlet of Ashland, Oregon, Jules and her team at Torte are working on their biggest event ever. They’ve been invited to create chocolate showpieces for the gala opening of a new exhibit, Shakespeare’s Lost Pages at SOMA. The museum, located on the campus of Southern Oregon University, is getting ready to unveil the Bard’s lost manuscript, Double Falsehood, which is being touted as the greatest artistic discovery of modern times. In addition to molding luscious, silky chocolate into magnificent structures, Torte will be serving an authentic Elizabethan feast straight from the pages of a sixteenth century cookbook featuring Lardy cakes, Frangipane tarts, and jellies with chestnut cream.

Jules has underestimated the amount of work required to pull off such a culinary feat. She finds herself in the strange position of feeling frazzled and stressed as the day of the gala approaches. However, her team rallies around her and once the massive works of chocolate art are safely installed at the museum, she can finally let out a sigh of relief and revel in the excitement of the grand celebration. But her relief is short-lived. Right before the unveiling, news quickly begins to spread that Shakespeare’s lost manuscript is missing. Not only that, but the security guard tasked with keeping the priceless artifact safe has been killed. Is this a case of a heist gone terribly wrong? Or could it be that a killer is lurking in the museum archives?

My Thoughts

Bake, Borrow, and Steal by Ellie Alexander has Jules Capshaw and the Torte team working to create Shakespearean treats for a gala.  SOMA will be hosting a new exhibit titled Shakespeare’s Lost Pages which will feature the Bard’s lost manuscript, Double Falsehood.  Jules is creating a stunning chocolate centerpiece for the event and Torte will provide treats authentic to the time period.  Just before the unveiling of Double Falsehood--it disappears, and the laidback security guard charged with safeguarding it is murdered.  The museum needed this exhibit, or it could cease to exist.  Jules and Lance set out to bag the villain who committed these dastardly deeds so the museum can regain its reputation and host a new unveiling.  Bake, Borrow, and Steal is the fourteenth A Bakeshop Mystery.  Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.  However, I recommend reading them in order so you can watch Jules come into her own and watch the other characters grow as well.  I like Ellie Alexander’s casual writing style.  It makes the story easy to read.  There is a great cast of characters that includes Jules, Carlos, Sterling, Thomas, The Professor, Andy, and so many more.  Torte has a great staff who create delectable delights.  Lance is an over-the-top character.  He adds humor to the story with his antics.  The mystery was well-plotted, but it was a cinch to solve.  I knew who would commit the crime before it occurred.  I also suspected where the lost manuscript was hidden.  I would like to see this author make the mysteries more complex.  I would love to be stumped. There is misdirection to send readers down the wrong snow-covered path.  It all wrapped up nicely at the end.  Bake, Borrow, and Steal has a sweet ending.  The detailed descriptions of Torte’s tempting treats will have you heading to your local bakery.  I enjoyed reading about the construction of the chocolate desk and chair.  It is not easy to make that type of item out of chocolate.  Bake, Borrow, and Steal was an enjoyable cozy mystery to read.   I like seeing how the lives of the various characters have changed since the beginning as well as Torte.  The business continues to expand under Jules leadership.  Bake, Borrow, and Steal is a sweet story with scrumptious pastries, a missing manuscript, a chocolate conundrum, a security guard who is a goner, a zealous Lance, a bothersome board member, and a thoughtful Thanksgiving. 

Bake, Borrow, and Steal is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other thirteen A Bakeshop Mysteries hereMeet Your Baker and A Batter of Life & Death (first two books in A Bakeshop Mysteries) are available on Kindle Unlimited.  Check out Ellie Alexander's A Sloane Kraus Mystery series (first two books available on Kindle Unlimited).   I appreciate you joining me today.  I will return on Monday with The War Girls of Goodwill House by Fenella J. Miller.   I hope that you have a relaxing weekend.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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