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Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for...It's autumn in Ashland, Oregon-'tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte's famous peach cobbler. It's also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family's beloved bake shop by competing in TheWelcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for...It's autumn in Ashland, Oregon-'tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte's famous peach cobbler. It's also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family's beloved bake shop by competing in The Pastry Channel's reality show, Take the Cake. The prize is $25,000. But as Jules quickly learns, some people would kill for that kind of dough. Literally.Then, just as Jules dusts off her Bavarian Chocolate Cake recipe and cinches up her apron, the corpse of a fellow contestant is discovered-death by buttercream. What began as a fun, tasteful televised adventure has morphed into something of a true-crime detective show for Jules and everybody else on set. Who could have killed Chef Marco, and why? Can Jules sift out the killer before someone else gets burned?...

Title : A Batter of Life and Death
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781250054241
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Batter of Life and Death Reviews

  • Diane ~Firefly~
    2019-02-06 22:01

    Good story. I am liking this series. Jules is interesting and once the love triangle gets dropped I'll be much happier, as will she. Her investigations are subtle and the townspeople interesting. This time there is a TV cooking competition in town and it seems all the chefs have secrets.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-02-04 16:58

    A fun cozy mystery tailor-made for people like me who are as addicted to baking shows as they are to eating baked treats. The mystery was pretty good too.Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine for the July 2015 issue. http://affairedecoeur.com.

  • Carla Johnson-Hicks
    2019-02-05 22:03

    This is the second book in the "Bakeshop Mysteries". Juliet (Jules) Montague Capshaw is settling back into life in her hometown of Ashland, Oregon after leaving her husband Carlos for a year break. The summer tourist season is coming to an end and Jules is trying to find ways to bring money into the family bakery, Torte, during the off season. She has found an exciting opportunity of letting a bake show "Take The Cake" use the bakery kitchen while they are in town filming. Jules was in for a surprise when she found out that one of the contestants had backed out and that she would be persuaded to be a contestant herself. Of course, the $25,000.oo prize was a great incentive as well as the opportunity to showcase her hometown on television. The unexpected happens when on the first day of filming, Jules finds another contestant dead on the set face down in butter cream frosting. Thomas, the local police detective (and Jules' ex-boyfriend) along with "the Professor" the police chief both warn Juliet to stay away from any involvement in investigating what happened to the chef. Even though she found him, Jules does not want to get involved, especially when she remembers what happened last time she did. Unfortunately, it just seems as though circumstances keep putting her in the center of the mystery. As Jules tries to get her baking done for both the show and the bakery in the cramped kitchen, deals with her emotions involving both Carlos and Thomas and tries to keep her staff from hating one another, the mystery unfolds around her and once again, she finds herself in danger.The characters in this series are wonderful. They are extremely realistic, warm and caring to one another. They are not obnoxious, except perhaps Richard Lord, and have their ups and downs that they need to deal with. Jules, the main character, is strong and independent without being annoying. Some cozies have the main character in your face, actively seeking out the culprit and doing things they should not be doing. Jules is kind, helpful and just seems to be in the right place at the right time. People confide in her because of her caring nature.I am very much enjoying this series. The recipes at the back are an added treat. They are not too complicated and seem like they would be very good to try. I recommend this book anyone who enjoys a well-written cozy mystery with lots of food.

  • Jonathan
    2019-02-13 20:17

    A second in a series I can see that I'm going to love; A Batter of Life and Death was a wonderful book that I enjoyed.The characters are wonderful; they're three-dimensional, not obnoxious, and realistic, which are all things that I look for in characters. The MC, Jules is strong and independent without being annoying. There's kind of a love triangle going on, but it works because one corner of the triangle is literally hundreds of miles away. However, I still with Jules would sever ties with him, instead of dragging it out.The mystery was wonderful. Jules investigated without the "in your face" attitude many MCs have and the mystery wrapped up nicely. There were sufficient clues to point you to the killer, but even with them I didn't guess the real killer.Overall a wonderful book. I'll be continuing this series!

  • Amanda McGill
    2019-02-10 14:55

    A cute cozy mystery. Jules is still helping out her mother in their bakery, Torte. A reality series bake off is being filmed in their tiny town and Jules ends up being selected as a part of the show! Things on the show start off rocky when one of the mean spirited, drunk contestants is found murdered. Is another contestant to blame?I like Jules and her relationship with her mother and her ex-boyfriend, detective Thomas. The mystery was good and there were lots of secrets that the cast and crew were hiding. Many questions from the first book still weren't answered, so I'm hoping they will come soon!

  • Heidi
    2019-01-26 21:13

    Four stars: A delightfully sweet and cozy mystery. Jules is adjusting to life in her hometown, Ashland, Oregon, after years of living on a cruise ship. After an unexpected end to her marriage, Jules has settled into working at her family bakery. She is content with baking and finding a way to heal, but there are bills to pay. When an opportunity to appear on a baking show is presented to Jules, she can't resist as Torte could use the money to update their ovens, plus it would be an added boost to sales during the winter months. What Jules doesn't expect is for one of the contests to be murdered during the first days of shooting. Jules once again finds herself in the middle of another murder investigation. Who would to murder Chef Marco?What I Liked:*There is something so relaxing about reading a good cozy mystery, especially one set in the cozy confines of a bakery, and a small town. I adore the town of Ashland, Oregon, and I love reading about all the sweet treats that are served in the Torte bakery. If you enjoy a cozy mystery packed full of decadent food descriptions, this is a read for you. I found it to be a pleasant read, perfect for when you need something light and cozy.*This book is packed full of all things sweet. I love reading about all the treats that Jules and the gang bake up in Torte. There are cookies, cakes, breads, pies and puddings and even some savory dishes as well. Best of all, many of the treats featured in the book have recipes at the end. I can't wait to try the Amaretto Dream Cookies as well as the Banana Pudding and Pumpkin Latte. If you are a reader who likes recipes and reading about food, this is a wonderful read. *For all of you who like vegan food, there is even a nod to all things vegan with a vegan baker. The book also includes a recipe for vegan butter. *Normally in a cozy mystery, the murder mystery is the driving plot of the book, but that wasn't the case with this book. Yes, there is a murder investigation, but I found it to be the story line that I was interested in the least. I was more engaged in the every day ongoings of the bakery. I also liked the baking competition as well as meeting the contestants. There are some interesting story lines that I thought were more engaging than the murder, and I was pleased by all the additional engaging story lines. *The murder mystery is one of the main plots, and there were plenty of suspects and lots of strange behavior that had me guessing as to who the culprit was. I liked that there were several red herrings before the killer was unmasked.*Cozy mysteries are also known for romances and lots of times the romance is thick with tension and trouble and there tends to be love triangles. Surprisingly, this series is still without a romance. Jules is currently separated from her husband, and she hasn't resolved her feelings one way or another regarding him. Meanwhile, being back in Ashland, there are still some sparks between Jules and her one time boyfriend, but at this point, there is nothing but hints as far as a romance. I am perfectly happy without a romance, and when one does solidify, I hope that it is without drama and that this series remains love triangle free. One can hope. *I like the strong cast of characters in this series. They are realistic and flawed. Especially this time out with the added contestants from the bake show. It took awhile to warm up to them, but I did in the end. All of the characters have their secrets and troubles, and I like that I am always guessing when it comes to the characters. The characters who work at Torte are pleasant, and I like the way they all look out for one another. I am also loving the mother daughter relationship in this series. The characters along with the bakery make this series shine. *I was actually surprised at the turn of events in this one, I won't go into too many details here to avoid spoilers, but I was a little shocked with the way the game show and everything turned out in a good way. That leaves a lot of possibilities still for the gang at Torte. I am interested to see where things are headed from here.This is the type of read that I crave. It is relaxing cozy, and there is something so deliciously wonderful when reading on all things food. I love all the detail and description when it comes to the food and the bakery and even the town. Ms. Alexander makes the town of Ashland and the Torte bakery leap off the pages. I can practically smell the treats. This is a book you can grab when you need something soothing to read after a long day. *I appreciate that all the major story lines are wrapped up at the end of the book. Yes, there are ongoing threads regarding Jules and her future and the bakery, but as far as the story lines involving the murder and the bake show, they are all resolved at the end. No nagging story threads or cliffhanger. And The Not So Much:*I felt that the murder mystery in this installment was weak. I actually found that I wasn't invested in the whole murder mystery, which isn't an issue as I was engaged with the bakery and the contestant on the bake show. The killer is unmasked in a typical scene with the heroine in a battle of wits, fighting for her life as the villain does the whole this is why I did it and how I am going to get away with it speech. You know how it goes. *Once the motives for the killing were revealed, I thought they were a bit ridiculous and not very realistic. Just a personal opinion, but then again, this is a cozy, so you can expect a not so plausible murder mystery. *I was left wondering what the deal was between Stephanie and Sterling. Not a big part of the story, but it is brought up over and over, and I was never clear as to why they were bickering. Batter of Life and Death is the second book in the Bakeshop Mysteries. I am already a fan of this delightfully, delicious little series set in a cozy, small town in Southern Oregon. If you like a pleasant cozy mystery with lots of decadent food and some top notch recipes, this is definitely a series to try. It is terrific for when you need a palate cleanser, or something light and easy. This has fast become one of my favorite cozy series. A must for any hard core cozy mystery connoisseur. I am eagerly awaiting book three. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.Posted@Rainy Day Ramblings.

  • Jenna
    2019-01-22 17:07

    Once again, Ellie Alexander has baked up an irresistible treat of a story. Juliet (Jules) Capshaw is just settling back into life in her hometown of Ashland, Oregon. The summer tourist season has come to an end and Jules has enrolled her family bakery, Torte, in an exciting opportunity: a reality baking show filming right in town. Jules has volunteered space at Torte for one of the five competing bakers; what she didn't expect, was that she would be approached to be one of those contestants herself--or that one would turn up dead before filming even begins.Police detective (and Jules' ex-boyfriend) Thomas warns Juliet away from any involvement in figuring out what happened to the chef. Even though she found him, Jules has absolutely no desire to be involved in any way, shape, or form. But it just seems as though circumstances keep putting her in the center of the mystery. As Jules tries to navigate the world of working with Hollywood producers and television personalities, she is also trying to figure out her feelings for her estranged husband and her ex-flame, Thomas. A Batter of Life and Death is a delicious treat of a read; a well-balanced mix of mystery and warmth, sprinkled with flavors of romance, humor, and family, all topped off with a hearty serving of mouth-watering recipes. Best to be enjoyed with your favorite cup of coffee and a tasty treat - trust me, it'll help to have something to snack on as you read about all the great-sounding treats Jules bakes up!

  • Selah Pike
    2019-02-07 15:18

    Again, an eminently readable story that combines some of my favorite things: fun characters, a cute small town, Shakespearean references, a *baking competition*And again, the killer is revealed almost by magic! Cringe.

  • Judy
    2019-01-21 22:12

    I like Jules Capshaw. She's different from my other baking main characters.. I like her relationship with her mom and her over all demeanor. So far she's just at the wrong place at the right time but her approach to solving the mystery is apt and natural and not irritating. My only concern if any, is Jules may end up hurting every bone in her body with every ending...which might make this series a short one. Easy breezy reading, no cats and a very off tanget love triangle.. On to book 3!

  • Sapphyria
    2019-02-10 16:21

    The reality show circuit has come to Ashland, Oregon in the form of Take the Cake. The Pastry Channel has pulled together 5 pastry chefs from around the country in a competition to wow audiences and judges. The winner will receive $25,000.00 and it seems that no one is above murder in order to win that amount of money. When Jules finds one of the chefs, an obnoxious man named Chef Marco, dead in the stage area of the show, she can't believe it's happening again. Finding a dead body in Book 1, Meet Your Baker, was bad enough but find another one has her freaked out.Who would be bold enough to murder a famous chef during the filming of Take the Cake? Jules is determined to figure it out before anyone else is harmed. A Batter of Life and Death is a wonderful second book in the Bakeshop Mystery series by Ellie Alexander. The author wove many other stories into the book; the situation with Jules and her ex, running the pastry shop with her mom, and dealing with the reality show being in town. Each thread makes sense as you move along in the book, some intersecting with the murder and others just additional everyday life. The book was descriptive and was able to immerse myself into the town of Ashland and the lives of its residents.The author did a great job building the world surrounding Jules. The characters are developed, interesting, and written realistically. The story is fast paced and I was engaged from the start. The author continues to build up an emotional connection with Jules and her a cast of characters are realistic and believable - so real that I felt like I was part of the book.I enjoyed trying to unravel the murder mystery. Ellie Alexander did a great job keeping everything under wraps and revealing things methodically and at the right time. The possibilities of who committed the murder seemed endless until the final reveal, causing every hint to fall perfectly into place.Paperback review copy courtesy of author at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

  • Tina at A COZY GIRL READS AND WRITES Blog
    2019-01-24 22:08

    A Perfect mixture of delicious treats and baker extrodinaire, Jules searching for a killer Imagine , delicious cakes, pies, cookies and tortes. Then imagine a cold blooded murder. A Batter of Life and death was a perfect mixture of delicious treats and baker extrodinaire, Jules searching for a killer. If I could give this culinary delight of a mystery more than five stars I would. Juliet Capshaw is grudgingly competing in Take the Cake, a televised pastry competition from the Pastry Channel. Winning the grand prize of $25,000 could do to upgrade some of the kitchen equipment in her bakery, Torte that she runs along with her mother, Helen. Jules finds fellow baker and competitor, Chef Marco dead and berried in his own buttercream. Jules is soon discouraged that another murder has fallen on her beloved town of Ashland and another murderer is lurking her sleepy little town but that doesn't stop her from wanting to become involved in the investigation along with detective, Thomas who happens to be her high school sweetheart whom she has conflicting feelings for. As Jules is sharing Torte's kitchen with her fellow competitors baking their delicious treats for the competition, she discovers that more than one of them is carrying secrets even some of the players on the set and Jules wonders if these secrets in fact have anything to do with the murder. It seems Take the Cake is not what it's cracked up to be and Jules must put all her eggs in one basket before she gets beat by a killer. I love when a cozy mystery series theme is the main center of the plot, like Jule's life inside the bakery is what this reader can't get enough of and A Batter of Life and death is perfect for any baker, anyone with a sweet tooth and mystery lover. This has become one of my favorite series. I have made it a point to read every single book in order. This series and the characters I hope with touch your heart like they have touched mine and have you thinking long about them after the book is over.

  • Lisa Ks Book Review
    2019-02-16 22:02

    5 eggs, 5 cups of sugar, 5 cups of flour, but 10 stars for A BATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH.I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. It was one I was most looking forward to this year. It was worth the wait! I loved every minute of it! I gushed, and raved about the first book in this series, MEET YOUR BAKER, so I won’t get all gushy this time…but I will rave! A BATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH is one of my top three favorite book of 2015!There is not one thing I don’t like about author Ellie Alexander’s writing. Her words transport me into her story. I can hear every sound, and smell every smell. I honestly feel as though I have walked the streets of Ashland, Oregan. Just like I have sat at a table in Torte and shared pastry and coffee with Jules and her mother. I ached to get into the kitchen with them and help them bake their amazing confections! Okay, I started gushing, didn’t I? ;-) A BATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH focused on a reality cooking show. My sister and I watch them all, so it was fun to feel part of one and see how they may run behind the scenes. But you know, without murder on the set. But murder this book did have. For lead character Jules, finding a dead body may not have been fun, but the way the body was found was delightfully sweet for mystery fans such as myself.A truly wonderful whodunit, the one thing this story had more of than delicious food…suspects. Seriously, I simply couldn’t even narrow it down, but author Alexander leads us through the investigation like the pro she is and total caught me off guard with the killer. Make sure to check out the Bakeshop Mystery series! You’re going to love it! Wonderful recipes and an excerpt from book three, ON THIN ICING, can be found at the back of the book!

  • Once Upon a Romance Reviews
    2019-02-09 18:07

    Sexual Content: NoneLanguage (Profanity/Slang) Content: NoneViolent Content: MinimalWho doesn't love a baking competition? Jules found herself as a contestant due to the unfortunate murder of a diva chef. She would have been happy simply contracting space out her kitchen to a contestant, but what fun would that have been for the reader? This made it a whole lot easier for her to >not get involved in the investigation. Even though we know what happened to Jules the last time she tracked down a murder, we as readers want to tag along and be a part of the sleuthing, hoping for the best.I really enjoy the setting of Ashland and Torte itself, as well as the characters of Torte and the town. The thoughts I mulled over while reading are 1) Is there enough chemistry between Jules and Thomas to sustain a relationship? I'll wait and see. 2) I'd like to see the on-hold situation with her estranged husband, Carlos, be resolved. Even with all of the drama of the competition and chaos in the kitchen, and of course the murder to be solved, it is prevalent in the story. A bit distracting moving nothing forward. Of course there are those who would say it's only the 2nd book in the series. To that I'd say, the setting and supporting characters are well established and able to carry the series forward behind Jules. All my own opinion, of course.Having said that, you might think I'm not overly fond of this series. On the contrary, I thoroughly enjoyed the creative plots of Meet Your Baker and A Batter of Life and Death. Ellie Alexander has a (hopefully) long running series at her fingertips.-- CONNIE

  • Deb
    2019-02-17 14:06

    Book 2 in the Bakeshop Mystery series takes place a couple of months after 'Meet Your Baker' during the fall in Ashland, Oregon. Jules is working with her mother to get Torte (the family bakery) into the black and to update & upgrade the equipment. A popular television baking competition 'Take the Cake' is in town to film and Jules has been signed on as a replacement baker when a contestant has to leave before the competition begins and Torte is being used as one of the baking/staging areas for contestants, while the competition is being shot at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival theater. When another contestant, a famous but drunkard chef, winds up dead, face-down in buttercream frosting Jules is back in the thick of another mystery. I liked this second book, getting to know the characters--Jules, her mom & staff at Torte and the other supporting characters like Thomas (her high school sweetheart) the police deputy who doesn't want Jules involved in solving another potentially dangerous mystery. The food descriptions and recipes included are tempting and the capturing of small town life is fun.Note: I received free e-copies of the first four books to read before reviewing the fifth book (Fudge & Jury) in January. I am not being compensated for my reviews and my thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Doward Wilson
    2019-01-29 22:10

    Baked goods, Shakespeare, a cooking channel contest and murder keep Jules Capshaw and the town of Ashland, Oregon busy. Jules and her mother own Torte, the local bakery. When the Pastry Channel decides to film a reality show, Take the Cake, Jule enters to raise money for improvements to the bakery. When the body of a competing chef is found head first in a mixing bowl of buttercream icing, Jules is sucked into the investigation revolving around her fellow contestants. Yummy baked goods, deceit, falsehoods, secret relationships, Shakespeare, alcohol and murder all rolled out for pure entertainment. This series involves well developed characters, a fascinating background and devious murder plots that will keep you guessing. This should entertain cozy and mystery fans alike and there are great recipes included. This is the second book and I can't wait for Book#3.

  • Melina
    2019-01-28 20:05

    This was another great installment of the Bakeshop Mysteries by Ellie Alexander. The writing was superb in this book and the plot line was great. This story flowed really well and kept my attention throughout. I like how Ellie elaborated on all of the baking and cooking at Torte, it made the book seem all the more real. I really like the characters in this story, they are well developed and have realistic relationships with each other. I can't wait to find out what messes Jules will herself into in the next installment of this series.I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

  • Melodie
    2019-01-29 22:01

    Only the 2nd book in the series and I'm already hooked! Love the location, love the bakery and all the characters! In this one a cooking show has come to town for a baker's competition. In quick order one of the participants ends up dead, and the race is on to find the killer. Be forewarned, you will be craving baked goods..........ANY baked goods when you read these! RECOMMEND!

  • Kristie
    2019-02-16 18:10

    This is quickly becoming one of my favorite series! I love Jules and look forward to see where she goes from here. I am hoping she chooses to stay in Ashland, I think coming home has been good for her and her mom. The bake shop is really picking up and it's nice to see Jules and her mom bringing the younger crowd into the fold, especially Stephanie, and seeing them blossom too.

  • Karen
    2019-01-26 22:06

    This second book in the series has cemented this series as one of my favourites.I have fallen in love with the characters and the bakeshop Torte.The plot was well written and had a quick pace. The whodunit kept me guessing and I did not solve it.I cannot wait to read more in the series!

  • Shannon
    2019-01-29 15:05

    Really just a 3 star but I was really in the mood for a cozy mystery so I enjoyed more than usual!

  • Jeanie Jackson
    2019-01-20 15:08

    I have loved every book in this series. The plot of the mystery is always excellent but it is the warmth and caring of the characters that takes it over the tops.

  • Susan
    2019-01-30 20:58

    Rather abrupt ending.

  • BeaCharmed
    2019-02-02 13:53

    3.5 stars

  • Bibliophilebakes
    2019-01-29 20:22

    A fun fluffy read! It was perfect for a light mystery with a charming small town vibe. I read the first book and found myself coming back for seconds. I really love the characters and thought this one was even better than the first! It felt a bit less rushed in terms of character development although the big reveal of the murderer did feel rather too sudden for my taste. But overall an enjoyable contemporary mystery- I already want to read the next to learn more about Jules and her love life and recipes (while solving another crime of course)

  • Megan
    2019-01-23 21:04

    These books are perfect little cozy mysteries. Nothing too gruesome, lots of character interaction, quaint setting. Having a baking show as part of the plot made the baking/cooking discussions blend in a bit more naturally for me. Jules starts off a little cool in the series, but she's growing on me. I liked having another character throwing a wrench in things with Thomas and forcing Jules to think a little deeper about things.

  • Debbi
    2019-01-28 19:03

    This is a delightful series! It is surprisingly well written and very atmospheric. The characters are interesting and Ashland Oregon is a great setting. I am looking forward to reading the third instalment. It's a fast read and light without being silly. I don't typically think of myself as a binge reader...this series may change my mind.

  • Elaine Roberson
    2019-02-04 14:17

    Another winner from Ellie Alexander. I love the setting. The characters are interesting and enjoyable and the recipes sound delicious. The mystery was entertaining and kept me involved until the very end. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

  • Amanda
    2019-02-18 21:01

    The fun thing about this book is that I live in Southern Oregon. I have been to the Shakespeare Festival and walked along the paths of Lithia Park and the Plaza. They mystery was good too. One thing I didn't like is that she took 20 pages after the reveal of the killer to wrap up loose ends.

  • Deborah Almada
    2019-02-18 15:14

    Really enjoyed the book like the characters, the bake shop, the book would have been a 5 but mystery a little weak, and not a satisfying ending, need to resolve the situation with the husband left behind or this will get old!!!!

  • Isis
    2019-01-21 17:16

    I LOVED this book! I'd better dash out and get the next book in the series. Jules is such a wonderful heroine, and her love of cooking and baking resonates, as well as her insatiable curiosity. And her friends and family are great too.