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Muffin But the Truth

The 16th installment in Ellie Alexander's popular Bakeshop Mystery series, is a fun whodunit!

Juliet Capshaw runs Torte, a bakeshop in scenic Ashland, Oregon. She has a loving husband in Carlos, and in this installment, Carlos' son Ramiro has come to live with the couple for a year. Torte has been hired to cater a company retreat/campout near a local river. It is not the picturesque Fall camping scene it sounds like it will be, as the group's dysfunction, nastiness, arguing, and heavy drinking are fully displayed. When a group member is found face down in the water, Juliet gets to work finding out who did it and why?

This series is a long-running favorite and with good reason. Alexander is an excellent cozy mystery writer who has built a charming world with memorable characters and solid mysteries. Even though I have skipped around in the series, I always feel like I'm visiting with old friends when I pick up one of these books! And this one would convey that feeling to the reader even if they hadn't read any previous installments. The background, setting, characters, and relationships are all warmly and vividly depicted.

But, on every visit to this quaint town, there is a murder, and fortunately, Alexander keeps us on our toes, trying to solve them alongside Juliet. I love guessing wrong when reading a whodunit, and happily, there were enough red herrings that I pegged the wrong culprit this time! The camp locale was great fun, as were all the food references. Cozy mystery lovers and fans of this series will definitely want to add this to their tbr!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to review this gifted ARC. I enjoyed it!

Publication Date

Goodreads rating: 4.12

Swipe for synopsis

My steep was Macaron by Mariage Freres. A new fave of mine, black tea with notes of apple, strawberry, and caramel, is part of their gourmand line and billed as the liquid version of a fruit-filled macaron. At the time of this post, this tea was available online at


Ashland is known for its Elizabethan charm and touches of Shakespeare around every corner, but the surrounding Rogue Valley draws adventure enthusiasts to its outdoor wonderland of high alpine lakes, mountain ranges, and pristine rivers. Jules Capshaw and the team at Torte have been hired to cater a weekend getaway on the mighty Rogue River. Jules is going to have to put her culinary skills to the test while baking gooey chocolate chip skillet cookies over an open flame and preparing extravagant feasts under a canopy of stars. The executive team at a big city firm will be rafting the Rogue's rapids and gathering around the campfire for spooky stories, but their dysfunction quickly begins to show. Between constant bickering and heavy drinking, Jules wonders how the team can accomplish anything. She's happy for a brief reprieve when they zip up their lifejackets and head out in their boats, but the serenity of the scene quickly vanishes when Jules discovers one of the execs floating face down in the water. She's going to have to uncover the truth before she gets pulled under.

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