Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review of "Peach Pies and Alibis" by Ellery Adams




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.

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