If the Ladies No.1 Detective Agency staff ran the Whistle Stop Cafe, the result would resemble Bobby's Diner and its sequel, Easy as Pie at Bobby's Diner. It has nothing to do with pie, in case you're wondering. Let's clear that up right at the start.
Comparable to Fried Green Tomatoes, the Ivy Towers Mystery series and The Potluck Catering Club series, in Easy as Pie Susan Wingate continues the story from her first success, Bobby's Diner. She has a contract for two more in this series about Georgette Carlisle, a southern gal transplanted to the American Southwest where she stole the heart of the owner of Bobby's Diner and wound up running it with Bobby's first wife, Vanessa, then Vanessa's daughter, Roberta, who is also the mayor.
The hoopla over the antagonist from the first book, Zach Pinzer, trying to secure ownership of the restaurant continues. Although incarcerated in the Mariposa County jail, Pinzer manages to manipulate Georgette's life through her new boyfriend, Hawthorne Biggs, who beds her dear friend, Helen, when he learns she may buy into the diner. This same "friend" also tried to seduce Bobby before he died five years ago.
After the first few very short chapters, no one will confuse Wingate's writing with chicklit. These are older, more mature women, though the text is strewn with name brands. They are not chic, or sophisticated in the least, and Sunnydale, Arizona, is nothing like New York City (or any other major metropolitan area). Georgette, 45 or 49, and Helen are middle-aged widows. Roberta is married, but you do the math about her age.
The series is categorized as adult (and does contain violence and rough language about sex), mainstream, mystery, amateur sleuth, women's fiction and romance.The book is also described as a "breezy read," and readers may feel as if they are constantly trying to catch up in the story's breathless headlong rush to a predictable, if convoluted, climax. Georgette is owned by a cat named "Gangster" who provides a little relief in the story's relentless pace. Gangster also plays an important part in untangling the the complicated mysteries of what's really happening.