by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to order it from Amazon.
The residents of the Shakespeare-themed town of Ashland, Oregon, are accustomed to annually celebrating their Shakespeare Festival and routinely performing the Bard’s many plays. As winter sets in, bakery, winery, and now creamery owner Juliet Montague Capshaw is even more thrilled when one of her Torte bakeshop staff connects them with Javier de la Garza, the director of the Southern Oregon Museum of Art. Together they are able to bring to SOMA the Shakespeare’s Lost Pages exhibit, which includes not only his rare books and artifacts but also the highly coveted and newly discovered Double Falsehood manuscript. Torte has been hired to cater the opening night gala along with many smaller parties, which means that she, her team, and her no-longer-estranged husband Carlos will be busy in the kitchen designing epicurean delights. None can top their entirely edible, fully-functional chocolate Shakespearean desk, although SOMA patron and funder Ernest Boyd seems intent on criticizing everything. While he complains that an entire manuscript isn’t included and written entirely in chocolate, the real disaster occurs when the Lost Manuscript goes missing and is replaced with a fake.
Having more than once put herself in danger while investigating a crime, everyone, including Juliet herself, would prefer that she remain in Torte while the police handle the matter. Since her stepfather, “the Professor,” also happens to be the lead investigator that shouldn’t be a problem, except that the detectives seem to be focusing on Javier as the culprit. An assault and murder accompanying the crime only heightens the need to close the case quickly before the suspects leave town and a priceless piece of art is lost to the highest bidder.
This fourteenth in the series charms in being a hang-out mystery, one where the real draw is being able to spend time with so many of these beloved characters. Carlos has unexpectedly found his true happy place in Ashland, choosing to give up their life as cruise line chefs and instead focus on training a new generation of elite chefs within Torte. Their staff is a second family for Julie, adding to and not replacing her always supportive and loving mother and the Shakespeare-quoting Professor. With the creamery Scoops taking a break for the season, Torte becomes the place of comfort both for the staff who are able to create their works of art, and for the customers who then share those offerings of love. These exquisite many-course meals would challenge most home chefs, so descriptions rather than recipes are included for the vicarious foodie. These are more than satisfying for fans of this welcoming, warm mystery series that leaves readers satisfied with the future of Juliet and her friends but always looking for more of their adventures.
To enter to win a copy of Bake, Borrow, and Steal, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “borrow,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 22, 2022. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
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