Friday, July 30, 2021

Mocha, She Wrote (A Bakeshop Mystery #13)


Mocha, She Wrote is the thirteenth Bakeshop cozy mystery by prolific author Ellie Alexander. Released 29th June 2021 by Macmillan on their St. Martin's imprint, it's 320 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This is a cozy mystery for coffee lovers. It's set in the Pacific Northwest USA and is full of local (Oregon) settings and specialized coffee culture. I'm a tea drinker, so it was fun to read about all kinds of specialized coffee preparation, tools, ingredients and presentations. The minutiae is explained well in context, so it didn't get bogged down in terminology or anything. 

The plotting, characterization, and dialogue are representative of the genre; lighthearted, somewhat over-the-top, and used to move the narrative along. It's not a realistic procedural. There's no gritty unpleasantness, no brutality (even the violence is mostly off-scene), no blatant sexual aspects, and the language is squeaky clean and used appropriately. Some readers might find Jules' sidekick Lance a bit trope-y (he's effeminate and a bit flamboyant), but he's written with warmth and kindness (if lacking in common sense), so I didn't find him offensive. Although this is the 13th book in the series, it works fine as a standalone.

For fans of the genre, it's a well written and very pleasant diversion. (Isn't that why we read cozies?). For readers who enjoy this Bakeshop series, I can heartily recommend the author's Sloan Krause brewing mysteries. She has either a truly impressive grasp of baking, brewing, and coffee culture or she's got experts on tap to consult for her background research. 

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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