Monday, July 13, 2015

A Batter of Life and Death By Ellie Alexander | Blog Tour with Review and Giveaway

The Blurb

Welcome to Torte — a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for…

It’s autumn in Ashland, Oregon — ’tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte’s famous peach cobbler. It’s also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family’s beloved bake shop by competing in The Pastry Channel’s reality show, Take the Cake. The prize is $25,000. But as Jules quickly learns, some people would kill for that kind of dough. Literally.

Then, just as Jules dusts off her Bavarian Chocolate Cake recipe and cinches up her apron, the corpse of a fellow contestant is discovered — death by buttercream. What began as a fun, tasteful televised adventure has morphed into something of a true-crime detective show for Jules and everybody else on set. Who could have killed Chef Marco, and why? Can Jules sift out the killer before someone else gets burned?

Praise ~

"Delicious!" — Edith Maxwell                          

"An intriguing new series." — Reader to Reader

A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander
Series: A Bakeshop Mystery, #2
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Culinary Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250054249
ISBN-13: 978-1250054241
e-Book File Size: 1094 KB
Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Goodreads

The Review

I just read a really good book, y'all! Let me tell you a little about it. 

A Batter of Life and Death, a cozy culinary mystery, is the second book in the Bakeshop Mystery series by Ellie Alexander. [FYI  Book 3, On Thin Icing, will be released on December 29, 2015, and is now available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.] I reviewed the first book in the series, Meet Your Baker, here.

A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander is a really good, really fun read! I couldn't put it down, and finished A Batter of Life and Death in one day! 

Jules, her mother Helen, and the other employees — Andy, Sterling, and Stephanie — are all returning in this novel, for more baking and pastry adventures in Torte. Ashland townsfolk also returning from Meet Your Baker include Lance, Thomas, Police Chief Doug (aka The Professor), and Richard Lord. 

In addition to the mystery of who killed Chef Marco, Jules is trying to figure out two other things. 

  • How can Torte get the extra money needed to repair one of their two industrial ovens? (It's been broken since July.) 
  • And what to do about Carlos, her currently estranged husband? (Read more about him in Meet Your Baker.) 

RE: Chef Marco, I was surprised by whodunit. I hadn't suspected him/her until Jules realized that he/she was the perp. Did you figure it out before we did? 

Oh, and after solving the case, Jules utters these words:
"My crime-solving days are behind me, Mom. Now it's going to be back to baking."
Tune in to On Thin Icing to see if she keeps this promise. [I'm hoping she doesn't, or else that Icing won't have much flavor!]

Jules' other problems are left unresolved [and to be continued in the next book(s) in the series, I'm sure!]: 
  • Torte's brand-new catering business is successful — Lance is their first customer, and he loved everything Torte did for his end-of-theatre-season party — but it will still take a while to get the funds to upgrade the oven. 
  • Jules and Carlos had agreed to separate until the next year. It's only October, so she has over two months to wait. And while she's waiting, she's thinking about Thomas, her high-school flame.... 
The only thing I could compare the two men to was pastry. Thomas was like a soft oatmeal cookie, served warm from the oven with a chewy center. Carlos was like cherries jubilee, flaming hot on the outside. Once the flame burned out, what was left?

Since A Batter of Life and Death is a Culinary Mystery, it contains seven recipes from Torte and the Take the Cake contestants. The recipes include Torte Chili, Amaretto Dream Cookies, and Pumpkin Cream Latte. (Hungry yet?)

I really enjoyed A Batter of Life and Death and highly recommend it to all Cozy Mystery fans, especially to fans of the Culinary sub-genre. If you're new to Cozies, this would be a great introduction to the genre. 

  Four out of five kitties
Note:  I received a complimentary copy of A Batter of Life and Death in exchange for my honest review. 
All opinions shared are 100% my own.

The Author

About Ellie Alexander

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. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.

Find her on the web at

The Giveaway

Ellie will award a signed copy of Meet Your Baker and A Batter of Life and Death
one pound of coffee, Oregon Chai,  and Gourmet cupcake liners
to a randomly drawn winner (US) via rafflecopter during the tour.
Open to US addresses only.
Ends July 21, 2015 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please check out the tour page for schedule and more information.

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