Posted in 4 1/2 paws, Blog tour, contest, Cozy, excerpt, Giveaway, mystery, Review on September 6, 2013

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Plum deadly

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Gallery Books
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Number of Pages: 304


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. . . .


Aunt Clara and Uncle Fred had raised Maggie after her parents’ death in a car crash. They’d been there through high school and college when Maggie had worked right here at Pie in the Sky for spending money, dreaming her big dreams about the future.

“I could use a little more tea,” an intense young man with spiky, green-tinged brown hair yelled out.

“I’ll get it,” Maggie said. “How’s that mystery pie coming along? People are waiting for it. I think we’ve already had a hundred suggestions for names. It’s smart of you to introduce new pies that way. Good marketing.”

Aunt Clara shrugged her shoulders. Her unnaturally red hair was a little frizzier than usual. It looked like an orange fringe around her still pretty face. She looked like Maggie’s mother, with that red hair and green eyes. Maggie had inherited her father’s dark brown hair.

“It’s what I’ve always done. The kids like it. I never guessed when your uncle and I opened this pie shop forty years ago that I’d be here making pies without him.” Aunt Clara sighed. “But then things don’t always go the way you plan.”

You said a mouthful there. Maggie brought another small pot of hot water and a tea bag to the young man’s table.

He looked as though he was working on something important. He raked his hand through his hair again and spilled Amazing Apple pie on his black superhero T-shirt that had already seen better days. The table was covered with diagrams and charts.

“What are you working on?” She tried to be friendly. It wasn’t always easy. It had been different when she’d worked here and known most of the students. Now she felt a lot like their mother.

“None of your business,” he barked, protectively covering the documents. “I have tea now. Go away.”

“You don’t have to be rude. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?”

He stared at her like she’d lost her mind.

Obviously not.


I love food and especially pie, so I was very excited to have a chance to read this book centered around a pie shop.  The pie names had me drooling all throughout the book, that’s for sure!  I thought this book had good characters that were pretty well developed for the first in a series.  I liked that there were a couple of storylines going on in this first book – Maggie losing her job, her boss dying after visiting her at the pie shop and the “big ugly” developer trying to purchase the property.  They all tied in well and while I had a sneaky suspicion who the killer was, I wasn’t 100% sure until that person was revealed.

This series is definitely going on my list of books to read and cannot wait to see what comes out with book 2!  We give this a solid 4 1/2 paws up and highly suggest checking out the book!


About This Author:

j&j 2Ellie Grant writes award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook and Joyce and Jim Lavene. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.


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Purchase Links
AMAZON          B&N               Book World                  Book Depository                    Powell’s Books


The Giveaway:

One print copy of the book open to US Residents only.  contest ends September 15th
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Tour Participants

September 3Cozy Up With Kathy – Guest Post

September 4My Recent Favorite books – Review & Giveaway

September 5Kaisy Daisy’s Corner –Review & Giveaway

September 5Dru’s Book Musings– Guest Post & Giveaway

September 5Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Guest Post & Giveaway

September 6StoreyBook Reviews  – Guest Post, Review & Giveaway

September 7Dr. Pepper Diva – Review & Giveaway

September 9rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Interview, Review & Giveaway

September 10readalot – Review & Giveaway

September 11Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Guest Post & Giveaway

September 12Mochas, Mysteries and More – Guest Post, Review & Giveaway

September 13A Blue Million Books  – Interview

September 14Brooke Blogs – Review

September 15Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Interview & Giveaway

a copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.