Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pies and Prejudice

Book Description: When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren't just delicious. They're having magical effects on the people who eat them--and the public is hungry for more.

Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn's fiancé is found dead--killed with Ella Mae's rolling pin--it'll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.

My Review: Recipe for the perfect Southern cozy: Start with a cast of strong, sassy women; mix in delectable dollops of mystery, magic, mayhem, and mouthwatering descriptions of scrumptious sweet and savory pies; add in a dash of romance. Grab a tall glass of iced cold sweet tea, head out to the sunniest spot in your yard and let Ellery Adam’s charming town of Havenwood, Georgia whisk you away to the genteel south.

Women’s relationships are a hallmark of great Southern lit (think Fried Green Tomatoes and Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood), and Ella Mae has surrounded herself with a special group of women: her mother, aunts, and special friends. (Her aunt Dee is my favorite with her menagerie of pets, and how I’d love one of her specially crafted with love metal sculptures of dearly departed pets.) I loved the process of Ella Mae discovering her magical powers as she strived to learn more about herself (especially the scene where the uninhibited townsfolk started taking their clothes off!) I also enjoyed the horse racing element to the mystery, and was saddened, but not shocked at the extreme measures greedy owners and breeders will take to win the big bucks, putting their animal’s safety and well-being on the back burner.

Any new release by Ellery Adams is cause for celebration in my book, and this first Charmed Pie Shoppe mystery is a winner right out of the starting gate!

Tara’s Thoughts: Chewy (Charleston Chew) is still a very young pup; a great source of love and comfort to his Mom, but way too young to involve himself in the dangerous job of hunting down killers. He’s much safer at Hugh’s doggie day care. Mommy hopes we’ll get to see more of Dante as Ella Mae and Hugh’s relationship develops. She loves Harlequin Great Danes. Me, not so much.

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