Cozy fans will feel right at home with Lynn Cahoon’s Kitchen Witch series.
One Poison Pie was a satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs kind of cozy mystery. It checked off everything on my cozy mystery wishlist, but threw in a few fun surprises along the way. I appreciated that every character was well-introduced — well, right up until the end, where we are left with a few questions to be answered! The mysteries are solved, justice is served, but the book leaves just enough unsaid that there can be plenty of sequels. I didn’t guess the killer, but of course, everything clicked into place at the big reveal.
Really, this one had it all. A murder to solve, some side mysteries, a colorful cast of characters, a few laughs, romance, intrigue, and secrets big and small. And food! Can’t forget the food. It was an easy to read buffet of everything you’d expect and want in a cozy mystery.
However, it did take a long time for the magic part to gain traction in this story. I actually forgot this was a paranormal cozy until about halfway through. Maybe there will be more magic in the rest of the series, but this first installment was rather light on the paranormal. I’m still not exactly sure what a Kitchen Witch does with her magic, and I don’t think Mia does either. Perhaps this is part of a larger universe and I’d have a better grasp of the magical aspect if I had read other books by this author.
The main character wasn’t such a great sleuth. She didn’t set out to solve mysteries, though; she just kind of fell into it. She’s a caterer making a fresh start, after all, not a budding gumshoe! It’s not her fault that she got tangled up with Magic Springs’ curmudgeonly murder victim — or is it? I felt that the fact that she missed a lot of big clues actually worked in the book’s favor since it allowed the reader to feel cleverer than the main character. Plenty of opportunity to groan, “I told you so!”
This may be a bit of a spoiler, but I’m not sure where this title came from, except that the “One” implies that this is the beginning of a series. There was a brief mention of pie during an event planning scene, but no poison. I also expected Mr. Darcy to play a much larger role, considering his fascinating backstory. Maybe next time.
I listened to the audiobook version. The narrator did a great job with the pacing, but the voices were not always clearly differentiated. This may irritate some readers who rely on the narrator’s voice acting.
This was the first book that I’ve read from this author, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. One Poison Pie is comforting and engaging, just like a good cozy mystery is supposed to be.
Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.