By: Ellie Grant
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: September 2013
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: July 3, 2013
Maggie Grady thought she was well on her way to achieving her dreams. She had a great job at a New York City bank, wining and dining high-powered clients, and generally enjoying life. That was until she was accused of embezzlement, fired, and had to return to North Carolina where she grew up to once again live with her aunt Clara.
As the story opens, Maggie has taken a job in her aunt’s pie shop, aptly named “Pie in the Sky.” While she is innocent of the embezzlement, she doesn’t have the funds to hire a lawyer and has instead tried to move on with her life. She is busy dealing with the hustle and bustle of the popular pie shop and trying to find a new job. Aunt Clara understands that Maggie may again leave North Carolina and doesn’t want to hold her niece back so she supports Maggie as best she can. Life goes on, or at least it does until Maggie’s old boss from the bank, Louis Goldberg, shows up at the shop.
Louis was the one who had fired Maggie and now here he was standing there in the pie shop. Maggie can’t fathom why he has come. Did the bank find the real embezzler? Or perhaps they have decided to prosecute Maggie for the crime. Actually, explains Lou, he has discovered who the embezzler is and he plans to expose that person the next day at a big press conference. Alas, he refuses to tell Maggie at the shop, forcing her to wait like everybody else. The young woman is frustrated but what can she do? She makes plans to go to the press conference until later that day when she finds Lou dead, his body blocking the back door of the shop.
The race is on to find the killer AND the embezzler. Are they one and the same? Or are the two incidents unrelated? With the help of Ryan Summerour, a handsome reporter from the local paper, and Detective Frank Waters (who at first thinks Maggie is the killer), things heat up fast. When Maggie is attacked (was it the killer?), numerous people come to her aid, but can she trust them? There are several plot twists and the story will keep you guessing till the last few pages about the true killer. Could it be one of the locals, such as the developer who wants the land the pie shop sits on, or maybe it’s one of the bank officials who suddenly appear in Durham. There is also a nice little tease at the end for the next story – it looks like sweet Aunt Clara might be in trouble…
Quill says: Good characters and a fun plot make Plum Deadly a nice introduction to a new cozy mystery series. More pie please!