Genre: paranormal cozy mystery with recipes
Her Charmed Pie Shoppe is open for business, but baker Ella Mae LeFaye is about to discover solving a murder is not as easy as pie…
Owning the Charmed Pie Shoppe and serving enchanted treats in the magical town of Havenwood, Georgia, seemed like a little slice of heaven for Ella Mae LeFaye. But now her hopes for both a lasting romance with Hugh Dylan and business success are starting to seem like pie in the sky, and Ella's left wondering: Where has the magic gone?
When an enchanted grove is set ablaze, Ella realizes she has more grave problems. With her magic waning, she's going to have to sleuth from scratch to stop an arsonist who has no respect for sacred ground—or human life…
Ella Mae Le Faye is grieving for her mother, who is now the Lady of the Ash, and securing their continuing magic for all the warlocks and witches in the village. She is determined to get her back, and her best friend Suzy is helping her with her research. Ella Mae hasn’t been in the mood to use magic lately, the price has just been too high. But her pie shoppe is suffering from it, and it is time she snapped out of it before she looses her business.
So when a cold and lonely older man enters her shop, she is determined to make him happier. Concentrating hard on her own happy memories of a warm summer day, she infuses her pies with the magic of her memories. And it works, the people in the shop are talking with each other, and laughing and making plans. It just feels good and right for Ella Mae to use her magic again.
When she learns of the dreadful news that the sacred grove of a village called Oak Knoll in Tennessee has been burned, including their Lady of the Ash, she is horrified! Who would do such a thing? And when Suzy tells her, she has a lead on a book that will aid their research, she is determined to get her hands on it. Even if she has to crash the party thrown by her family’s enemies, the Gaynors, for some of the richer refugees from Oak Knoll. She should have been invited anyway, as she is the daughter of the Lady of the Ash, and as such has the highest standing in their magical society.
Opal and Loralyn Gaynor are not happy with her presence, especially as Opal is busy wooing a rich man in a wheal chair, who is thinking of relocating his business to Havenwood. Ella likes his young and beautiful wife, Eira, but Robert Morgan treats his wife like a little child, never letting her answer questions herself, and sending her on errands on his behalf. While Ella is chatting with Opal, Suzy manages to get the book they are after from Loralyn, who is really nice to. Suzy doesn’t get the feud between Ella Mae and Loralyn and their families, and thinks they both just should be nice to each other.
Ella promises Eira to show her to their Grove the next morning, so she can pay her respects to their Lady of the Ash, but when Ella, her aunts and Reba arrive at the Grove, they find Eira’s dead body at the portal. Who could have killed her? She would never walk through the woods without a coat and shoes in this brutal cold. Ella is devastated that this is happening. Did they invite a murderer to stay in their town along with an arsonist? She is determined to find out who is behind it, just as determined to free her mother from the tree.
And then there is Hugh, her boyfriend. Ella Mae has been in love with him for ever, but there is something strange about him. She cannot tell him about being a witch though, that is forbidden and would cost her her magic. She doesn’t like to keep secrets from him or lie to him, but she has no other choice. Especially when she starts to suspect he may be a water elemental. It would explain the burning sensations when they kiss unless they are both soaking wet … Hugh is a fire fighter, and he runs the local doggy day care center, Canine to five, where Ella Mae brings her sweet little doggie Chewie every day.
With the help of Reba, her friend Suzy and her new friends from Oak Knoll Aiden and Jenny, Ella Mae will find out the truth…
I am so in love with this series, it makes me very sad that I have already finished the book and have to wait so long for the next one. This is a series you will have to read in order.
I do love Ella Mae who did not know about her own magic until she returned to Havenwood when she caught her husband cheating on her. She is finally divorced now, and free to pursue a relationship with Hugh. But first, she wants to get her mother back. They were just building a bond together when Adelaide sacrificed herself to the Ash tree to secure their magic. It gives Ella Mae and her family a lot of prestige and good will, but she is totally not interested in that, she just wants her mother.
There are suspects galore who might have wanted to kill Eira, as she was not the frail innocent thing she looked after all. I disliked her cold and calculating husband from the start, and was inclined to put the blame for everything on him. But the real murderer and arsonist took me completely by surprise, I did not see that coming, and neither did Ella Mae.
I love the feisty Reba, who looks after Ella Mae like some kind of bodyguard. She is always on the lookout for danger and hot men.
Of course I am not telling very much about the story, you really should find out for yourself. I recommend it to all lovers of paranormal cozy mysteries, and am impatiently waiting for the next book already.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian