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A Bakeshop Mystery #1

Meet Your Baker

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Welcome to Torte-a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it's criminal...

After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte's customers turns up dead, there's much ado about murder...

The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival's newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her...but still. The silver lining? Jules's high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can't help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all...

307 pages, Paperback

First published December 30, 2014

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About the author

Ellie Alexander

44 books2,288 followers
Ellie is a voracious storyteller and a lover of words and all things bookish. She believes that stories have the ability to transport and transform us. With over twenty-five published novels and counting, her goal is to tell stories that provide points of connection, escape, and understanding.

She loves inhabiting someone else’s skin through the pages of a book and is passionate about helping writers find their unique storytelling lens. As a writing teacher and coach, she guides writers in crafting the story they’ve always wanted to tell while navigating the path to publication that’s right for them.

Her new standalone novel, LOST COAST LITERARY, releases March 29th. The 15th book in her Bakeshop Mystery Series, DONUT DISTURB, releases June 28th.

Find out more about Ellie and her books by visiting her website at: http://www.elliealexander.co/ or following her on social media—
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TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@elliealexande...
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/elliealexande...
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ellielovesbooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliealexand...

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5 stars
1,286 (27%)
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3 stars
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22 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 755 reviews
April 15, 2019
"Mom, was something really wrong? I'd come back to Ashland to get grounded and mend. What was happening to my sweet, cozy hometown?"

Jules has spent the past few years working on cruise ships as a pastry chef. Now her sexy Spanish husband has broken her corazón, and she has decided to go back to her hometown until the storm calms down. Little does she know, the sweet little Ashtown is not as sweet as she remembered it... And her mom's bakery floors will be stained with more than fresh raspberry jam!!! 😱

There is nothing like a tasty mystery to start (or end) a day with a twist 💜 This first book of a series is a nice sweet blend of tourist trap & Shakespearean theater, a tang of heat from Oregon summer and the stale sour taste of DEATH (muahahahah 🔪☠️🍩).

A skeptical reader may argue that the bakery setting, the dreamy love interests and even the characters and tropes are very much typical for the genre... but does this stop us cozy mystery lovers from fangirling all over the pages??

Give me a nice cup of tea, my place near the window and another book from this series... Sounds like my ideal afternoon! Time to get to the next one... 😏

Profile Image for Paula M.
547 reviews643 followers
September 15, 2019
Meet Your Baker is a mild and cozy mystery read. I’m a big fan of mystery books and for someone who read A LOT of books in this genre, I can really say that the mystery was neatly done. The tension, the build up, the way the secrets were revealed and the setting really appealed to me.

Juliet or Jules is a wonderful main character. I like how she thinks and even though we are not in the same age group, I surprisingly identified with her. She’s an incredible daughter, she made me laugh and she knows how to ask the right questions which is a great attribute in a character especially in this genre. All the secondary characters are well done too. I admit that the culprit was unexpected. I did not see it coming.

The way the author described Juliet’s hometown is truly inviting. I have this sudden urge to stop everything and visit the town even though there’s currently a murder that needs to be solved. Also, the recipes!!! Probably one of the many reasons I like this book so much. I ended up hungry when I finished Meet Your Baker.

I still want to meet Carlos and I’m excited to what will happen next to Jules. Can’t wait for the next installment!!
Profile Image for Mark Baker.
2,036 reviews148 followers
July 27, 2017
After years at sea, Jules Capshaw has returned to Ashford, Oregon. While she figures out what to do with her life, she is helping her mother with Torte, the family bakeshop. But she’s hardly back in town before she meets Nancy Hudson. Nancy is a new member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival board, and she is obnoxious, picking fights with everyone she meets. When Jules finds Nancy one more in Torte’s kitchen, there are quite a few suspects. But with the police focuses on Jules’s friends, she starts to investigate herself in order to find out the truth. Can she do it?

I’ve long heard of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and I’d love to go sometime. Until that happens, this is a great alternative. The characters are wonderful and already fully formed, although I do feel like part of Jules’s backstory isn’t strong enough for her actions. But that’s probably just me. The plot is good, although it was a little weak at the end. Still, everything is wrapped up in a logical way.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Profile Image for Mallory.
1,043 reviews63 followers
May 21, 2021
This was an interesting start to a series. Personally I loved that it was set in Ashland as I’m from Oregon and visited Ashland regularly as a child. I also love the connection to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which is amazing and deserves a bigger spotlight. There were a couple of consistency errors, but nothing that was too over the top or detracted from my enjoyment. The amateur sleuth in this series is Jules who has finished culinary school, but returned to her home town after discovering some mysterious letters in her husband’s sock drawer. She’s not sure what is next for her, but she finds refuge in her family’s bakery Torte. I enjoyed the food descriptions and the recipes in the back are a fun extra that makes this story seem more rule.
Profile Image for Chatting About Cozies.
1,138 reviews48 followers
September 6, 2016
Entertaining debut cozy featuring a family bakeshop, Torte, run by a mom; her daughter; and two employees. The daughter, Juliet Capshaw, has worked as a pastry chef on a European cruise ship for many years. She met and married her husband, Chef Carlos, aboard ship. Now seperated from Carlos, Juliet returns to the quiet foothills of Ashland, Oregon, to assist her aging mom with the Bakeshop. It's not long before Juliet realizes the shop is operating in the red. Why hasn't her mom said anything? Because trouble's a'brewing.

New author, Elle Alexander dishes up a light, fast-paced story that's also absorbing and contains an intriguing mystery. Delicious recipes follow the story.
Profile Image for ✨ Gramy ✨ .
1,382 reviews
January 8, 2022
I was able to access this series on my Kindle through my local Public Library. I am forever grateful for all the books I have been able to access in my exploration of the literary arts.

The introduction of this series compels the reader to enter this literary adventure with rapt attention. Inside there is mystery, intrigue, and solidarity in the quaint community.

After discovering there was a deep, dark secret between her husband and someone else, she had managed to use steel and determination to guard her heart, by separating herself from her husband and her dream job on the cruise ship.

Jules traded her former life, now residing with her mother and working in the family restaurant.

This is a clean and entertaining cozy mystery. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in foody, cozy mysteries.
Profile Image for LORI CASWELL.
2,379 reviews270 followers
August 31, 2019
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Juliet Capshaw has been working on a cruise ship for years, but when she finds her Chef husband kept a huge secret from her she flees home to Ashland, Oregon, and her family’s bakery, Torte. Working beside her mother they find their rhythm and Jules knows she made the right decision even though she is not sure how long she will stay.

She arrives for her second day at Torte to find one of their customers dead. A woman that was very involved with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival who has accumulated her fair share of enemies. When one of the bakery’s employees is pegged for the crime, She decides to “Go wisely and slowly,” because “Those who rush stumble and fall” and do her best find the real killer.

Typical of the first book in a series that author has jam-packed these pages. Jules is a likable character with a lot going on. Her mother is a wonderful woman and excellent baker but she is hiding something. Jules is not sure what to make of her mother’s young employees but one can sure make a great cup of coffee or any derivative of the caffeine drink. The other seems to have her own issues. All these characters develop well within these pages, but I feel we have much to learn about our protagonist, Juliet Montague Capshaw.

Torte seems to be a popular gathering place especially because of its connection with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which made it the perfect place for a murder. It was easy to come up with a list of suspects and the secondary characters really came alive. Secrets, falsehoods, and just their general demeanor made it hard to eliminate anyone outright. I followed right along and didn’t put all the clues together until shortly before the villain reveal.

I did enjoy reading about the day to day life of running a bakery and the delectable descriptions of the treats had my stomach growling. There is more than one recipe at the end of the story I can’t wait to try. I have a weakness for anything wrapped in puff pastry 🙂

I have some catching up to do on this series, but with a debut like this, I am looking forward to the next book, A Batter of Life and Death and more!
Profile Image for Heidi Prockish.
443 reviews12 followers
June 15, 2021
I love this series so much!!
Jules has come home from a life on sea. Her husband kept a secret from her and now she is trying to take some time to figure things out. I love that she jumps right in to help her mom at Torte. Ashland sounds like such a beautiful place and fun community. This time I really noticed Jules' mom. She is so calm and the one that the town leans on. I want to be like that one day.
Jules gets tossed in to the murder by finding the body. What a crew of people are surrounding Torte. Lance, Sterling, Andy, Stephanie, and I cannot forget Richard Lord! Oh to spend one day with them!!
I did not guess the killer, which is funny because I have read this before. I just get wrapped up in the story and the town.
If this is not on your to-read list, it should be!!
Profile Image for Annu.
207 reviews32 followers
November 29, 2019
Another great find. I really liked this book and the main character, Jules Capshaw and her cute mother. There were twists and new revelations in almost every chapter so couldn't stop reading it at any point. I thought I had figured out the whodunnit but I was taken by surprise in the end. And those recipes look so delicious. Although, it wouldn't be a good idea to try them if you're trying to cut down on sugar. But I think I might try Andy's Sweet Heat Espresso.
Profile Image for Tari.
2,135 reviews68 followers
February 4, 2019
I can't believe it took me this long to start this series! I love the author's other series, Sloan Krause, and the series she writes under her pen name. Now I know why everyone loves this one!

Jules Capshaw came home to her Shakespeare themed town with a broken heart. She'd left the chef she was married to on a cruise ship where she was a pastry chef. Now she had to adjust to life on solidi ground for one thing, and soon she'd have a murder case she was busy investigating, somewhat with the go-ahead from her former high school boyfriend, now Deputy Thomas Adams. After a heart-stopping showdown with the killer, that person was safely hauled off and everything was solved.

It didn't take me long to fall in love with the regular characters! Jules was a pretty strong lady for dealing with the complicated personal life she had right now. I really liked her mom a lot and thought the two had a fairly decent relationship, which grew even better as the book went on. I can only hope that she can ditch her former guy sometime and start over with Thomas--I'm probably dreaming, lol. I loved the detective in this book! He was so different from any other that I've read about so far. Doug aka the Professor was super nice, but very into Shakespeare, so he'd toss out a Shakespeare quote instead of answering Jules about the investigation or giving the always-heard, "I can't talk about that." Shakespeare quotes made it easier to take? Maybe lol.

I didn't guess the killer and what a cool twist that was! I loved how things worked out with Torte and its employees--they even gained a new worker. After reading a little preview of the next book that came at the end, I'm anxious to read it! The recipes at the end sounded so yummy--I'd love to try that raspberry danish one.
1,254 reviews48 followers
January 14, 2015
Meet Your Baker was an OK read, which seemed to be a bit more detail packed and the mystery more complicated than the average cozy.

Pastry chef Jules (aka Juliet) comes home when she's having problems with her husband. She comes back to the family bakery and starts working with her mother. A woman hated by many is killed and a bakery employee is implicated so Jules starts investigating.

I didn't love the story probably because there was so much going on. There's Jules' troubles with her husband, we assume what's going on, but there's a surprise at the end when we find out exactly what the problem is. I didn't feel like that was wrapped up well with how Jules handled it. We are given no details other than she came back home. The author probably wants to focus on the direction she wants to take the series with Jules staying at the bakery, but why add a twist without giving us Jules reasons for literally "jumping ship"? There's issues with Jules' mom and the bakery as well and Jules' solution. There's also a former love interest. Several secondary characters have major life issues, etc. Just an awful lot of threads which may be used/covered in future books, but made Meet Your Baker a denser, grimmer cozy read.

I didn't really warm up to the character of Jules. She wasn't warm and friendly as so many cozy main characters are. Given what little we are provided in the story, I thought her decision to leave her husband without apparently discussing the situation was not understandable. Her solution for her mother's problem was quick, but what about other options (I don't want to give spoilers)? Maybe I shouldn't focus on these points, but they were brought up so they should have been addressed.

I did like how complicated the murder was. I would consider reading the next book in this series if I saw it on the library shelf, but would not make an effort to hunt it down.

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Cait | GoodeyReads.
1,554 reviews186 followers
October 15, 2021


This was a friend recommendation that did not disappoint! I found a love for cozy mysteries last year and now I may have found the series I read this year.

I looooove that this was set at a bakery! As someone who bakes a lot I loved getting to see all of the delicious treats come alive. What’s fun is that anything made in the book is left with a recipe at the end! I plan on trying some of the ones I read about.

I thought Juliet Capshaw was a fun main character. A bit ditzy about locking her shop’s door at night, but otherwise a pretty solid amateur sleuth. I only got the beginnings of her story and would love to continue unravelling everything. I think there’s a great set-up for a little romance, some growth in the bake shop and more.

It was a charming read, in a smaller town in Oregon. I liked the dramatic characters and Shakespearean anecdotes. It’s a typical cozy mystery, but isn’t that the point? I love the simplicity and easy-going-ness of it all. This is what this genre is about for me and why I fell for them!

Overall audience notes:
- Cozy mystery
- Language: none
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: murder, physical altercations, smoke (from surrounding wildfires)
Profile Image for Henrietta.
207 reviews24 followers
January 8, 2015
Meet Your Baker is not just about baking. Someone is dead inside the bake shop and Jules, the pastry chef, feels it’s up to her to make sure that the reputation of her family business is not tarnished.

The dead woman is Nancy Hudson. She wasn’t a nice person (in my opinion) and as Jules investigates, she finds a fairly long list of suspects.

I was actually surprised when I learned of the identity of the murderer in the end. I honestly thought there was at least one accomplice in this, but oops …, I was wrong.

What I really love about this story is the main character, Jules. She cares a lot about the people whom she sees every day and I like that she doesn’t let her personal issues get in the way of her work. She doesn’t have a perfect life but this doesn’t mean she has an excuse to deliver goodies that are less-than-par to her customers. I like her attitude.

I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the next book, A Batter of Life and Death, which will be released in mid-2015.


Originally posted on LeisureReads.com

A copy of the book was provided by publisher for review purposes.
Profile Image for Vicki (MyArmchairAdventures).
392 reviews21 followers
November 4, 2020
Don’t you love discovering a new series? MEET YOUR BAKER is book one of a bakery centered mystery series. If you are a foodie, or love desserts and Shakespeare, this is a great book to dive into. It’s a cozy, murder mystery with a little hint of romance on the side.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
420 reviews13 followers
November 7, 2018
Juliet Capshaw has just returned home after 10 years away and just up and leaving her husband and job on short notice. She goes to work at the family bakery the morning she arrives back in town as if nothing has happened and she hasn't been gone. She dislikes the staff her mother has hired right off the bat and is judgmental as all get out. The next day a nasty woman is found murdered in the bakery! (They are up and running and back in business by next afternoon to the delight of the customers) The new town deputy Thomas is Juliet's high school boyfriend and he immediately starts flirting with her as if the ten year gap didn't exist (and I am sure he knows she's married) and asks her to help with the investigation (really?)....In a few days she goes snooping about, gets assaulted, told to stop investigating, keeps it up, gets hurt some more and attacked by the killer. In this time she also finds out the bakery is in financial trouble and reluctantly dishes to her mother why she left her husband. (See rant below about this...and why are all cozy mysteries about women who are just dumped/widowed/or left a long term relationship?) She flirts shamelessly with Thomas but waffles back and forth as to the state of her love (see lust! and infatuation!) for her husband (whom she just left a few days ago) and if she really loves Thomas...She's 28 or about 29 here but acts and thinks like she's 15 about the men in her life.

This cozy mystery has the protagonist leaving her husband, Carlos, of 3 years over some letters and a part of his life he never mentioned to her.

Last how can these people function and look so good when they sleep about 3 hours every night? You can do it for a day or two or three when young but after a while it takes it's toll and here it doesn't. It's one of those things about these kind of books that annoys me. No logic about sleeping and eating habits of real human beings is ever represented here. Last no self preservation for any of these people either.
Profile Image for Tara Lush.
Author 5 books378 followers
January 22, 2021
A delightful read! I can't wait to dig into the next book in the series!
Profile Image for Carlymor .
286 reviews9 followers
February 21, 2022
3.5 rounded up to 4 stars. I’ve wanted to start this series for a while and I really enjoyed the first book. Jules is home in Ashland, Oregon (famous for the Shakespeare Festival), after being a cruise ship pastry chef for the last few years. As soon as she comes back, a festival board member is murdered after alienating pretty much all of the actors and artists involved. There is no shortage of suspects. The location of the famous Shakespeare festival is enough to keep me intrigued and I’m definitely looking forward to the next entry.
2,809 reviews1,728 followers
July 21, 2021
This is my first Ellie Alexander read and I'm a fan! There's something different about the way she spins a cozy mystery and I'm not quite sure I can identify it. I think it's in the way she describes both setting and characters -- it's a bit more lyrical than a standard cozy maybe? In any case, she had me right there living every moment with Jules during her erstwhile homecoming which includes murder and mayhem. Loved the pacing -- very nice balance between characterization and action. My only reservation at this point is that there might be a dreaded love triangle looming in the near future. I fear I need to brace myself. Whimper.

Please note: contains a few mild expletives.
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
1,839 reviews4,673 followers
August 7, 2018
This was such a cute book! Ahhh it had solid, strong characters and what I enjoyed most was that I had no idea who committed the murder. I'm a sucker for mystery books that take place in a bakeries and this one was no different. The writing was easy to follow and I loved that the theater was included in this book. I definitely will be writing a full review of this book and will be continuing the series.
Profile Image for Leah.
1,816 reviews
September 2, 2019
I enjoyed the mystery. It involves a theater, a drama club, a runaway, a photograph, and a bakery. I liked the theater and drama parts. Those were interesting and involved a lot of Shakespeare. I also liked the food. I even liked most of the characters. The main character had some moments that made annoyed. Most of them involve her estranged husband. I don't like him. I don't want to read about him or have him be a part of the story.
Profile Image for Kevin.
1,452 reviews34 followers
January 21, 2020
4 stars
I really loved this first book in the series, it has everything I love in one a bakery, Shakespeare plays, Shakespeare quotes and a heroine determined to save Also a big plus lots of interesting characters, starting with main character Jules all the way down to quirky characters like Mia. Lastly I loved the setting of Ashland

home to the world-famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, an eclectic community of artists, outdoor adventure seekers, college students, farmers, hippies, rich retirees, and a constant stream of tourists. At nearly two thousand feet in elevation, its Mediterranean summers make it the perfect spot to watch Shakespeare under the stars or hike one of the nearby peaks. In the winter, Ashland attracts skiers and snow lovers to its nearby ski resorts and backcountry trails.

There is so much variety in the setting I can see lots of vastly different books in the series.

I also appreciate it when the victim is a nasty piece of work, Nancy Hudson really fits the bill, while no one deserves to die a nasty character is just easier to accept as the target.

Cozies Reading Challenge
Profile Image for Carla.
5,797 reviews122 followers
May 9, 2017
Meet Your Baker is the first book in the series, "A Bakeshop Mystery". I had read the next three, so wanted to read this one for the background information that I had missed. In this story we meet the main characters in the series as well as having a mystery to solve. We find out about Juliet's (Jules) return home to the town of Ashland, Oregon. After working on a cruiseship for several years and getting married to Chef Carlos from Spain, she has returned home to contemplate her life and marriage. She loves her mother and when she finds out that the family bakeshop, Torte, is in some sort of trouble, she is determined to find out what is going on and to help her mother solve the problems. They have a wonderful relationship that is rekindled after Jules' long absence. When Jules finds the dead body of a local woman in the kitchen of the shop, she is determined to interject herself into the investigation and help solve the mystery. The problem is that the woman had so many enemies, there are a lot of suspects. The plot moves relatively quickly with Jules, Thomas and the Professor investigating various people, finding clues, upsetting certain townsfolk as well as introducing us to others. Jules put herself in danger several times, but there is no serious damage. I had several ideas of who the culprit was, but was not correct. As the mystery unfolds, I changed my mind several times which makes for a good read for me.

A couple of things in the book which you will either love or dislike. There is a lot of talk about baking and recipes. If you do not like that, you will probably get turned off this series quickly. It was not too much, but it is in there, after all this is a Bakeshop Mystery. The second is the various descriptions of the town of Ashland and the businesses. I loved learning about this quaint little town. I travel to the town of Stratford, Ontario a couple of times a year for our Shakespeare Festival so it was nice to read about this town and compare it to ours. The characters that live in Ashland are varied, from tattooed students to the overbearing owner of the hotel. The police are personable and diligent as well as having a bit of romance. I look forward to spending more time in Ashland and finding out more about these wonderful characters. Who knows, perhaps even Carlos will make an appearance in this little town.
Profile Image for Sarah.
722 reviews38 followers
August 26, 2019
I contributed this review to Really Into This

Check out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.com
Happy Reading, friends!

I’m in love with a series that started in 2014. My cozy loving buddy, Stephanie & I did a buddy read for this one & we both thoroughly enjoyed it & are headed back to Torte for more!
This book is set around the world-famous Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Throw in a coming home story, a cast of memorable & endearing characters and a ton of delicious baking recipes & I’m in hog heaven.
I’m planning to savor the rest of this series as it is well-written, suspenseful & so enjoyable. I can’t wait to start the next book, A BATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH.
Profile Image for Britney.
256 reviews3 followers
July 4, 2017
What happens when you're named Juliet after Romeo & Juliet? And you live in a town devouted to Shakespeare? Jealousy.

Juliet returns home after living on a cruise ship to rethink her life & help her mom with the bakery. Unfortunately she didn't bargain for a getting caught up in a murder. Strong lead character, with a head on her shoulders.

I like that it had several different elements in the story. You don't see that often in cozies. Reading this made me want to open the bakery I always wanted to open. Will read more from this author.
Profile Image for QNPoohBear.
2,958 reviews1,478 followers
July 31, 2016
Juliet Capshaw is returning home to Ashland, Oregon, after 10 years away, first at culinary school and then as a pastry chef on a cruise ship. Juliet has returned to decide what to do about her failed marriage and to help her mom run their family bakery, Torte. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is in full swing with theatergoers and actors crowding into the bakery. One customer and OSF board member, Nancy Hudson, has earned the enmity of OSF director Lance and leading lady Caroline but is either of them mad enough to kill? When Jules discovers Nancy in a pool of blood and jam on the bakery floor early one morning, it leads her to learn about old secrets, scandals and reflect on her past romances.

I liked this story well enough. It dragged in parts and there were too many mysteries going on at first. One by one the stories are told and I was left to puzzle out who actually did Nancy in. I was surprised at the reveal. My thought process naturally followed Juliet's. This mystery takes a different path than the usual cozy. There's a lot more specifics about the town and Jules finds herself in danger more than once. I thought that made the story a little repetitive and too long. There's also a LOT of specific details about baking and how Jules and her mom make new creations. I was surprised that Torte is a bakery/cafe and they serve savory as well as sweet. I prefer my bakeries to serve sweets only. I'd rather read about cupcakes and cookies than bread and savories so I probably will not visit this series again.

Also, I had a hard time clicking with Jules. She's a drama queen, like her namesake. I felt she was more than a little bit of a food snob, though she denied she was. She was super critical of the bakery's rival and local businessman who is trying to buy out her mother. The town business is tourism and kitschy decor and poor pseudo-historical foods probably draw in more crowds than a gourmet bakery given the OSF is Ashland's main draw. Juliet's relationship drama was a lot less dramatic than I expected. I can see why she would be hurt and angry but why leave the marriage? My guess is she was infatuated with Carlos and craved his attention but wasn't really in love. She's also a bit snippy towards their customers and her mother's employees. Her mother hired them for a reason and Jules should let her mother handle personnel problems or bring her concerns to her mother. A small town bakery is not a cruise ship. Jules needs to drop her attitude if she plans to stay in the small town.

The townspeople didn't appeal to me either. The only secondary characters I liked were Juliet's mother, the Professor and Thomas. The Professor is quirky in a nerdy way and seems intelligent and kind. Thomas is a smart cop and warns Jules their town isn't as idyllic as it seems and yet she takes kind of a superior attitude and isn't very nice to him. She has some cringe-worthy moments with Thomas for sure. There's not enough of a relationship hook there to keep me interested.

Foodies will rejoice because there are several recipes in the back but sadly none appeal to me. I probably won't be reading more of this series.
Profile Image for Moondance.
1,015 reviews49 followers
September 13, 2018
They say it takes a while to recover your land legs after years spent at sea.

Juliet Capshaw left Ashland, Oregon after high school to enroll in culinary school. Her first job offer was with a cruise line and she has spent the remainder of the last 10 years on the seas. She is married to head chef, Carlos, but leaves the ship when she discovers a secret he is keeping. Juliet ends up back in Ashland to help her mom with the family bakery, Torte. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a huge draw to the town. Nancy Hudson, a new theater board member and all around obnoxious person ends up dead in the bakery. Juliet feels the need to find the killer and gets in over her head.

This is a very good start to a new series. I really enjoy the town setting of Ashland. It seems like somewhere I would want to visit. The bakery is a dream! I was drooling most of the time over Juliet's description of her work. The characters are well thought out and believable.

The murder victim was terrible to everyone. There were so many suspects that it was difficult to narrow it down to just one. That made for an interesting read.

A couple of the younger characters had good side stories going on at the same time. There was quite a bit of intrigue going on around Torte.

I do wish that I had the patience for baking. Juliet made it seem effortless and the recipes in the book sound really good.

I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Shelly.
194 reviews10 followers
February 25, 2023
Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander is the first book in the Bakeshop Mystery series. I really enjoyed this book.
The main character, Juliet Capshaw, returns to her hometown of Ashland, OR after 10 years. After culinary school she became a pastry chef on a cruise ship. Her husband has betrayed her in a way that is revealed a bite at a time throughout the story.
Ashland is a Mecca for Shakespeare lovers. The OSF, (Oregon Shakespeare Festival) is held in Ashland every year. During Juliet’s first few days back in her hometown, a festival board member is murdered inside Torte. Torte is the bakery owned by Juliet’s mother.
Of course Juliet gets herself involved in the investigation.
I loved this book because there was a flow to the story that kept me engaged and wanting to read more. The characters are like able, some are eccentric. I will be continuing to read this series.
Profile Image for Stacie Amelotte.
55 reviews22 followers
February 23, 2016

“They say it takes a while to recover your land legs after years at sea. I sure hoped mine would come back soon.”

Shakespeare, pastries and murder make the perfect combination for a new cozy series. I loved this book from page one. Ellie Alexander does an excellent job of engaging us in the mystery while weaving in clues, red herrings and twists along the way. We are introduced to the main protagonist, Juliet Montague Capshaw. She returns to Ashland, Oregon, her home town and home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, after a decade of being away. Her second day home she discovers a dead body in her family’s bakery, Torte. Solving the murder and baking at Torte become the perfect combination to distract Jules as we start to learn about her past; her career, her husband and their recent separation. Well developed characters, an engaging storyline, developing subplots and delicious recipes round out this refreshing new series. All in all, Meet Your Baker was a very entertaining read and I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
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129 reviews4 followers
July 23, 2016
I love cozy mysteries and this was another hit for me! I love that this is set in a bakery and in a small little village! I loved the characters and I'm excited to see where this series is headed!
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220 reviews2 followers
March 21, 2021
I have mixed feelings about this book. The mystery was good; I didn't suspect the guilty person before the final confrontation. But I'm not sure how I feel about many of the characters. And I agree with some of the reviewers who said the problem with Carlos didn't really warrant Jules' leaving him.

There's another thing that bothers me, and it's something I notice in other similar stories. Richard is trying to buy out Jules' mother's bakery, and constantly brags about his restaurant. So when Jules' finally goes there, she criticizes EVERYTHING about the place. The window signage, the smell and cheap cover-up deodorizer, the musty carpet, the dim lighting, the restaurant tables and chairs, the food, and finally, a cheap paper napkin. Can't there ever be a competitor that actually has a good quality establishment? She also claims at one point that she is not a food snob, but I think she is.

I will probably read at least one more in this series to see if I like it any better.
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