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Ratings and Reviews (4 5 star ratings
4 reviews
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4.6 out of 5
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    A solid cozy

    This is a good solid cozy series. I highly suggest you read them in order. The characters are first rate and the whodunit was well written. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
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    Times change and truths unfold

    Jules Capshaw, owner of Torte Baker, is worried about how the expansion of her beloved family baker will change the dynamics of the business and her team. But time waits for now man, or woman, and progress brings change…and murder in Jules case. While Jules’ newly married mother and step father search for a new home, they visit one near the lake that is perfect. While there, two young girls discover a skull in the water and a long ago murder cold case is reopened, bring the past into the present and highlighting the change the town had gone through to evolve into what it is today. Ultimately Jules knows she needs to make some decisions on her marriage to Carlos and that too will bring change. Is it too much change at once for Jules? What does she really want? She’ll continue to mull that over, but first she’s got to find out who killed the man whose body was found in the lake. Ellie Alexander is one of my go to authors. She never disappoints, and this book is n exception! Her characters are multidimensional and well defined. I find myself immersed in her writing ad time flies by. She gives you enough suspects and possibilities to keep you guessing who done it right up to the end. Can’t wait for my next visit to Ashland.
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    A lighthearted cozy mystery!

    Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander is the ninth A Bakeshop Mystery. Jules Capshaw is busy running Torte and supervising the renovations. With the shop expansion, it is time to hire some new employees. Jules’ mother, Helen and her new husband have been house hunting. Helen requests that Jules accompany her to look at a house on Emigrant Lake and they can then enjoy a picnic afterword. Unfortunately, the picnic takes a backseat when two teenage girls discover a skeleton while diving. George Mill went missing in the 1960s when the town of Klamath Junction was flooded for Emigrant Lake expansion, and now his body has finally been found. Edgar Hannagan is selling his lot, and he has numerous interested parties including the owner of the Nightingale B&B and the director of the homeless council. When Edgar is found murdered, Jules sets out to track down the killer. She must work in her sleuthing in between the grand re-opening of Torte, two bickering employees, the 58 year old crime and her indecision regarding Carlos. Jules dives into baking to avoid thinking about her marriage, and her delectable treats provide a handy excuse when visiting the people on her suspect list. Come along to Ashland, Oregon for Shakespeare, friendly faces, tasty desserts and a touch of murder. Live and Let Pie takes us back to Ashland, Oregon and Jules Capshaw. She cannot wait for the renovations on Torte to be finished. Jules is hiring three new employees who she hopes will fit in with the rest of her staff, but change can be difficult for people. I like Ellie Alexander’s conversational writing style. It makes for an easy, breezy book with steady pacing. Baking is prominently featured in the story. Creating and baking of pastry is described in detail (one example is a fluffernutter). I find that it interrupts the flow of the story with so many baking breaks. I wish the author would take the time to further develop the mystery instead. While Live and Let Pie is the ninth book in the series, it can be read alone. The author summarizes what has happened to Jules so far for new readers. Jules is still contemplating what to do about her marriage. This has been going on for nine books and it is time for a decision to be made. Personally, I am not a fan of the suave Carlos who is handsome and seems to charm everyone with his personality and cooking (too perfect). I kept hoping Jules would ditch the chef for Thomas. Jules also has a major decision to make regarding her living arrangements courtesy of a wonderful offer from the Professor and her mother (I do not know why she hesitated). I like the staff of Torte along with Helen, the Professor, Thomas and Lance. Lance provides many humorous moments in Live and Let Pie. One cannot help but laugh at Lance’s antics, and he does make the sleuthing more entertaining. I enjoyed the descriptions of the finished Torte (though, I would not like going up and down those stairs). The two mysteries are not at the forefront of the book. I do like how they tie together, but the solution was not surprising. I would have preferred full closure on the mysteries instead of supposition. I am giving Live and Let Pie 3.5 out of 5 stars. There are recipes at the end of the book for those who wish to recreate some of Torte’s creations.
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    The expanded Torte is open with an expanded staff!

    I love this series and Live and Let Pie fits right in with the wonderful characters and complex mystery that Elle Alexander’s novels are known for.The renovations are complete and Torte has an expanded family and oh, how I love that family. Because Ms. Alexander creates dynamic characters, there a few growing pains but overall Jules is thrilled with the expansion and the new larger team. She is still thrilled that her mother and the Professor are married and looking for a new home together so she couldn’t refuse a chance to go look at a house that sounds perfect. One surprising element of the book is that she does not find a dead body. That doesn’t mean that they are lacking though as an old skeleton starts looking like it may have a link to the victim of new murder. The question becomes whether or not the two murders are linked, too. Even with the bakery up and fully running Julie has some major decisions to make and of course, Lance eggs her into investigating the current murder. Life is busy and good for her but as much for others. I received an ARC copy of the book via Netgalley but as all of my friends know, I always share about books that I love.
5

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