Ella Mae LeFaye has left her cheating husband, come home to Havenwood, Georgia, and opened the 'Charmed Pie Shoppe.' Ella Mae's confections are delicious and - when she puts a little extra oomph into them - enchanted as well. After consuming an ensorcelled pie, for instance, a glum dowdily-attired woman buys a bright yellow outfit and hitches a ride on the back of a speeding fire truck.
In this second book in the fantasy/mystery series, 32-year-old Ella Mae finally acquires the magical powers that run through her family. Ella Mae's mother and aunts - who were worried this would never happen - are thrilled.....and prepare to let Ella Mae in on clan secrets.
Meanwhile, Ella Mae goes about her usual business. In search of a used vehicle for her bakery, Ella Mae meets artisanal cheese-makers and lands a job catering the dessert course of a wedding. Ella Mae's pastries - like roasted red pepper and goat cheese tart, bacon and mushroom pie, white nectarine pie topped with a cinnamon sugar crust, almond toffee tart, and lots more - sound delicious!
Ella Mae comes to learn that the fae residents of Havenwood are preparing for a magic ritual needed to preserve their powers. The ceremony involves a woman volunteer and a tree. Unfortunately, Melissa Carlisle - the woman slated for the ritual - had been found dead in mysterious circumstances. Another tragedy soon follows and Ella Mae and her kin - fearing someone wants to derail the vital ceremony - take measures to discover the culprit.
The story has an array of Interesting characters, such as: Reba - Ella Mae's gun-and-knife toting protector, who likes licorice twists; Hugh - Ella Mae's childhood crush, who's under the spell of a beautiful (but spiteful) woman; Aunt Dee - who crafts metal sculptures that capture the essence of deceased pets; the Gaynor clan - who are lifetime rivals of the Lefayes; and Charleston Chew (Chewie) - Ella Mae's cute terrier.
This addition to the series is much more fantasy than mystery, with many magical occurrences and details about the history of Havenwood's supernatural beings. I liked the book okay, but fantasy isn't my favorite genre. Readers who like these kinds of stories, though, would probably love this book.