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Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious. It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte sta Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious. It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter. Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?


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Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious. It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte sta Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious. It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter. Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?

30 review for Fudge and Jury

  1. 5 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Everyone at Torte is excited for the annual Chocolate Festival as the shop will have a featured role at the event. They also are having new ovens installed and a little painting and reorganization taking place while the shop is closed for the festival. So it is all hands on deck to get everything done. Jules and Helen are handling the festival and are getting their booth set up when chocolatier, Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, is making the rounds of the neighboring booths. Dollycas’s Thoughts Everyone at Torte is excited for the annual Chocolate Festival as the shop will have a featured role at the event. They also are having new ovens installed and a little painting and reorganization taking place while the shop is closed for the festival. So it is all hands on deck to get everything done. Jules and Helen are handling the festival and are getting their booth set up when chocolatier, Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, is making the rounds of the neighboring booths. Soon after he samples a cake at the Torte booth the man keels over dead. At first, it is thought the man died due to his peanut allergy but Jules adamantly states there are no nuts in the cake and there was no cross-contamination. It wasn’t her cake so now she is out to find what killed Evan Rowe before all her plans are fudged up for good. Each book in I become more engaged and invested in these characters. Helen Capshaw really treats her staff like family and having Jules home working side by side with her mother is so heartwarming. The people they bring in their lives like Thomas, the Professor, and Lance all bring their own personalities to the story. We are also introduced to some eclectic characters unique to this story. All the dialogue rings true and all the interactions are meaningful. Sadly Carlos has returned to his ship. The mystery this was a puzzler with a whole festival full of suspects. Who had contact with the famous chocolatier? Did they pull off the perfect crime? I was following right along with Jules right up to the big reveal. The whole thing was very well-plotted and written. The pages were literally flying. There are delightful chocolate descriptions throughout the book. My mouth was watering and I was truly craving chocolate of any kind by the time I reached the end of the book. The author does include recipes in the back of the book and this time she includes a savory one too, Chicken Apple Sausage Quiche, I can’t wait to try. Fudge and Jury is my favorite book right now in this series as I continue my quest to catch up on this series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: Juliet, you are the worst liar on the planet. I know exactly what you’re thinking and I assure you that I’m thinking the same thing. Evan was clearly hunted down and killed by a crafty baker. Don’t try to pretend that you’re not as delighted as I am… She reminded me of a writer who was a regular at Torte. He brings his laptop and plants himself by the front windows while he writes and drinks coffee by the gallon. Andy once asked if we should cut him off because customers around hi Favorite Quotes: Juliet, you are the worst liar on the planet. I know exactly what you’re thinking and I assure you that I’m thinking the same thing. Evan was clearly hunted down and killed by a crafty baker. Don’t try to pretend that you’re not as delighted as I am… She reminded me of a writer who was a regular at Torte. He brings his laptop and plants himself by the front windows while he writes and drinks coffee by the gallon. Andy once asked if we should cut him off because customers around him were complaining that the floor was shaking so much that they thought there was an earthquake. Mom had made a point of trying to fatten me up, offering me buttery scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam and sausage rolls. She claimed that having a pastry chef who looked like a skeleton was bad for business. The gyro smelled so good that I would have eaten it off the floor, but I agreed to Lance’s request and tossed the cardboard container back in the bag. My Review: Fudge and Jury is book number five of a six book series - although it had strong enough legs to stand on its own. I had not read the previous books and had no difficulty following the story. As the plot revolves around a chocolate festival and features a bakery owner who thoroughly describes her baking process and tasting of her treats, this story would be a mystery loving gourmand’s highest level of heaven or a dieter’s lowest level of hell, I was coveting her confections the entire time I was reading. Written in the first person POV of a somewhat spacey/daydream-prone baker, the story was packed with quirky characters yet was a bit slower paced than I am used to. However, I was far from cracking the inventive murder mystery. The victim was an esteemed chef who died moments before the chocolate festival was to begin, and being that he was a rather atrocious blowhard, there was no shortage of suspects. It looked like someone might just get away with the perfect murder.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    It’s been a while since I read the previous book in this series, and I have to say that I forgot how readable these books are! The Bakeshop mysteries are truly a joy to read and I will be sticking with this series for many books to come! Jules is great, I think my main problem with her in the last books was how she acted with Carlos around, and, though she thought about him often in this book, she was much more likable without him around making her act foolish. Her mother is always a delight, and It’s been a while since I read the previous book in this series, and I have to say that I forgot how readable these books are! The Bakeshop mysteries are truly a joy to read and I will be sticking with this series for many books to come! Jules is great, I think my main problem with her in the last books was how she acted with Carlos around, and, though she thought about him often in this book, she was much more likable without him around making her act foolish. Her mother is always a delight, and I’m curious to see how Ms. Alexander incorporates a new feature we learn abour her mom into the next books. The mystery was excellent. There weren’t an overabundance of clues, but it was simple and neat (which often are the best types of mysteries). Jules didn’t have any “I have to investigate or I might die” moments, and it all wrapped up nicely. The setting was–as always–amazing, and I’m excited to see new features of Torte in the upcoming books. Overall a wonderful book that left me wanting more. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of A Crime of Passionfruit. (Plus there was an awesome looking recipe for chocolate pasta in the back!)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Annu

    I liked this better than the previous one. A good cozy read with a side mystery. There's a lot going on with Jules, what with a fest to participate, expanding Torte and the mystery to solve. I liked this better than the previous one. A good cozy read with a side mystery. There's a lot going on with Jules, what with a fest to participate, expanding Torte and the mystery to solve.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Setting: Ashland, Oregon; annual chocolate festival Characters Juliet "Jules" Capshaw: Pastry chef, narrator, and co-owner of Torte, a well-loved local bakery and cafe in Ashland Helen Capshaw: Jules' mother and co-owner of Torte The Professor: Police chief detective and boyfriend of Helen Thomas: Police detective, high school sweetheart of Jules Andy, Sterling, and Stephanie: Members of the staff at Torte Plot: The annual chocolate festival is a huge opportunity for Torte to expand their business. Eve Setting: Ashland, Oregon; annual chocolate festival Characters Juliet "Jules" Capshaw: Pastry chef, narrator, and co-owner of Torte, a well-loved local bakery and cafe in Ashland Helen Capshaw: Jules' mother and co-owner of Torte The Professor: Police chief detective and boyfriend of Helen Thomas: Police detective, high school sweetheart of Jules Andy, Sterling, and Stephanie: Members of the staff at Torte Plot: The annual chocolate festival is a huge opportunity for Torte to expand their business. Everyone is busy making preparations. But the staff at Torte are also preparing for a renovation at the bakery. To say it's a hectic time is saying the very least. Before the festival opens, more chaos ensues as a renown local chocolatier literally drops dead in front of Torte's booth. The victim was well known but not well liked by any means. It appears as though his death resulted from tasting a tainted sample from one of the event's vendors. Thomas and the Professor face the task of figuring out who among the crowd was aware of the victim's nut allergy and had the motive to do him in. Pacing: Steady Predictability: Low Wild Card: Fudge and Jury is a delectable mystery. As this series continues, I grow more and more enchanted with the world Ellie Alexander creates in Ashland. The characters feel like welcome friends and the stories are always peppered with mouth-watering descriptions of pastry and coffee, chocolates and meals. With and warmth fill each scene - truly tempting tales that are a delight to indulge in. Hit, Miss, or Draw? Hit!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amanda McGill

    Still one of my favourite cozy mystery series! We are back in Torte and it's time for the Chocolate Festival (mentioned in book 4). Torte is closed for the festival as the kids are painting the kitchen updating the stores, while Jules and her mother are busy with their booth at the festival. One of the vendor's (a famous chef) is found dead after sampling a number of chocolate dishes. Which one of the vendor's is to blame or was it someone close to the chef? I love reading about Torte and Ashland, Still one of my favourite cozy mystery series! We are back in Torte and it's time for the Chocolate Festival (mentioned in book 4). Torte is closed for the festival as the kids are painting the kitchen updating the stores, while Jules and her mother are busy with their booth at the festival. One of the vendor's (a famous chef) is found dead after sampling a number of chocolate dishes. Which one of the vendor's is to blame or was it someone close to the chef? I love reading about Torte and Ashland, there is something cozy about the town. I really like Jules and her mom and their relationship. The mystery was pretty good and I was surprised about who the killer was, and the method used to kill the chef. Bonus: there was no Carlos!! Thanks to Netgallery and St. Martin's Press for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    In the fifth book of this series Jules and her Mother are attending a Chocolate Festival in Ashland, Oregon. A competitor has a strong allergic reaction and dies just after eating a piece of cake made by Jules before the festival opens. Between overseeing new ovens put into Torte and handling the festival duties, Jules search for an answer. This book is full of cooking and baking instructions and a little romance. Good recipes are included. I recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free cop In the fifth book of this series Jules and her Mother are attending a Chocolate Festival in Ashland, Oregon. A competitor has a strong allergic reaction and dies just after eating a piece of cake made by Jules before the festival opens. Between overseeing new ovens put into Torte and handling the festival duties, Jules search for an answer. This book is full of cooking and baking instructions and a little romance. Good recipes are included. I recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy from St. Martins Press through NetGalley for an honest review. I would like to thank them for this opportunity to read and review the book. The opinions expressed are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Oh boy is it fun to read a book about chocolate on a snowy weekend. Ellie Alexander's January release of Fudge & Jury is excellent. The Bakeshop mystery series has quickly become a favorite of mine and Ellie Alexander reminds me of why in Fudge & Jury. Fans of this series, you will want to stock chocolate before you start this book! I had to make brownies while reading it. Mouthwatering food mentions and recipes await you as well as a wonderful mother/daughter relationship and a compelling myste Oh boy is it fun to read a book about chocolate on a snowy weekend. Ellie Alexander's January release of Fudge & Jury is excellent. The Bakeshop mystery series has quickly become a favorite of mine and Ellie Alexander reminds me of why in Fudge & Jury. Fans of this series, you will want to stock chocolate before you start this book! I had to make brownies while reading it. Mouthwatering food mentions and recipes await you as well as a wonderful mother/daughter relationship and a compelling mystery too!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    Warning: Reading this book will cause chocolate cravings. Not only does the main character run a bakery specializing in chocolate, but they are currently participating in their local chocolate festival! Chocolate galore. Fudge and Jury is a cute culinary cozy mystery. (How’s that for alliteration?) Though perhaps it leans a bit more toward the culinary & the cozy than the mystery, that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. It’s full of great chocolate and great characters (Lance is so intriguing Warning: Reading this book will cause chocolate cravings. Not only does the main character run a bakery specializing in chocolate, but they are currently participating in their local chocolate festival! Chocolate galore. Fudge and Jury is a cute culinary cozy mystery. (How’s that for alliteration?) Though perhaps it leans a bit more toward the culinary & the cozy than the mystery, that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. It’s full of great chocolate and great characters (Lance is so intriguing!) and seriously your mouth will be watering from all the food and chocolate discussions. The setting – small town Ashland, Oregon – is vividly established in your mind, and even though this is the fifth book in the series it can easily be read as a standalone. Bottom Line: There’s a bit more fudge than jury in the latest Bakeshop Mystery from Ellie Alexander, but you get so caught up in the delightful back and forth of life in Ashland and at Torte that you almost don’t realize that nothing much is being said about the murder investigation. Juliet is a compelling and likable main character/narrator, and her various relationships (platonic on her end except for one) are complicated and intriguing. I’m definitely following this series to see how this all plays out! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.) see my full review at Reading Is My SuperPower

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nancy H

    I really enjoy these Bakeshop Mysteries. In this story, Jules and her crew from Torte have a space at the Chocolate Festival and they hope to bring home the ultimate award for their chocolate. What they do not expect is a rival chocolatier to fall dead at Jules' feet. When her cake is suspected of being the cause of his death, Jules, her crew, and her friend Lance feel compelled to help the police find the murderer. This is a satisfying, page-turner of a mystery that will keep readers coming bac I really enjoy these Bakeshop Mysteries. In this story, Jules and her crew from Torte have a space at the Chocolate Festival and they hope to bring home the ultimate award for their chocolate. What they do not expect is a rival chocolatier to fall dead at Jules' feet. When her cake is suspected of being the cause of his death, Jules, her crew, and her friend Lance feel compelled to help the police find the murderer. This is a satisfying, page-turner of a mystery that will keep readers coming back for more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Book five in the series was even better than I expected! With the characters I have grown to love, and a great mystery plot, this is the best in the series so far! I highly recommend it and look forward to more in the series!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

    Juliet Capshaw is honored that her family bakeshop, Torte, is to be one of the featured hosts at the Chocolate Fest in her hometown of Ashland, Oregon. While Juliet and her mother are busily preparing chocolate tasting samples, their young staff is gearing up to paint and remodel the bakery kitchen and finally install new ovens. Meanwhile, there is a captivating possibility to expand Torte to the downstairs basement. In the midst of the chocolate frenzy, Evan Rowe, the conceited and unlikeable ow Juliet Capshaw is honored that her family bakeshop, Torte, is to be one of the featured hosts at the Chocolate Fest in her hometown of Ashland, Oregon. While Juliet and her mother are busily preparing chocolate tasting samples, their young staff is gearing up to paint and remodel the bakery kitchen and finally install new ovens. Meanwhile, there is a captivating possibility to expand Torte to the downstairs basement. In the midst of the chocolate frenzy, Evan Rowe, the conceited and unlikeable owner of Confections Couture, collapses after sampling Juliet's chocolate cake. It is clear he is in anaphylatic shock. Evan had a nut allergy he tried to keep hidden, but Juliet is sure her cake sample did not contain nuts. It is possible Evan could have eaten nuts from another vendor, but wouldn't he have tasted them in the sample? Along with her friend and artistic director, Lance, Juliet asks some pointed questions. Many people had reasons to dislike Evan, but who would kill him? Meanwhile, Juliet finds her relationship with her old high school boyfriend and detective-in-training, Thomas, becoming uncomfortable. She is still a married woman but unsure if she is unable to forgive her husband for keeping his son a secret from her. I have read the previous books in the series, and I enjoyed this book as well. I do wish Juliet would sort out her romantic situation with her husband, Carlos, as it is beginning to get a bit tedious and somewhat unbelievable to think that he is content to be cooking on cruise ships apart from Juliet for what has to be nearly a year now.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Book received from NetGalley. This is a very cute cozy mystery. It takes place in Oregon at a Chocolate Festival. The owners of a local bakery take part and end up embroiled in a murder mystery when one of the other vendors at the festival dies under suspicious circumstances. This is the first book I have ever read in the series, even though it's the fifth book released. It really didn't matter, I had no problem following what was going on and with the bit of explanation about other characters, I Book received from NetGalley. This is a very cute cozy mystery. It takes place in Oregon at a Chocolate Festival. The owners of a local bakery take part and end up embroiled in a murder mystery when one of the other vendors at the festival dies under suspicious circumstances. This is the first book I have ever read in the series, even though it's the fifth book released. It really didn't matter, I had no problem following what was going on and with the bit of explanation about other characters, I could jump right in. So it can be read as a stand alone. I plan on reading other books in the series, especially since it is so hard to find cozy mysteries that keep you guessing on "whodunnit" until almost the end. I really enjoyed this one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    A Chocolate Festival sounds like a great idea! Ashland Falls, Oregon is preparing for their festival and Torte, a locally owned bake shop, is excited to be participating. The delectable chocolate delights will leave your mouth watering and when a local participant drops dead, it seems that Torte needs to prove their innocence. This book has a lot going on and it is sure to please fans of this wonderful series. Each book gets better and better and this one is definitely my favorite by far! I voluntar A Chocolate Festival sounds like a great idea! Ashland Falls, Oregon is preparing for their festival and Torte, a locally owned bake shop, is excited to be participating. The delectable chocolate delights will leave your mouth watering and when a local participant drops dead, it seems that Torte needs to prove their innocence. This book has a lot going on and it is sure to please fans of this wonderful series. Each book gets better and better and this one is definitely my favorite by far! I voluntarily read an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    This wasn't quite as entertaining as the previous books, but it was still very good. The delicious descriptions of chocolate and yummy goodies had me salivating, and the mystery kept me on my toes. Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine. http://affairedecoeur.com. This wasn't quite as entertaining as the previous books, but it was still very good. The delicious descriptions of chocolate and yummy goodies had me salivating, and the mystery kept me on my toes. Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine. http://affairedecoeur.com.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Four stars: A terrific cozy, bursting with chocolate, and a surprising twist with the murder. Spring is right around the corner, and the gang at Torte is busy remodeling and painting as well as preparing decadent chocolate creations for the upcoming Chocolate Festival. Luckily, things seem to be going smoothly, and Jules has her fingers crossed that they can finish painting, install the new ovens and participate in the Chocolate Festival. Everything is going to plan until the unthinkable happens Four stars: A terrific cozy, bursting with chocolate, and a surprising twist with the murder. Spring is right around the corner, and the gang at Torte is busy remodeling and painting as well as preparing decadent chocolate creations for the upcoming Chocolate Festival. Luckily, things seem to be going smoothly, and Jules has her fingers crossed that they can finish painting, install the new ovens and participate in the Chocolate Festival. Everything is going to plan until the unthinkable happens. One of the participants, Evan Rowe a famous chocolatier, dies after sampling some of the fares. Did someone inadvertently kill him with nuts or is there something more sinister than chocolate being served? What I Liked: *Meet Your Baker continues to be a cozy mystery series that I just can't resist. I love the setting, the characters, the food, the mysteries and the delicious recipes. This is a fun series that I find perfect for when you need a light, cozy, escape read. These books are perfect for stormy afternoons, even better for snow days. *I loved that this one was all about chocolate. My mouth was watering to taste the delicious chocolate creations being served at the Chocolate Festival. Luckily, the author provided a couple of the chocolate recipes at the end to try. Yum! *The murder mystery was clever, and I loved the little twist as to how the victim actually died. It was a unique and rather uncommon way to murder someone. I also appreciated that there were several suspects with motives and some interesting developments. I did figure out who the killer was, but it wasn't an easy mystery to solve. A good, solid mystery. *I continue to love the gang at Torte, and I enjoy seeing them grow as they not only develop the business, but their relationships. The characters at Torte function like a nice, little, happy family. *I liked that this book refrained, for the most part, with the romance. There really isn't movement as far as Jules' romantic life, except that she seems to have settled her heart on one man. I appreciated that this one didn't have romantic drama. *One thing that I adore about food based cozy mysteries are the recipes. This installment includes some delicious recipes for chocolate truffles, a rich cake with mocha frosting, meatloaf sandwiches, a chicken sausage quiche, a wonderful latte drink, and chocolate pasta with white chocolate sauce. Yum! *The ending tied up all the main story threads. The remodel of Torte was done, the murder was solved and things were going well for Jules and the Torte gang. No cliffhangers or nagging questions. And The Not So Much: *One thing that bothered me a bit was the rather callous way the whole murder was handled. You would think if a world renowned chocolatier was murdered right before the Chocolate Festival that there would be more fall out. Instead, the Chocolate Festival proceeds as normal after a small delay. It just didn't feel realistic to me. Plus, no one seemed upset at all about Evan's death. *Even though I was glad to get a reprieve from the romantic drama, it kind of bothered me that one of the suitor's was completely AWOL again. No contact until the final pages. What was up with that? I wish things would settle out one way or another. Fudge and Jury is another delightful installment in one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I love the setting, the characters, the food and the mysteries. This book featured an exciting murder mystery with an unexpected twist regarding the murder weapon. I highly recommend this series when you want a light, cozy, mystery. This book was a perfect snow day read. I won a copy of this book from the author. I was not compensated for this review, and all opinions are my own. [email protected] Day Ramblings.

  17. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Jules and Helen Capshaw and the staff of Torte are busier than ever. They finally have the money to renovate the kitchen and an opportunity to buy the basement space under the bakery with government grants to improve the infrastructure to keep the basement from flooding. Jules and Helen are also participating in the annual local Chocolate Festival (!!!!!) and samples are needed for the hungry masses. Torte is about to be put on the map or wiped off it at the whims of Master Chocolatier Evan Rowe Jules and Helen Capshaw and the staff of Torte are busier than ever. They finally have the money to renovate the kitchen and an opportunity to buy the basement space under the bakery with government grants to improve the infrastructure to keep the basement from flooding. Jules and Helen are also participating in the annual local Chocolate Festival (!!!!!) and samples are needed for the hungry masses. Torte is about to be put on the map or wiped off it at the whims of Master Chocolatier Evan Rowe and magazine editor Sandi Kramer. When Evan dies eating one of Jules's delectable creations, she's horrified. Jules knows she was careful and had knew nothing of Evan's nut allergy but it seems someone did and wanted Evan dead. The Professor and Thomas are stumped but Jules and Lance are on the case and determined to figure it out. FINALLY Jules bakes something chocolate! Be still my heart! Chocolate pasta (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and chocolate truffles are on the menu and my mouth was watering the whole time wishing I could try them. Thank goodness there are recipes in the back but I would have liked more chocolate recipes. I wasn't happy when Jules returned to savory baking in the end, claiming she was sick of chocolate. Um what? There's no such thing as TOO much chocolate! I love chai but the tropical flavored drinks were not to my liking. Storywise this one is really good. I never guessed who did it. The story is a little slow and long, chronicling the renovations to Torte. There's some romantic drama but only a little. I feel all of this is unnecessary. ALL YOU NEED IS CHOCOLATE!!!!!!! Lance manages not to be too terribly annoying during the investigation and even shows some real emotion at the end. There are a few new characters here. Evan Rowe, a Master Chocolatier, is a nasty man. He is cranky, temperamental and rude. Evan is an egomaniac no one likes. I didn't like Sandi Kramer either. She's ruthless. Bethany of the Unbeatable Brownie is perky, young and eager to please but she seems to have a lot to learn. Bethany needs to develop a thicker skin but she seems nice. Howard, of Howard's Sea Salt is a crusty old seadog. He is unexpected. His bath salts don't appeal to me and I'm not a fan of sea salt on my chocolate and Howard doesn't sound like someone I'd socialize with. I'm not sure he's not a nice person though. Evan's assistant, Carter, has every reason to hate his boss. He seems like a young man eager to succeed and emulate his boss's success. Does that make him a murderer? Who knows!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    Juliet (Jules) Montague Capshaw lives in Ashland, Oregon. This little town is home to a Shakespearean Festival and this story takes place during the off season. Juliet is her mother's partner in the family bakery/cafe, Torte. She has returned from working on a cruise ship where she met and married Carlos. Juliet is still trying to figure out where her marriage with Carlos stands, but he is back on the cruise ship and she is in Ashland. Jules and her Mother are participating in the Chocolate Fest Juliet (Jules) Montague Capshaw lives in Ashland, Oregon. This little town is home to a Shakespearean Festival and this story takes place during the off season. Juliet is her mother's partner in the family bakery/cafe, Torte. She has returned from working on a cruise ship where she met and married Carlos. Juliet is still trying to figure out where her marriage with Carlos stands, but he is back on the cruise ship and she is in Ashland. Jules and her Mother are participating in the Chocolate Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Jules meets Evan, a famous chocolatier and obnoxious chef to boot, for the first time and is not impressed. When he suffers anaphylactic shock and dies in front of Jules she is extremely upset. Even though she did not like him, no one deserved to die like that. She begins to help the police with the investigation. With all this going on, Torte is undergoing minor renovations with new ovens being put in, Jules' old boyfriend Thomas seems to be attempting to become more than a friend, she finds out that her mother is developing arthiritis, a pastry magazine wants to do a cover story on Jules and Torte, and they are trying to decide if they want to lease the bottom floor of the bakery and do an addition. There is a lot adding stress to Jules' life, can she handle it all? Will they figure out who killed Evan? This is the fifth book in this series and I love visiting Torte and Ashland. I love the relationship between Jules and her mom, as well the one between Helen and the Professor. The employees at Torte are very different from one another, but they work so well together and they are like a family. The plot moves quickly and kept me reading quickly until reaching the conclusion. The mystery was interesting and I was surprised to see who the killer was, as well as the reason and the method used to do it. This is a fun, interesting series that will leave you wanting more and with your stomach growling. Cozy mystery readers will enjoy this one. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Teena in Toronto

    Juliet (aka Jules) was raised in small town Ashland, OR, but dreamed of seeing the world. She grew up helping her parents in their bakery, Torte, and went on to culinary school. She got a job with a cruise line and didn't get home often after that. She met her husband, Carlos, an executive chef, on a cruise and things were going well until she discovered he had a secret. With a broken heart, she headed home to figure things out. It's been almost a year and she now happily shares ownership of Tor Juliet (aka Jules) was raised in small town Ashland, OR, but dreamed of seeing the world. She grew up helping her parents in their bakery, Torte, and went on to culinary school. She got a job with a cruise line and didn't get home often after that. She met her husband, Carlos, an executive chef, on a cruise and things were going well until she discovered he had a secret. With a broken heart, she headed home to figure things out. It's been almost a year and she now happily shares ownership of Torte with her mother. Ashland is quiet as it's not theatre season. The Chocolate Festival is happening this week, though, and that's keeping Jules and her staff busy getting ready for it. Evan Rowe is the owner of Confections Couture and has been the winner of festival for many years. Before the festival begins, he is going around checking out what everyone else has to offer. He collapses and dies right after tasting some of Torte's samples. Murder is suspected and since Evan wasn't a nice man, there are a number of people who could have wished him dead. In the meantime, Torte is undergoing renovations. In addition to painting, the long awaited ovens are arriving. Plus Jules and her mother are considering taking over the basement under their bakery and expanding. This is the fifth in the Bakeshop Mystery series and I liked it. I've been reading the books in this series and have read all in this author's Sloan Krause Series. This book works as a stand alone ... there is enough information provided. It's written in first person perspective in Jules' voice. It was a quick light read and is a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity. There are recipes at the end. I look forward to reading the others in this series. Blog review post: http://www.teenaintoronto.com/2021/01...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Linda Smatzny

    In this story, the town of Ashland,Oregon is hosting the annual Chocolate Festival. Torte is one of the main vendors at the show which means some extra work for the crew at Torte. Also happening Jules and her mother are thinking about bidding on the space under Torte for further expansion. And yes there is a murder at the festival. I enjoy this series because all the characters are so connected in good ways and seem to grow as the series continues. The book was an easy read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Selah

    The good: Carlos is gone! The crew at Torte is awesome as ever. The town is still fun. A chocolate fest!! Jules actually got to figure something out. The bad: The love triangle continues, although it’s in the background. Jules still puts herself in dangerous situations. Now she’s helpless with tech? 🤦🏻‍♀️

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    There is a Chocolate festival going on in the Spring in Oregon. Torte is all excited about possibly winning as Bell of the Ball for the deliciously made Chocolate. When a murder happens suddenly the businesses have to go home and the event is postponed.....All eyes are on Jules as she tries to figure out who could have possibly poisoned the top chocolatier. I enjoy this author and have many more books to read from her selections.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Todd

    Thanks so much Ellie for letting us get to know Lance better! Loved his roll in the mystery!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Doward Wilson

    A well plotted and entertaining cozy with wonderful characters and lots of chocolate!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Kemp

    Jules leaves me a bit cold, but I like the bakeshop and the setting very much. I knew who the killer was fairly early in the book. Not the best in the series, but enjoyable.

  26. 4 out of 5

    K.A. Davis

    Chocolate…my most favorite flavor in all the world! It was with great happiness when I picked up Ellie Alexander’s brand new release in her Bakeshop Mystery series, FUDGE AND JURY, and started reading about Ashland’s annual Chocolate Festival! The author transports us to a world of sweet confectionery with Jules, owner of her family’s bakeshop Torte, the “Queen of Sugar”. I love to bake and spend time in the kitchen and Ellie Alexander beautifully captures the feelings I have being there. She wr Chocolate…my most favorite flavor in all the world! It was with great happiness when I picked up Ellie Alexander’s brand new release in her Bakeshop Mystery series, FUDGE AND JURY, and started reading about Ashland’s annual Chocolate Festival! The author transports us to a world of sweet confectionery with Jules, owner of her family’s bakeshop Torte, the “Queen of Sugar”. I love to bake and spend time in the kitchen and Ellie Alexander beautifully captures the feelings I have being there. She writes those feelings in such descriptive language that I feel like I’m right in Torte’s warm, cozy kitchen. “Food is an expression of art and love” is how Jules puts it and that expression truly shows as the theme is woven into a nice “whodunit” mystery. There are plenty of suspects to keep you guessing with the plot moving along nicely. However, this series’ greatest strength is the characters and keeps me coming back to see what happens next. Jules and her mother have a tender relationship, even if Jules was quite distant during her ten years away from Ashland. They’ve made up for that time and as a result share a true friendship. Jules has wonderful staff at Torte and each of them have their own story that is touched upon in each book. I’m always eager to see what creative coffee drink Andy, the college-age barrista, will come up. I’m also glad to see that the quirky character, Lance, continues to be a fixture. He adds a dose of levity to each story. And of course Jules is always creating a fabulous yummy dessert to share with her customers. I’m grateful that Ellie includes some of those recipes at the back of the book because you most definitely will be craving chocolate as you read! I tried her recipe for Mom’s Famous Chocolate Spice Cake with Mocha Frosting...a delicious vegan cake that mixes up right in the pan you bake it in and the frosting is a decadent, fudgy confection that makes this dessert amazing! I willingly provided a review after receiving a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Fudge and Jury by Ellie Alexander is the fifth book in A Bakeshop Mystery series. It is March in Ashland, Oregon, and Torte is getting ready for a remodel and Ashland’s Annual Chocolate Festival. Jules and her mother, Helen have finally saved up enough money for new ovens. Before the ovens will be installed, the place will get a paint job (as well as a new register and inventory system installed). Torte is also preparing chocolate samples and cakes for the festival. Torte is one of the four show Fudge and Jury by Ellie Alexander is the fifth book in A Bakeshop Mystery series. It is March in Ashland, Oregon, and Torte is getting ready for a remodel and Ashland’s Annual Chocolate Festival. Jules and her mother, Helen have finally saved up enough money for new ovens. Before the ovens will be installed, the place will get a paint job (as well as a new register and inventory system installed). Torte is also preparing chocolate samples and cakes for the festival. Torte is one of the four showcase vendors. One of the other showcase vendors is Evan Rowe of Confections Couture. Evan states that he will be making a big announcement during the festival. Evan then proceeds to go around and sample the other vendors wares (and making derogatory comments). After sampling Unbeatable Brownies (and condemning the baker’s brownies), he proceeds to taste one of Torte’s delicacies. Evan then begins to choke. Jules recognizes the signs of an allergic reaction and asks if anyone has an EpiPen. Before Evan’s assistant, Carter turns up with Evan’s EpiPen, Evan passes away. Evan was allergic to nuts, but there were no nuts in the sample he tried of Torte’s (but their samples are confiscated). Jules knows it was not Torte’s products that killed Evan (they are very careful in the bakery) and sets out to find out who had it in for Evan (Santa’s naughty list is shorter). Jules also needs decide if she wants to expand Torte. Helen and Jules have a great opportunity, but is this the right time? Jules, Helen and the Torte gang are in for a very busy three days in Fudge and Jury. Fudge and Jury is an easy novel to read and it is nicely written. While it is the fifth book in the series, it can be read alone. The story has a good pace and interesting characters (especially Lance). Ashland sounds like a lovely town. I relished the description of the Elizabethan looking buildings and the theater (the town is known for the Shakespeare plays performed). There are numerous accounts of chocolate treats provided in the book (so many that if they were excluded this would be a novella instead of a full-length novel). I give Fudge and Jury 3 out of 5 stars. The mystery was uncomplicated. I could identify the killer and method of murder very early in the story (right after the guy hit the floor). The murderer’s method of killing was unique which I really appreciated (has not been used before in any of the mysteries I have read). I was extremely disappointed and disgruntled that the storyline with Carlos, Jules estranged husband, was not resolved in Fudge and Jury. It is long past time to wrap up the story of Carlos and Jules (Carlos needs to go). I am tired of Jules mooning over Carlos’ voice, his appearance, his food, etc. (it is just too sappy for a mystery novel). I sincerely hope that Ms. Alexander will conclude this particular subplot in the next novel in the series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Yummy food (especially chocolate!), hunky love interests (note plural), the fabulous Oregon setting of Ashland, and likeable and appealing characters (except the antagonistic recurring innkeeper although he didn't appear much in this book) all add up to a sweet little mystery series that you will devour. The first in the series is Meet Your Baker which introduced Juliet "Jules" Capshaw, a young woman returning home from a stint as a pastry chef on a cruise ship to nurse a broken relationship. FU Yummy food (especially chocolate!), hunky love interests (note plural), the fabulous Oregon setting of Ashland, and likeable and appealing characters (except the antagonistic recurring innkeeper although he didn't appear much in this book) all add up to a sweet little mystery series that you will devour. The first in the series is Meet Your Baker which introduced Juliet "Jules" Capshaw, a young woman returning home from a stint as a pastry chef on a cruise ship to nurse a broken relationship. FUDGE AND JURY is the fifth in the series and continues Jules' involvement with her mother's bake shop, Torte, along with her complicated relationships between her old flame, Thomas, and her husband, Carlos, and, of course, getting tangled in a murder investigation. I'm not a big fan of cozy mysteries but I enjoy this series and recommend to anyone who wants a straight "whodunit" with a main character who isn't inept or continually blows up cars (I'm looking at you, Janet Evanovich). This was full of the flavor of the town with a few behind-the-scenes tidbits of the Shakespearean play culture. Anyone who enjoys a nice niche mystery with lots of good cooking and baking thrown in (with recipes) will find this a nice way to while away a rainy afternoon. BTW, this author writes another series under the name of Kate Dyer-Seeley. Thanks to the publisher for the advance digital reading copy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    wonderwomand

    Fudge and Jury, the 5th book in the Bakeshop mystery series, is set in Ashland, Oregon with a picturesque background of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This series has been one of my favorite series from the beginning. With eclectic characters like Juliet Montague Capshaw (aka Jules), her mom Helen, the Professor (think of Roy Dotrice), Lance (think of Ian Ogilivy), Thomas, and many more, they create a mosaic of stories. Wonderful phrases by Ellie Alexander like "whimsical chocolate posters promo Fudge and Jury, the 5th book in the Bakeshop mystery series, is set in Ashland, Oregon with a picturesque background of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This series has been one of my favorite series from the beginning. With eclectic characters like Juliet Montague Capshaw (aka Jules), her mom Helen, the Professor (think of Roy Dotrice), Lance (think of Ian Ogilivy), Thomas, and many more, they create a mosaic of stories. Wonderful phrases by Ellie Alexander like "whimsical chocolate posters promoting Ashland's annual Chocolate Festival" reminds me of why I love this series and the cozy mystery genre.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lin

    The stars seem aligned for Jules Capshaw and her mom, Helen. Torte; a well-loved bakery, is getting a make-over complete with new ovens. Mom’s relationship with a certain classy law enforcement officer seems to be on track. Carlos; Jules’s ex is back on the high seas and Tommy, another local officer is still pining for Jules. Ashland is preparing for their Chocolate Festival and Torte is being showcased as one of the “premier” vendors. What could possibly go wrong? A little rain can’t hurt, right The stars seem aligned for Jules Capshaw and her mom, Helen. Torte; a well-loved bakery, is getting a make-over complete with new ovens. Mom’s relationship with a certain classy law enforcement officer seems to be on track. Carlos; Jules’s ex is back on the high seas and Tommy, another local officer is still pining for Jules. Ashland is preparing for their Chocolate Festival and Torte is being showcased as one of the “premier” vendors. What could possibly go wrong? A little rain can’t hurt, right? Ellie Alexander has continued to draw us into this entertaining bunch of characters that make us laugh and fear for their safety. Best installment yet, must read!!!

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