Carol Culver’s delicious Midnight Ink debut, A Good Day to Pie, proves her sojourn into the mystery genre is not a temporary one. With the cozy world littered with enough sweet treat mysteries to make periodontists the new billionaires, it was refreshing to see Culver hold her own next to the queens, princesses, duchesses and ladies-in-waiting decaying this sub-genre.
Hanna Denton has returned home to Crystal Cove, California, to run The Upper Crust, the pie shop her Grannie has owned for over thirty years. For once, the reader doesn’t find Grannie keeled over in the apple sauce. Nor does Hanna stumble over her body after being bludgeoned with a rolling pin. All the usual exhausted plot lines are not present when Hanna takes over the business. Culver scores big points for this. Grannie Louise is living the life of an aged Kardashian in an upscale retirement community, and Hanna is perspiring while keeping up the pace her grandmother did when she was running The Upper Crust. When Grannie’s bridge nemesis kicks off while indulging in a slice of pie, it looks as if Grannie’s pies are not just yummy – they’re lethal.
The handsome Police Chief, Sam Genovese, just happens to be Hanna’s old high school crush, and Hanna has to do her best to convince him that Grannie couldn’t possibly have offed her biggest competition. Seems the old biddy had quite a few enemies, and Hanna is determined to clear her grandmother’s name before Sam sets her precious Grannie up at the steel inn and Hanna’s delivering pies with files in it.
Culver introduces readers to an engaging character with enough spunk, humor and heart to make readers take notice. Culver’s strong protagonist has staying power. You’ll root for her instead of rolling your eyes at her inane antics – Hanna is pure class. Hanna obviously directed Culver to pen her story, and the words just flowed. Culver shaped Hanna with a softness that endears you to the character, and you can’t help but want another serving… immediately.
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