Ellery Adams serves up a mystery that's a real peach...
Ella Mae LeFaye's Charmed Pie Shoppe is wildly popular in Havenwood, Georgia--which is not surprising since Ella Mae can lace her baked goods with enchantments. The shop's extraordinary success seems destined to continue when Ella Mae meets an engaged couple who hire her to handle the dessert buffet at their wedding.
But Ella Mae has a lot on her plate. She is also searching for the origin of her magical powers--and hoping to determine if the spark of attraction she feels for the handsome Hugh Dylan is authentic or just her new abilities gone awry.
Then Ella Mae discovers a high-standing member of the community dead, and a wedding guest becomes seriously ill at the event she's catering. Now she'll have to use all her sleuthing skills and culinary talents to prove her pies don't contain a killer ingredient. ebook, 304 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Berkley Books
Four Stars: A cozy mystery with magic, mythology and pies!
Ella Mae tosses the last bit of fresh fruit and concentrates on a happy memory before slipping the sweetened fruit into the buttery pie crust. Ella Mae is just realizing her magical powers, and she knows she must be careful while baking, otherwise her enchanted pies could cause disastrous results. Ella is still settling back into life in her hometown. Her pie shop has taken off, and she is busier than ever. Unfortunately, she still hasn't ended her disastrous marriage, but she hopes to do so soon. Disaster strikes when Ella and her aunt find one of the townsfolk dead in her home, with no apparent injuries. Ella and her aunts set out to find out the truth, and in doing so, Ella Mae uncovers more about her heritage and her powers. Will Ella find out the truth and catch the killer?
What I Liked:
- Delicious and delightful! I was most pleased with this second book in the Charmed Pie Shoppe Series. This book was such a surprise with its twists and reveals. This is so much more than a cozy mystery. It is part cozy, part magical realism, mystery and mythology as well as pies all woven into one. If you want something completely different in your cozy mysteries, I highly recommend this book.
- My favorite part of this series is still the cozy little pie shop and all the delicious treats that Ella bakes. I am always a big fan of cozy mysteries that feature cute baked good shops, and this one is no exception. The Charmed Pie Shoppe serves up delicious pies laced with magical enchantments. Ella Mae has magical powers that allow her to persuade others via her pies. I loved this magical touch and all things pie. Plus, the book features several delectable pie recipes at the end of the book that I am eager to try.
- This book takes an entirely new direction from its predecessor which I loved. This book does not follow the typical cozy mystery formula. Instead you are treated to a murder mystery with magical implications that stretch back to the legend of King Arthur. I won't give out any more details as I don't want to spoil it, but needless to say, I loved the uniqueness of this cozy. Don't pick this up expecting a typical cozy murder mystery because it is far more than that.
- Ella Mae and her aunts are exciting and interesting characters. Each one of them has a magical gift. I liked learning more about each of the magical talents. I especially enjoyed watching Ella come more into her powers. I am excited to see which direction she will take from here.
- The mystery is full of twists and surprises. Again this isn't the normal cozy where you have a shop owner helping to solve a mystery either with or without the help of law enforcement. In fact, the local police force isn't really involved in the mystery. I liked the originality of the mystery and that it was so unexpected. I especially liked the inclusion of the Arthurian mythology as well as the magic.
- The romance isn't a big part of the story, in fact, it is more like an after thought. I am happy, though, that it seems to be moving in the right direction. I was shocked when Ella learned the truth about her marriage from her soon to be ex husband. There are no love triangles or insta love situations. This one doesn't have much romance, and I liked that.
- I love the writing. Ms. Adams does an exceptional job with her descriptions. So much so that I am constantly craving pie when I read this. Don't read these books while you are hungry!
- The ending draws to a satisfying close without a bunch of nagging questions. There are a couple of monumental events that lead up to the finale, and the stage is set for some exciting new developments and adventures, and I think at this point with this series, anything is possible. I am looking forward to the next book.
- The best part of the book is that there are recipes at the end. There are recipes for buttery pie crust, Peach Pie, Apple Ginger Maple Crumble Pie, Peanut Butter Cup Pie, Mini Lemon Tarts, Banoffee Pie (Banana Carmel pie) and Savory Lamb Pie. Yum!
And The Not So Much:
- I was a bit disappointed that it was rather easy to pick out the villain. I was surprised that the characters didn't clue in sooner. Not a big deal, but this one doesn't have a shocking reveal.
- I am still not liking that this book has the whole mean girl vibe. It isn't as prevalent as in the first, but I still find the whole situation with Loralyn and her mother, Opal, annoying. I hate mean girls and this series gives you a hefty dose of them.
- At this point, I am not a big fan of the romantic interest. He is too wishy washy and I hate that he can't stand up to Loralyn. I am hoping he will grow a pair, and that I will like him more. At this point, I could care less about the romance.
- If you are looking for a realistic cozy, skip this one as with this story, you have to suspend all realistic beliefs. This pushes the limits for magical realism.
Peach Pies and Alibis is a satisfying and delicious mystery that delivers something unexpected in the cozy mystery genre. This book has murder, mystery, magic and mythology as well as pies. If you like interesting and unique in your cozy selection, this is one to read. I would recommend it for the pie recipes alone.
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library all opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.