I just don't know what's happening to cozy mysteries. First, Shelia Connolly's Buried in a Bog was a meaty story. And, now Ellery Adams gives us the second book in her Charmed Pie Shoppe series, Peach Pies and Alibis. It's a magical story, closer to urban fantasy or magical realism than mystery, although it still has murders and mystery. But, it's absolutely perfect, and it left me eager to read the next book when it comes out. It's deep, and dark in spots, with references to Arthurian legends. I've always enjoyed cozy mysteries, although I've never been fond of the term. But, if this is where those books are heading, into deeper waters, we may be in for a golden age of cozies. Adams and Connolly are taking their mysteries in another direction. I'm following them.
Even the grumpiest person in Havenwood, Georgia can be changed after eating a pie at Ella Mae LeFaye's Charmed Pie Shoppe.Ella Mae is able to transfer emotions into food, affecting people's behavior. Her shop is so popular that she needs additional staff so she can branch out and provide pies for special events such as weddings. She feels lucky when an engaged couple not only asks her to provide the dessert buffet at their wedding, but one of the bridesmaids needs a job so Ella Mae has a new waitress.
Between baking pies and running the shop, catering, and trying to deal with her feelings for Hugh Dylan, who she has had a crush on for years, Ella Mae has a lot on her plate. But, she doesn't even know the extent of her own powers yet. As the strong women in the LeFaye family celebrate Ella Mae's late-blooming talent, they must also face a threat to their community. One woman has died, and as soon as the wedding is over, another becomes seriously ill. Ella Mae has to use all of her knowledge along with her culinary skill to find the person who is targeting women at the most critical time of the year for those with magical gifts.
I've been a fan of Ellery Adams' Books by the Bay mysteries. Now, with the Charmed Pie Shoppe series, she's introduced another complex character with secrets to uncover in her own life. As I said when I reviewed Pies and Prejudice, there's so much opportunity with this series. I can't wait to see where Ellery Adams takes Ella Mae LeFaye after the events of Peach Pies and Alibis.
Ellery Adams' website is http://www.elleryadamsmysteries.com
Peach Pies and Alibis by Ellery Adams. Berkley Prime Crime. 2013. ISBN 9780425251997 (paperback), 294p.
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