A Pie To Die For

Tantor Media. Feb. 2024. 9:29 hrs. ISBN 9798855522709. $19.99. M
Rue’s solid series opener introduces listeners to Este March, her magical lucky pies, and the seasonal town of Split Pine. Now that the off-season has arrived, the pace of life—and narration—is a comfortable meander as Este’s performer, Callie Beaulieu, welcomes listeners to the diner and introduces the year-round residents. The usually quiet town is thrown into disarray when Jeff, the new produce vendor, turns up dead. Este’s social mores don’t give her much room for outward snark, and this, when combined with the warmth Beaulieu imbues in her, might fool listeners into thinking she’s a pushover. However, the strength to be kind is the same strength that allows her to track down a killer. While there is an element of self-interest in her investigation since she’s the prime suspect, Este mostly wants to restore a sense of safety to her community. The solidity of the mystery suffers a little from balancing against the setting and magical pie lore. Each of these story elements is hefty on its own. However, now that much has been explained, subsequent series entries may have more room for murder.
VERDICT A delicious magical cozy to entice listeners new to the subgenre.
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