Friday, July 06, 2012

Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams

"Masterfully weaves a Southern world of believable characters and keeps readers flipping pages with this dreamy one-nighter." That's actually a quote from Southern Literary Review. They were reviewing The Peach Keeper, a novel by one of my favorite authors, Sarah Addison Allen. However, they could just as easily be describing Pies and Prejudice, the first mystery in Ellery Adams' Charmed Pie Shoppe series. Adams has managed to capture the flavors, the scents, the sensory impressions of magical realism novels, and packaged it in the form of a mystery. Pies and Prejudice is a delectable story.

After catching her husband in a compromising position in an elevator, Ella Mae LeFaye fled home to Havenwood, Georgia, returning to the women who raised and loved her. Although she and her mother barely spoke after Ella Mae married, her mother, Adelaide, along with Adelaide's sisters, Delia, Verena, Cecelia, and Adelaide's housekeeper, Reba, welcomed her with open arms, and encouraged her dream. When Ella Mae was upset, or happy, or blue, she baked pies. And, the family had found the perfect location for the bakery Ella Mae would call The Charmed Pie Shoppe, charmed because Ella Mae's emotions somehow found their way into her pies, and affected the people who ate them.

But, Ella Mae's old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor had wanted that property. And, the threat Ella Mae directs at Loralyn in response to her enemy's taunt comes back to haunt her. When Loralyn's fiancé,, Bradford Knox, ends up dead with a rolling pin as the weapon, people in town remembered what Ella Mae said. Suddenly, she was a murder suspect on the eve of the opening of her shop. When she's taken away in a police car, it's easy for her to believe she's lost the chance to impress Hugh Dylan, the man she's had a crush on for years.

But, the LeFaye women are nothing if not strong and determined. Ella Mae's attorney suggests she "might want to puzzle out who holds a grudge against Mr. Knox." And, she takes that to heart, finding a way to meet some of the wealthy thoroughbred owners Knox associated with as their veterinarian. It isn't long before Ella Mae realizes someone evil is lurking in Havenwood. And, someone seems to have Ella Mae set up as the perfect murder suspect.

Pies and Prejudice is truly a magical book. It's impossible to read this without accepting the unusual talents of the LeFaye women. Ella Mae isn't the only one in the family with unusual gifts, although it takes her a while to identify the abilities of the other women in her circle. Readers who can accept and appreciate these gifts, and the strong women characters in this book, will find the story enchanting. Pies and Prejudice is an excellent mystery, however, Adams also manages to tap into stories and legends as a basis for the book.

This book has a wonderful cast of characters and a solid mystery. The series has so much potential. Pies and Prejudice just sparkles with magic.One of the workmen who renovated Ella Mae's bakery understood the power of magical realism, the power of life. "This shop'll let you know who's right. It was just waiting for you to come along and fill it up with folks talking and laughing and enjoying home-cooked food. This is going to be a merry place, the heart of the town....You brought it to life, Ella Mae, and now it's going to bring you to life."

Ellery Adams' Pies and Prejudice glows with life, characters, and a richness that is so desirable in a story. It's a book that will entice your senses, and leave you hoping for another book just as entrancing.

Ellery Adams' website is

Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams. Berkley Prime Crime. 2012. ISBN 9780425251409 (paperback), 291p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


caryn said...

Okay, I'm 0 for 2. One more try.
Mine is on it's way from amazon. I've been waiting months for this book-that's waht happens when the book chatter over a title starts early and I put books on preorder!
If it gets here today it will be my weekend read.

Lesa said...

I hope it arrives today, Caryn. Every bit of book chatter you've read is deserved. Wonderful mystery! I predict you'll love the LeFaye women.

Janet C said...

I brought it home yesterday and it went right to the top of my TBR. I've not yet read a book by this author (under whatever name) that has disappointed me. It's going to be my weekend treat.

Lesa said...


She's never disappointed me, either, but, this time, she surpassed my expectations.

Carol N Wong said...

You have been hooked now! This one is going to the top of my wish list!

Lesa said...

It should go on the top of a wish list, Carol. Terrific book!

Kay said...

This book sounds delightful! Looking forward to reading it.

Lesa said...

It is delightful, Kay, but it's always difficult to pick up the next book after such a wonderful one.

Nancy said...

I've loved every book Ellery Adams has written and now this is one to look forward to, especially since you gave it such a glowing review.

Lesa said...

I love Ellery Adams' books, too, Nancy. I can't wait to hear what one of my sisters thinks of it.

Pat Browning said...

Thanks for this review. Ellery Adams has a great book trailer on YouTube. It leaves me with conflicting emotions -- I want to read the book and I want to bake a pie! (-:

The trailer is at

Pat Browning

Pat Browning said...

Sorry, didn't use the right tag apparently. PIES AND PREJUDICE book trailer is on You Tube at

Take a look. You'll love it.

Pat B.