Plum DeadlyPlum Deadly by Ellie Grant is the first book in the new “Pie In The Sky” mystery series. Publisher: Gallery Books, September 2013

CHOCOHOLIC CREAM. BOUNTIFUL BLUEBERRY. LOTSA LEMON MERINGUE. EVEN DANGEROUSLY DAMSON.

Who could resist such pies? Who would even want to resist the pie shop that makes them? Certainly not the residents of Durham, North Carolina, and the little bakery and café called Pie in the Sky is one of the most popular meet-up places in town.

Unjustly accused of cooking the books, Maggie Grady is forced to retreat from her high-flying New York financial career to the town where she grew up. Her aunt Clara greets her with open arms and a job at the family-owned business that has baked the best pies in the South for over forty years. Unfortunately, while Maggie is determined to return to banking, her reputation there seems permanently in the pits. That is, until her old boss, Lou, visits with news that he’s found the real crook. Before he can reveal the details, though, Maggie finds his body right behind the pie shop.

With only her own word that Lou planned to exonerate her, Maggie is in the spotlight. The police seem to suspect that Aunt Clara’s damson pie may not be just dangerously delectable, but downright deadly. Maggie doesn’t just have her own name to clear; she has to make sure that her aunt’s beloved business isn’t harmed, either. Yummy local reporter Ryan Summerour appears eager to help, and Maggie can’t help hoping that it’s not just the police who find her a person of interest—but Ryan, as well. She’d thought it challenging to make the perfect pie crust that Aunt Clara demands, but that turns out to be nothing compared with finding a murderer.

I really enjoyed this book as the writing style was comfortable and I liked how the story flowed from chapter to chapter keeping me both engaged and entertained. The author did a good job with developing the mystery in this lighthearted drama. Every time I thought I had a handle on the killer, the author changed directions for the better, keeping me in suspense. Maggie is a likable heroine, who is surrounded by a wonderful supporting cast that includes her aunt and the local newspaper reporter. This was a very enjoyable read and the ending was a perfect segue into the next book in this pleasantly appealing series. Bonus pie recipes are included.

Ellie Grant is the pseudonym for Jim and Joyce Lavene

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