Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .
Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café 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 . . .
“A warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly and likable main characters, and a nasty murder mystery to solve!” ―Fresh Fiction
Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing 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?
“A perfect mix for fans of Jenn McKinlay, Leslie Budewitz, or Jessica Beck.” ―Library Journal
SERIES: A Bakeshop Mystery #6
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
RELEASE DATE: June 27, 2017
Other Books In This Series
Warning: This book will cause cravings for Monte Cristo sandwiches, gooey cinnamon rolls, crepe cakes, lemon jelly roll, peach coffee cake, and more delectable desserts and pastries. You have been duly cautioned 😉
I really like this Bakeshop Mystery series, primarily because of Torte and its people. Juliet, her mom, Lance, Thomas, the Professor, and the crew. So I wasn’t sure how I felt about the fact that we were taking a vacation from Torte for a brief cruise, for Jules to return to her roots (and her husband) by filling in where she used to work for a few days.
I needn’t have worried.
While A Crime of Passion Fruit isn’t like one of those ‘special mid-season episodes’ of your favorite TV show, where everyone heads to the vacation destination, Alexander does a fantastic job of including all the beloved characters anyway. Through emails back and forth with her friends and employees, Jules stays up to date with the goings-on back home, and we as readers are still treated to these great characters even in absentia. The cruise ship aspect to this novel was also well-done and in fact fascinated me. I enjoyed learning about what goes into making sure a cruise runs smoothly, particularly in the kitchens or during rough seas.
The murder mystery in A Crime of Passion Fruit has a bit of a twist in that it’s not just about ‘whodunit’ but also about who it was done to. No one knows (or admits to knowing) the victim, and so it’s as much about figuring out who she is and where she came from as it is about solving the crime itself. Being on a cruise ship – and being rather on Jules’ home turf – allows the Professor (whom I love) and Juliet to work together rather than him being in the charge and her sneaking around to sneak around, so to speak.
Juliet’s relationship with Carlos is something I’m not quite sure how I feel about yet. And given the last few scenes – and how Thomas clearly feels about her – I’m very curious to see what happens in the next book!
Bottom Line: Grab an assortment of pastries and sweets before diving in to read A Crime of Passion Fruit. It will help offset the cravings and allow you to fully enjoy the story 😉 Juliet, her mother, and the Professor work just as well together as characters on a cruise ship as they do at Torte, and it was nice to keep up with the other characters back home too. The mystery is well-crafted (though I had the whodunit aspect pegged early on), and the continuing situation with Carlos adds a dose of romance as well as emotion. (Keep a fan handy for this hunky Latino’s scenes, too.) The Bakeshop Mystery series is a great choice for cozy mystery fans with sweet tooths (sweet teeth?), and this installment in particular makes the perfect vacation read!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Loving this series!
KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe a bit, thanks to Carlos
Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.
What about you? Have you been on a cruise? Did you enjoy it? If you haven’t been yet, where would you like to go?