Ellery Adams' books have sweet titles such as Pecan Pies and Homicides, but there's a dark side to her mysteries. Whether it's her Charmed Pie Shoppe mysteries or her Books by the Bay series, her stories have a power to them that's lacking in many cozy mysteries. Because there's a magical element involved in Pecan Pies and Homicides, the danger seems greater than in other stories. The danger conjured up in these books could threaten entire communities. Ellery Adams manages to turn what appears to be a cozy mystery into a book with elements of magical realism, high fantasy, and thriller while keeping the outward appearance of a small town story. Genre-blending is common now, but stories usually don't blend so much together. Ellery Adams mixes all those ingredients into a riveting story.
Ella Mae LeFaye would be perfectly content if she could spend her time baking in her Charmed Pie Shoppe, enchanting the residents of Havenwood, Georgia. She would love to enjoy the time with her aunts and her friends, while working on a romance with Hugh Dylan. Instead, she's had to take on the burden and responsibility for the people in town who have special gifts. And, when members of two other communities lose their sacred groves, one to development and one to fire, Ella Mae worries that Havenwood may be next. By welcoming refugees to town, they could be welcoming an arsonist. And, the "loss of a grove means the end of magic for people living nearby. If they didn't relocate to a new town with a source of power, they'd eventually lose their gifts." Ella Mae will have to call on hidden strengths and magic she has not yet used to prevent a killer from destroying everything that is sacred to the special people of the community.
Before she can even welcome some of the people to town, Ella Mae finds one of the refugees murdered at the entrance to the grove. She already had problems. Now, it's "Murder. Ruined groves. Elementals. Flowers growing in the bottom of our lake. The world gets crazier every day."
Ellery Adams' crazy world of Havenwood is a unique world. Adams successfully introduces a bewitching character in Ella Mae LeFaye with her magical pie shoppe, a family of strong women with unusual powers, an opposing family with equally strong women, and places them in a small town that has an outward appearance of peace and tranquility. Then, she adds a twist of legend, sprinkles in magic, followed by a strong dose of evil, and non-stop drama. Ellery Adams continues to build her name as an author whose mysteries feature strong, determined women who have to deal with secrets in their lives. And, there's always a fascinating cast of characters, friends or relatives, to provide support. Pecan Pies and Homicides is an engrossing story that will only enhance Ellery Adams' reputation.
Ellery Adams' website is www.elleryadamsmysteries.com
Pecan Pies and Homicides by Ellery Adams. Berkley Prime Crime. 2014. ISBN 9780425252413 (paperback), 293p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.