Publisher: Crooked Lane
Publication date: May 10, 2022
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Daisy Ellery’s pies have a secret ingredient: The magical ability to avenge women done wrong by men. But Daisy finds herself on the receiving end in Misha Popp’s cozy series debut, a sweet-as-buttercream treat for fans of Ellery Adams and Mary Maxwell.
The first time Daisy Ellery killed a man with a pie, it was an accident. Now, it’s her calling. Daisy bakes sweet vengeance into her pastries, which she and her dog Zoe deliver to the men who’ve done dirty deeds to the town’s women. But if she can’t solve the one crime that’s not of her own baking, she’ll be out of the pie pan and into the oven.
Parking her Pies Before Guys mobile bakery van outside the local diner, Daisy is informed by Frank, the crusty diner owner, that someone’s been prowling around the van—and not just to inhale the delectable aroma. Already on thin icing with Frank, she finds a letter on her door, threatening to reveal her unsavory secret sideline of pie a la murder.
Blackmail? But who whipped up this half-baked plot to cut a slice out of Daisy’s business? Purple-haired campus do-gooder Melly? Noel, the tender—if flaky—farm boy? Or one of the abusive men who prefer their pie without a deadly scoop of payback?
The upcoming statewide pie contest could be Daisy’s big chance to help wronged women everywhere…if she doesn’t meet a sticky end first. Because Daisy knows the blackmailer won’t stop until her business is in crumbles.
I received a free copy of the ebook from Netgalley in exchange for my review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.
Wow! This is definitely the darkest "cozy" I have read. Midway through, I seriously questioned whether this book was actually a cozy mystery or if I had just assumed it was because of the cutesy cover and the punny title. Without giving too much away, let's just say that it does wrap itself up as a cozy eventually, though still a rather dark one.
But what a setup! Our protagonist, Daisy, is a cold-blooded killer? Well, maybe. Maybe magic is more than meets the eye. This is a cozy plot twist I've never seen before. First books in cozy series often see our heroine trying to get out of being accused of murder... not committing it! There are definitely twists to keep you guessing with some romance thrown in. (Nothing too smoochy). The side characters in this book are delightful and really bring a sense of home to the plot and to Daisy's life. Thankfully, the love triangle sorted itself out because I am NOT a fan of love triangles and have stopped reading otherwise entertaining series due to them. It also drove me a little crazy that every time there was a tense situation, Daisy locked up her pitbull, Zoe. If there is something going bump in the night, I am leading with my dog!
The pie theme is super fun and I really want to have a Pie Girl food truck on my street corner now. Thankfully, the author shares some of the recipes from the plot at the end of the book, including her pie crust recipe (which is terrifying enough on its own but she says it's pretty easy to make your own pie crust... we'll see). I loved this baking meets magic cozy mystery. As long as diehard cozy fans go into it knowing it'll seem a little darker than normal, but don't worry... it's still a cozy, they will enjoy this debut.
Author's website: https://mishapopp.com/
Author's Instagram, where she posts photos of BEAUTIFUL pies and even gave me tips on how to make her pie crust!: https://www.instagram.com/mishapopp_/