Plum Deadly-Ellie Grant

Plum Deadly
Ellie Grant
Gallery, Sep 3 2013, $15.00
ISBN 9781451689556

Twelve years ago, Maggie Grady left Durham, North Carolina for Manhattan. She became successful and returned home once to attend the funeral of Uncle Fred; who with his wife Aunt Clara raised her when her parents died. Six weeks ago, her world collapsed when her boss Louis Goldberg showed her documents proving she stole three million from a client. Her firm decided not to press charges, but took all her money and values to make remittance. Maggie had enough cash to buy a one-way bus ticket home. Filled with guilt over her treatment of her family and helpless anger over being the fall guy for a crime she did not commit, Maggie works at her Aunt Clara’s Pie In The Sky restaurant while unable to obtain any banking position and also worrying about her relative’s deteriorating mental state.

Apologetic Goldberg arrives at the pie shop insisting he will name the real embezzler at a news conference tomorrow; he refuses to say who the suspect is in spite of Maggie’s pleading though she records the conversation. However, before he speaks publically, someone murders Goldberg, leaving his body blocking the shop’s back door. Durham PD Detective Frank Waters suspects Maggie as the killer especially with Clara’s “helpful” commentary and confiscates her cell as evidence. Reporter Ryan Summerour covers the homicide story, but also is attracted to Maggie.

The first Pie In The Sky culinary cozy is an enjoyable investigative whodunit. The cast is solid while the beleaguered protagonist with help from Ryan and somewhat Frank tries to prove her innocence; their discussions are wry and witty adding depth to the action-packed storyline. Readers will appreciate Team Grant’s engaging mystery and alliterating recipes.

Harriet Klausner

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