I’m always excited to hear when another Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander is scheduled to release and TILL DEATH DO US TART is no exception. This eighth book in her delightful series proves once again that cozy readers love memorable characters that we can relate to and cheer for. Ms. Alexander brings back the full cast of characters, including the dreamy Carlos. (Can you tell I’m team Carlos?!?!) We also get to finally meet his son, who is just as dreamy and has all the teenaged girls in Ashland, Oregon swooning. For those who have never read any of the other books in this series, there shouldn’t be a problem with following the story and figuring out who is who. The author provides just enough backstory to make it easy to follow.
The protagonist, Jules Capshaw, owns Torte Bakeshop with her mom. They are expanding and remodeling so the shop is quite chaotic, to say the least. Still, Jules manages to bake copious amounts of bread, goodies, and even an amazing one-of-a-kind designer wedding cake for her mother and ‘The Professor’s’ surprise wedding. The descriptions of her baking process are quite vivid and will have the reader drooling and wanting a special treat. Another central character in this new release is Lance, the artistic director for Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Even though Lance has been a fixture in previous books, he’s always been an enigma. I enjoyed reading as Jules is finally allowed to see beyond his façade and it was sweet to watch their friendship grow as they worked together to solve the mystery.
While I love revisiting the cast of characters and catching up with them, the actual murder(s) took place much later than usual in a cozy. I felt that it slowed the pace of the plot down, despite Jules being frantically busy with the remodel and her mother’s wedding. However, once the murder happened, the pace picked up and kept me glued to the pages. Ms. Alexander provides some twists that kept Jules (and me) guessing and the surprising reveal was one I didn’t see coming. Fans will gobble up this newest installment along with the delectable recipes at the back of the book!
And speaking of gobbling up, I’m sharing Ellie’s recipe for Triple Berry Coffee Cake, which is one of the many recipes she includes at the back of the book. Yummy and moist from a generous amount of berries used in the cake, my granddaughter said it tasted like Christmas! And of course she went back for seconds… and probably thirds when I wasn’t looking!
Jules Capshaw has too much on her plate―and she’s feeling the pinch: the whole town of Ashland, Oregon, is in on the surprise Elizabethan-themed wedding she’s planning for her mom and soon-to-be stepdad. But is her secret scheme half-baked? She’s hiding racks overflowing with sweet treats while Torte is topsy-turvy with a major remodel and the return of Jules’s estranged husband, Carlos. And until now, Jules had no clue about the bitter family feud that has her friend Lance frazzled and suspicious. But when a party crasher takes someone out with a serving of poisoned wine and Jules discovers the deadly cup was intended for her, it’s time to turn the tables on a killer.
A special thanks to Ellie Alexander for providing a winner with a print copy of TILL DEATH DO US TART! Contest is limited to U.S. residents only and ends Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at 11:59 pm PST. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups triple berry mixture - any berries in season will work. Jules uses blackberries, marionberries, and blueberries.
- 1/4 cup cold butter
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add egg and buttermilk.
Slowly incorporate flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Once mixture is smooth, fold in berries, careful not to damage the berries.
Pour into a greased 8 x 8-inch pan.
In a separate bowl, fork together butter, oats, brown sugar, and spices.
Crumble over the top of the batter and bake for 30 - 45 minutes, depending on the juiciness of the berries. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs clinging to it is okay.
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I was provided an advance copy with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Never planned a wedding period.
Yes, my daughters’ weddings.
YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM!!!!! Now THIS I could bake! without it coming out a disaster, LOL. Love your blog. Love the cover of Ellie’s cozy, love her series.
No, but I would love to!
This recipe looks so yummy. Would love to win this book.
No, I have not. A lot of love and labor goes into that task though, that is for sure!
I’m actually helping plan one now for a dear friend who will be getting married in December. I’m super excited for her and to just be part of the process. It’s the the firsr time I’ve helped with something like this.
It was a special treat for me to be asked to help our daughter plan her wedding almost 19 years ago. I arranged a harpist to play on an outside patio of the venue of the reception during cocktail hours and dinner. I planned special flowers of my daughters favorites to decorate the gazebo on the lawn near the lake of the grounds of the inn at which we had the reception and where many photos were taken. We arranged a characturist to sketch fun images of everyone at the reception during the entire reception as one of the guests souvenirs of the day. And many other special wonderful things that made our daughter’s wedding day memorable. It was such a joy!
Congratulations on the book release Ellie!!! Live your books.
I’ve not help plan a wedding for any other than my own. However, I have helped with things from baking to helping the bride get ready.
This recipe sounds delicious and so this latest book!!!
Currently helping my to-be sister-in-law plan hers for this coming September. None before now. It’s awesome being on the other side of it and being able to stay calm and not be stressed. LOL! That’s kind of evil but I know it will all work out great.
Just my own!
Yes, I actually “stage manged” a wedding for friends of mine. I love this series! So happy there is a new one coming out!
I helped plan my girlfriend’s wedding.
I have never helped plan a wedding. I even did very little of my own! I knew what I liked, but was teaching at the time so did not have time to get off and actually go see vendors. My mother and husband did that!
No, I’ve never helped plan a wedding. Mine was enough.
Oh, this looks like a lovely recipe to whip up for the berry season. Can’t wait to give it a try!
I have never had a hand in planning anyone’s wedding except my own.
No I have never planned someone else’s wedding
Yes. Two years ago on July 1, my daughter got married. She wanted us to be involved, so we were!
This looks so good! Love this series and cannot wait for the next installment! Thanks for a chance to win!
Helped with my son’s wedding. Fortunately, the bride’s family handled most of it. We signed checks whenever needed.
never really planned a weapon but have helped different ones
I cannot believe i typed weapon instead of wedding…..must have been my subconscious lol
Never helped plan someone else’s. Did help a friend cater a wedding.
That coffee cake looks good! Since I was married by a Justice of the Peace, in his home, where he forgot to turn the TV off with Gunsmoke playing, I guess I didn’t even plan my own wedding :-). 50 years so still all good.
I never helped plan a wedding. But thank you for a chance to win a print copy Till Death Do Us Tart.
yes my daughter’s and now my son’s
My daughters wedding
My daughters wedding I helped
Yes my daughters and my own. That’s it!
I make a similar dessert with just berries and a crumble topping . LOTS of whipped cream!
I have not planned a wedding besides my own. I was helping my sister with her wedding but she ended up calling the wedding off before we got to deep into the planning.
Love this series – thanks foe the chance to win!
No I never did
I have never had the chance to plan a wedding 🙁
I’ve helped with weddings, but have not the actual planner. I don’t think I could handle the stress. Lol
No, I have not planned one. Not even my own. It was a ‘lets get married now’ type of wedding.
I have helped a little, mostly the rehearsal dinner. My favourite parts of a wedding are the flowers and cake.
“Have you ever helped plan a wedding, aside from your own?” I have never planned any wedding.
I’ve never planned a wedding not even mine! We just made an appointment at the courthouse and showed up on time with just close family.
This cake looks delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
Oh yes! I was a wedding planner for 14 years.
Yes, I helped plan and direct my niece’s wedding.
Last year, helped in planning our son’s wedding….Not really much for a “mother of the groom” to do..but our son asked for advice on things..and I was given the job of iced tea and lemonade! He LOVES my iced tea and lemonade…Never had to make so many gallons of each before…was an interesting trick! He used my recipe for carrot cake, as his cake topper…..they did cupcakes for the “cake” , easier for folks to eat and pick their own choice..he had 3 flavors…
I have helped plan several weddings. I really enjoy it.
The cake looks amazing! I have helped friend’s and family members with weddings. 🙂
I was young and stupid when I got married so my mother in law took complete charge so I didn’t plan mine but I have helped others plan their weddings.
I’ve been a bridesmaid, but never helped plan someone else’s wedding – just my own.
Just my own.
I did help with our daughters’ weddings though they had their own ideas of what they wanted for ceremony, venue, food, etc. More than anything I was (and my husband) the “check writers”. But we did make suggestions and help with decorations etc.
Yes…our younger daughter’s, 21 years ago. She and her husband planned most everything…I did the reception with the help of friends…lots of food……
And thanks for the recipe…my problem is I want to bake/cook them all…and I can’t eat much of it….Summer comes, my friends go on diets…and wham…I have no one to share things with! Maybe I should just have a bake sale every week!
I’ve made suggestions/given ideas to friends & family members, however I’ve never planned anyone else’s wedding.
I helped plan my youngest brother’s wedding.
I haven’t ever planned a wedding besides my own, but I did help my girlfriend with a lot of the things in hers.. my best advise to her was “dont scrimp on the cake.. always taste samples first.. my cake was the leaning tower of pisa and tasted like poo!!”
As a bridesmaid, I helped the bride pick out her dress, mail the invitations, put together the center pieces, and kept the best man sober until the reception.
No, I have 3 sisters but I didn’t help with their’s, and I only have 1 son, who lives too far away to be involved with his, if it ever happens
I’ve never planned a wedding.
This coffee cake looks divine!
Only planned my own wedding. Thanks for the chance. Maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com
I helped a bit with my son and DIL’s wedding.
It was fun helping to plan our daughter’s wedding which took place 4 months ago – although she had very
definite ideas about what she did and especially did not want.
I have never helped plan someone else’s wedding. Thanks for the chance.
No I have not ever helped someone plan a wedding. I didn’t even plan my own. Thank you for the chance to win this awesome book.
I have only planned my own wedding. Wouldn’t want to do it again! lol
I helped a little bit on our daughter’s wedding but his family did most of the planning.
Making this recipe for 4,th of July breakfast!!!!!!!
Yes, I helped my two daughters plan their wedding.
Yes, and she was a bridezilla!! Needless to say, we are no longer friends.. Thanks for the recipe and the chance to win!!
No I have not.
Didn’t even plan my own, and I’ve been married 3 times. lol
I have planned one wedding small and simple. It was my own.
Just my own, so no.