Pie à la Murder
A Della Carmichael Mystery by Melinda Wells
Review: Television culinary star Della Carmichael's life takes an unexpected turn when she learns her boyfriend has an 18 year old daughter, who has come to visit — and maybe live with? — with her father, in Pie à la Murder, the fourth mystery in this series by Melinda Wells.
Della is genuinely happy that Nicholas is being reunited with Celeste, though she's admittedly a little miffed that in all the time they've been together he never once thought to mention he had a daughter. But Della is determined to put a positive spin on it, though her smile gets a little strained when she learns Celeste has stars in her eyes — Hollywood stars, that is — and thinks Della's connections are her ticket to fame and fortune. Celeste quickly catches the eye of fashion photographer Alec Redding, who says to her what every young girl wants to hear, "You are absolutely gorgeous. Are you a model?" Not unexpectedly, one thing leads to another, but unexpectedly Alec turns up dead, with Nicholas being the unfortunate soul to find the body. The police think they have their killer, the motive obvious, and call it a day. But Della isn't going to let a little bit of circumstantial evidence against her boyfriend stop her from finding the real culprit.
Pie à la Murder is light, escapist fun, made more so by the inclusion of Della's wide circle of friends, professional associates, and students — the latter from her role as a cooking class instructor. They also form the pool of likely and unlikely suspects, from which Della has to sort out potential motives and opportunities. It's entertaining to follow Della in her "take charge" mode, not unlike when she's cooking up a family meal and has only 30 minutes to do it. Speaking of which, a number of (what seem to be) easy to prepare recipes featuring some of the food mentioned in the book are presented as an appendix.
Acknowledgment: the author provided a copy of Pie à la Murder for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Proof Is in the Pudding
Berkley Prime Crime (Mass Market Paperback), February 2010
ISBN-13: 9780425233115; ISBN-10: 0425233111
Location(s) referenced in Pie à la Murder: Los Angeles, California
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Pie à la Murder by Melinda Wells — A Della Carmichael Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: July 2011
List Price: $7.99