A Crime of Passion Fruit by Ellie Alexander

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?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

aJules has an offer she would like to refuse, going back to work on the cruise ship Amour of the Seas for a week to help out her husband Crlos, but then he sweetens the pot by offering to let her mom, Helen, and her beau the Professor come along. There is a lot happening at Torte but the staff says they can take care of everything and encourages them all to go and enjoy their time a sea.

Excited for the trip they board the ship for a relaxing week but just like at home a dead body mucks up their plans. The Captain quickly pulls the Professor into the investigation and Jules starts to do some snooping too. She is also questioning her relationship with Carlos. She is so happy working at Torte with her mom, but should she stand by her man and return to baking on the ship? With a killer on board, she needs to keep her wits about her and try to keep those she loves and the passengers safe. She can worry about her love life later.


With every book in this series, I love the characters more. I was afraid with Helen and Jules away from the bakery the Oregon characters wouldn’t have much presence in this story, but the ship has computers and there is email. With Lance, Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, “in charge” of Torte there is never a dull moment. ?

Ms. Alexander as written a great whodunit. The victim is an apparent stowaway that no one knows. Who would want her dead? They have the added drama of catching the killer before they get to the next port where the killer could get off and be lost forever. Taking place on the ship does mean a limited number of suspects too. I set my sights on the killer early on but that sure didn’t take away my enjoyment of this story. I was totally caught up all the things happening within these pages.

I loved that the story was set on a cruise ship. Going on a cruise has been on my bucket list forever. The author describes the scenes and people vividly. I tuned in to my days of watching Loveboat and let the author just take me away.

As the story ends Jules’s relationship with Carlos is still up in the air and I am still on the fence about who I want for her love interest. While the murder is solved there is so much going on in Jules life and Helen’s too. I am so excited about this series. Another One Bites The Crust is next up. Watch for my review of that one soon.

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About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.





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