Don’t drink the Kool Aid! Or eat the pie, that is if Elsa Mae is making it.
Pies and Prejudice is a novel published in 2012 by Ellery Adams and the first in the four part series known as Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries.
Charmed, I’m Sure…
Elsa Mae is not your everyday baker who rises early and makes a pie that you will eat and not remember until you are unable to button your jeans next week. Although I would like to meet a baker who could bake pies without that side effect.
When we meet her she couldn’t be in a position of greater insecurity. She catches her husband being unfaithful and she flees New York City to her southern hometown. Not that she is bringing much with her- she has her dog, Chewy, and an incomplete culinary arts degree thing going on.
Good thing for her that she has a host of aunts who have no children of their own and all the time in the world to help her open a pie shoppe and keep her out of jail.
It’s getting hot in here…
Thankfully she has the good sense to accept these fairy aunties gift of a bakery where she can sell her wares. Seems like a great way to get a new lease on life. She even has a cute little bike that she rides around in. How quaint.
All of this sounds like a great idea until things begin to blow up in her face.
Do you believe in magic?
Which is where our story begins. Weird things start happening literally everywhere. Her high school enemy is a real charming sociopath with a grudge against her that goes back several generations.
Her pies are a hit from out of this world. I mean it. They make people do all sorts of wild things. If you are into epic fantasy novels you will really enjoy this bit.
Pin the rolling pin on the donkey…
But of course that is just a subplot when everyone is trying to figure out who is pinning the murder of her enemy’s elderly fiancé, an equine veterinarian, on Elsa using her very own rolling pin.
Elsa Mae is going to need all of the magic that she can get in order to get out of this jam. She will enlist the help of her aunts, magical baked goods and even the son of the now deceased vet in order to remain free long enough to find, and probably bake, the real killer.
I live to eat, not eat to live…
There is a culinary reference or dish on virtually every single page of this book. If you are extremely hungry there is plenty to consume. The author uses a whole lot of fancy terms in order to describe the elements of baking. It would be wise to go ahead and pre-heat your oven.
This is truly a culinary cozy if ever I have read one. You can smell the savory and sweet dishes through the pages.
But like any sweet treat it can be a bit overdone or bubble over a little too much. The purple prose of foodstuff got a bit old for me very quickly. I never imagined something so simple such as eggs could take up so much room on a page while being compared to so many things that are not actual eggs.
This was a great introduction to a true culinary cozy. The characters were pretty standard as was the leading storyline where there is a woman who flees the big city on the heels of a man breaking her heart and heads to her small hometown.
Elsa Mae did not come across as a strong person, or character, and it was quite clear that she was going to need all the help she could get. From financing the bakery, to figuring out her pies are magical to actually saving her own hide. She needed help every step of the way. Not a typical heroine in my opinion.
I gave this book two and a half stars. Perhaps I will read the second book in the series, Peach Pies and Alibis, when the Summer hits and I am in the mood for something to go along with my sweet tea. I would be interested to see if she is able to stand alone as a main character without so much help from others. Sometimes life swings things your way, and as an amateur sleuth you need to be able to raise your rolling pin and knock that thing out the park.