This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using my links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Brooke Blogs!A Crime of Passion Fruit by Ellie Alexander
Series: A Bakeshop Mystery #6
Published by St. Martin's Press on June 27, 2017
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Buy on Amazon • Buy on Barnes & Noble
Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .
Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary . .
Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?
Thanks so much for having me on today to talk about the 6th book in the Bakeshop Mysteries, A Crime of Passion Fruit. A few years ago, I was chatting with my editor about the series and said in passing something like, “At some point I want to send Jules back to the sea in a book to close out her past and because think of all the delicious tropical recipes I would have sample for research.” She replied, “Yes! And if you do, you can call it A Crime of Passion Fruit.” Hence a book idea was born.
Not only did I love the title she came up with, but I also loved the idea of sending my very passionate pastry chef, Juliet Montague Capshaw, preferably known as Jules, on a culinary adventure in the Caribbean. There’s something so romantic about the thought of lounging on the pool deck with a fruity drink or taking a starlit stroll on a white sandy beach. Juliet is a romantic at heart, although as of late her heart has been broken. Returning to the Amour of the Seas, a boutique cruise ship that caters to food lovers will hopefully give her a chance to say goodbye to her past.
Ever since returning home to Ashland, Oregon in the first book in the series Meet Your Baker, Jules has been dancing between two worlds. She’s longed for the vagabond lifestyle she left. The late nights, the comradery of working with chefs from all over the globe, traveling to a different port of call each week, and sampling exotic tastes and flavors. Yet at the same time she’s found her roots in Ashland. She’s fallen in love again with her charming hometown complete with its quaint plaza, quirky community, and touches of Shakespeare. Ashland is best known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the fact that the entire town has embraced an old English vibe. Jules enjoys being in the center of the action in her family bakeshop, Torte.
She’s known for a while that it’s time to formally let go of the life she left behind, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. When she left the ship she also left her husband, Carlos. They’ve been in uncharted waters ever since. Jules holds a deep connection to Carlos and yet she can’t picture him fitting into the new life that she’s begun to carve out for herself.
This book is her journey to figure out what it means to come home again and how and if she can say goodbye. I found myself tearing up a couple of times while writing it. I know that these stories are meant to be light mysteries and an escape for readers, but I like to weave in deeper themes. The idea of finding home resonates with me, and I can relate to Jules’s hesitation to fully commit to the two places and people she considers home. I hope that readers will have the same experience, and get swept away in a tropical mystery with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing!