Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On Thin Icing {Review}

On Thin Icing (A Bakeshop Mystery, #3)
On Thin Icing by Ellie Alexander
Bakeshop Mystery #3
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publishing Date: December 29, 2015
Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the treats are killer good. 

It's the dead of winter in the sleepy town of Ashland, which means no tourists-and fewer customers-for Jules Capshaw and her bakery. But when she's asked to cater an off-season retreat for the directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, business starts heating up...until Jules finds a dead body in the freezer.

Someone at the retreat has apparently iced the bartender, a well-known flirt with a legendary temper-that is, before a killer beat him to the punch. Then, from out of nowhere, Jules's own ex-husband shows up at the shop-and soon becomes a suspect. With accusations piling up higher than the snow-and thicker than a chocolate mousse cake-Jules has to think outside the (recipe) box to find the real culprit...and make sure he gets his just desserts.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Buy a copy today

My Thoughts:
Book one and two were a delight to read. I instantly fell for the wide cast of characters and Juliet herself. Book two even had me rooting for possible love interest Thomas. Now in book three, "On Thin Icing", we lose a few of the elements that made the previous books so enjoyable.

Alexander take us away from Torte up into the mountains to a winter wonderland. Isolated from the town, a giant blizzard hits further isolating the resort's occupants even cutting the power. Separated from help, Jules comes across a body and now she has to keep everyone calm, stop a murderer before he strikes again, AND deal with the biggest surprise: the arrival of Carlos.

I think most of my issues with this story stem from the setting. Up in the mountains, we lose that great cast of characters. They have always added such a great level of quirk. The few new characters we met at the resort are more bland and less dynamic. Plus it is hard to invest in them when you know they are just temporary.

Although I missed our previous cast, it did work in one sense: it allowed the story time and space for Carlos and Jules. Because WHOA that is happening! Also, expect a bit of a love triangle to develop in this one. Were things resolved on the Carlos matter?? Of course not! Which will make book four so much fun :)

Lastly, I felt that the murder was almost secondary to Juliet's cooking. Most of the book is spent describing the dishes and cooking techniques that Jules uses than on the actual murder. This bummed me out a little as I was looking for a good, tense murder in such a remote setting. Overall then, I felt the murder was an afterthought. It all just sort of ...fell together.

I am still looking forward to the fourth book, "Caught Bread Handed". We should be back at Torte with the addition of Carlos! Emotions could be quite high :) I think I would rate this one with 2.5 stars, but I am trying stick with whole numbers so I will round up to 3 stars

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