“Like there are these things that matter on a large grand scale, the kind of things Melly cares about, like stopping fascism and curing climate change, and that’s obviously super important, but then there are the little individual things, like a woman who’s getting hit at home or a girl whose rapist gets a free pass for being popular. Do you go for the big sweeping save-the-world changes that will help the most people, or do you chip away at the little problems, fixing one and another and another until you have this huge snowball of good deeds built up?”
― Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies
Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies is the first book in the Pies Before Guys Mystery series. The description drew me in and I knew I needed to read it: a woman seeks vengeance on men who have wronged women by baking pies laced with deadly magic. Best part: there are recipes listed at the end of the book!
Daisy Ellery comes from a long line of magic women. Each woman’s magic manifests in different ways though: her grandmother sewed her magic into beautiful dresses, her mother opened a beauty salon where she used her magic to help cut women’s hair, and Daisy bakes her magic into pies. For years Daisy has believed that the family’s magic twisted and changed for the worse when it came to her. After all, her mother and grandmother used their magic for good, while Daisy’s magic mostly manifests for revenge.
Daisy’s first murder by pie was an accident. She has been on the move ever since, but has still found ways to deliver magic through baking. Daisy travels with her dog Zoe around the country in her refurbished RV baking vengeance into her pastries. Daisy delivers them to men who have done wrong to women in the towns wherever she chooses to stop.
Daisy currently parks her Pies Before Guys van outside a local diner, where she bakes pies for Frank, the diner owner. One day, Frank tells Daisy that someone has been prowling around her van. Daisy later discovers a letter stuck to her door. Her prowler knows about her secret murder pie business and is threatening to out her unless Daisy bakes pies for his own list of targets.
Daisy feels violated. Who dares blackmail her? This person obviously has no idea who or what they are dealing with, but without identifying who has it out for her, Daisy is left floundering. She decides to take whatever action she can: using her databases to research past abusive men, investing in security equipment, and staying aware of her surroundings.
When Daisy learns of a statewide pie contest that has the ability to help her promote Pies Before Guys everywhere, she decides to take the leap and enter. This contest, and the prize money, could change her life for the better as long as her blackmailer doesn’t get to her first.
Pies Before Guys Mystery series
- Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies (2022)
- A Good Day to Pie (2023)