My book review for One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon was meant to go up on 12 February but a long series of computer issues and glitches prevented me from posting on my tour date.
This post is part of a blog tour with Lori Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.
Book: One Poison Pie
(Book 1 in The Kitchen Witch Mystery Series)
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Number of pages: 272 pages
Publication date: 26 January 2021
Digital ASIN: B087YNC1B6
In the first in New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon’s Kitchen Witch series, Mia Malone is starting over in Magic Springs, Idaho—where murder is on the menu . . .
What’s a kitchen witch to do when her almost-fiancé leaves her suddenly single and unemployed? For Mia Malone, the answer’s simple: move to her grandmother’s quirky Idaho hometown, where magic is an open secret and witches and warlocks are (mostly) welcome. With a new gourmet dinner delivery business—and a touch of magic in her recipes—Mia’s hopes are high. Even when her ex’s little sister, Christina, arrives looking for a place to stay, Mia takes it in stride.
But her first catering job takes a distasteful turn when her client’s body is found, stabbed and stuffed under the head table. Mia’s shocked to learn that she’s a suspect—and even more so when she realizes she’s next on a killer’s list. With Christina, along with Mia’s meddling grandma, in the mix, she’ll have to find out which of the town’s eccentric residents has an appetite for murder…before this fresh start comes to a sticky end.
Nadaness In Motion's Book Review
“Lady, you have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself in to. There’s no way you can pull this off. I’m going to make sure of that.”
For a while, I’ve been hearing about cozy mystery author Lynn Cahoon so when I saw that One Poison Pie was going to be a book tour, I hopped on.
My first read for her is also the first in the Kitchen Witch Mystery Series.
I’m not sure how the title One Poison Pie relates to the story. In fact, I think it’s rather misleading but maybe I didn’t get it. After all, most cozy mystery novels tend to have punned titles.
The novel opens with Mia Malone, a kitchen witch, who just moved from the big city (and a breakup) to her small hometown. She managed to snag an old school that she’s hoping to turn into a home-food-delivery and kitchen school business.
Being a kitchen witch is completely different from the general witches. Mia introduces the idea early on:
“They didn’t wear black, pointy hats or fly around the moon. Mia’s magic was more about the colors, the food, the process of making a house a home.”
That said, kitchen witches are connected to a goddess. And Mia’s connection is through a rag doll named Gloria.
Honestly I was curious about the whole kitchen witch thing but even after I finished the novel I was still confused about it and it felt a bit creepy. It gave the story a magical/paranormal feel but I think I needed more clarity.
In One Poison Pie, Mia has enough problems as it is with the school as she hopes to get her business off the ground before it strangles her in debt. But before she can even begin to do that, her bidding rival threatens her several times.
In addition, she has an upcoming birthday-catering gig to attend to. Only problem is, her one and only client, who is hated by the entire town, ends up dead a day before her birthday!
“I swear, we’re all going to die of heart failure one day because there won’t be anyone under sixty to drive the ambulance.”
Mia doesn’t originally plan to see how her client ends up dead but she’s also the prime suspect because the victim, Adele Simpson, was stabbed with a knife.
In addition to the kitchen business and the dead client, Mia takes in Christina, her ex-boyfriend’s sister to live with her. She’s a rebellious-looking but kind-at-heart teenager. Mia suspects that her ex is using his sister to get to Mia’s cookbook.
One Poison Pie is fully of quirky and fun characters. I especially loved Mia’s grandmother Alice, aka Grans, and Mia’s potential new love Trent, who also has magical roots. There’s Trent’s brother Levi, along with Christina, who you can’t help but love, among others.
“A rumor can swirl through a small town faster than a forest fire could burn an acre.”
Although Mia’s isn’t directly investigating Adele’s murder, she picks up rumors and tidbits. Adele was also Grans’ best friend, which means she too wants to know what happened.
I really like that the mystery was tough to solve and the murder was unexpected.
One Poison Pie is narrated in the third person perspective of Mia. So it’s easy to get into her head and we get to enjoy her sarcastic and humorous side.
“Helen patted Grans, looking more like she was dusting off her back than offering a gesture of real condolence.”
Overall I think One Poison Pie is a good start to the series. I’d love to see what the other books will bring for Mia, Trent, and Grans.
Overall rating for One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon: 4 stars.
Note: I got a free copy of One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon as part of a blog tour with Great Escapes with Dolly Cas. This in no way affected my review.
About the Author:Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. She also pens the Cat Latimer series, the Farm to Fork series, and the Kitchen Witch series.
Small town setting, big time fun with a bit of murder to keep it interesting. Romance novels are published under the pen name, Lynn Collins. She lives in a small river town like Mark Twain with her husband and three fur kids.