Yes, that is meant as in "meet your maker" and the series does have a suitable dramatic flair to it,along with a nice note of whimsy as well. The culinary heroine of our story is Juliet Montague Capshaw,known as Jules, who returns to her home town of Ashland, which is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
The whole town is centered around the live productions that keep the tourists coming,with businesses having names like A Rose By Any Other Name,Puck's Pub and The Merry Widow. While Jules is happy to help her widowed mother out at their family owned bakery called Torte, she can't help noticing the tension caused by a new arrival in Ashland.
Nancy Hudson has paid her way to a prominent place on the OSF board and quick to make plenty of enemies with her obnoxious attitude and less than subtle insults. On first encountering Nancy, Jules is happy not to have to host the Midnight Club gathering at Torte later that evening as no doubt the feuds going on between theatrical director Lance and established diva Caroline with Nancy will continue there:
Even with knowing one of the officers on the case,who happens to be her high school sweetheart Timothy, Jules is uneasy about who might be unjustly accused of the crime and winds up getting involved in the investigation.
The suspect list is rather long but Jules does learn a few things that can aid Timothy, who is hoping for a promotion as well as impressing the lead detective known as the Professor,due to his love of quoting Shakespeare on a regular basis:
Ellie Alexander does capture the tone of small town life nicely without getting too cutesy and gives her leading lady a good amount of character development that feels just right. Juliet is a baker in her own right and her return home is also a separation from her chef husband Carlos, who was keeping a major secret from her that will surely break up their marriage.
Jules is also dealing with her mother's business troubles(she's in debt and could lose the bake shop to a local creep) on top of that as well as the murder yet her best stress relief is cooking. I love that amid all of the swirling chaos around, she takes the time to show one of Torte's employees the fine art of appreciating figs and making a sweetly savory dish out of them. It's true culinary comfort which makes the overall story so inviting and delicious:
I also want to find out if Jules really does leave Carlos and hooks up with Timothy, not to mention her mom has a budding romance with the Professor as well! Love, cake and murder, not a bad combo here,story wise.
At the moment, my next Series-ous Reading selection is Joanne Fluke's Blueberry Muffin Murder, which is set in the dead of winter and such a relief from the late summer weather in my neck of the woods. However, I do want to head back to Ashland soon because it very hard to resist the Bard: