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.
Christal’s Review – 5 Skulls – A
This book was absolutely enchanting. Contrary to what the title might have you believe, this isn’t a retelling of Pride and Prejudice with pies. Instead we get a heroine coming into her own mixed with a murder mystery, sprinkled with some romance, and topped with a little magic. The characters were kooky and endearing, the setting was charming, and the magic was used just enough to be intriguing. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.
Ella Mae has recently returned to her home town after catching her husband cheating on her with twins. She decides to jumpstart her life by opening a pie shop. Just when she starts to think everything might be turning around, she becomes involved in a murder investigation that threatens to ruin everything she’s dreamed of.
Ella Mae was fun and spunky. She’s hurting because of her pending divorce but she didn’t let it keep her down for very long. She realized she still has plenty to live for and actually went about making things happen. I loved her take charge attitude; no matter the obstacle, Ella Mae faced it head on. Cheating husband? Move back home and get a divorce. Mean girl from high school getting you down? Open a pie shop that is the most popular business in town. Framed for murder? Start your own investigation and clear your name! I really connected to Ella Mae as a character because of this. It was entirely believable that, despite everything that has gone wrong in her life, Ella Mae is determined to make a change and have the life she wants.
Ella Mae’s mother and aunts were very mysterious. They were each unique and kooky, but their familial love visibly tied them tight to each other. I absolutely enjoyed this picture of female support. We learned just a little about their magic in this book, enough that we know it is there but in small enough doses that it doesn’t feel forced. I hope the magic aspect, where it comes from and how it is different for each lady, is explored more in future books. It could be a great mythology, especially with the surname LeFay involved. The other supporting characters were wonderfully drawn as well, especially Reba. The potential love interests were introduced to the story organically, without turning into a love triangle. It’s nice to see Ella Mae realize she needs to time herself before jumping into another relationship.
The mystery was really well done. I didn’t even guess the culprit before the big reveal, but it made sense within the story. I liked the use of horse breeders and racing as the backdrop for all the intrigue. It was a different world that you don’t see used often. The descriptions in this book were beautiful. I could picture the town of Havenwood, with its crystal clear lake, and Ella’s little pie shop easily. Ellery Adams described Ella Mae’s baking with such loving detail that you could practically taste the pies. The recipes the author throws in at the end are a nice touch.
I can’t help gushing about this book and how much I enjoyed it. It’s a great cozy mystery for newcomers and a nice crossover for urban fantasy or paranormal romance readers. I am looking forward to Ella Mae’s continuing adventures and am eagerly awaiting the release of the next book, Peach Pies and Alibis.
Series Reading Order:
1. Pies and Prejudice
2. Peach Pies and Alibis (Expected publication: March 5th 2013)
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