Release Date: Apr 30, 2019
Series: Domestic Diva
Event planner Sophie Winston is happy to be helping out at the Pie Festival being held in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Most of the town is thrilled that their hometown girl Patsy Lee Presley, now a famous TV chef, is returning to Old Town as one of the judges. However, Patsy Lee dies under suspicious circumstances during the festival, and Sophie learns that not everyone is happy to be reunited with Patsy Lee. Sophie starts her own investigation to learn the truth when she suspects Patsy Lee’s death is related to a cold case as well as another violent act which hits close to home.
I began reading this series in the middle, but had no problems catching up and connecting with the main characters. I love Sophie who is clever, kind, and loyal to her best friends which include Nina, who has a great sense of humor, her ex-husband ,Mars, and his best friend, Bernie. The four of them are always there for each other and their dialogue is entertaining and realistic. They are a great friend group who hang out often to eat and talk and discuss Sophie’s latest case.
On the other hand, Sophie’s frenemy, Natasha, is hard to take. I think Sophie has the patience of a saint to put up with Natasha’s snooty put-downs. What is amusing is how the author contrasts the two characters by having domestic advice columns beginning each chapter, some responses from Sophie and some from Natasha. In this book, all of the questions are tips are related to pies. The difference between Sophie’s practical, down-to-earth advice and Natasha’s snobby responses are funny, although some of Natasha’s columns in the later chapters are missing some of her usual snark.
In this book, Sophie’s friend Nina plays a larger role in helping find out who had a motive for various acts of violence that could be related. I love seeing them work together to try to solve the mysteries that the local police can’t. Sophie seems to have more chemistry with her former boyfriend and her ex-husband than her current boyfriend, Alex. I don’t know what the author has in mind, but I have always hoped Sophie and her ex-husband Mars would take another chance at romance. They have such a deep connection and Mars seems to understand and appreciate Sophie. For now, I am enjoying their friendship as one of the highlights of the series.
The investigation in this book takes several unexpected turns and when everything finally comes to light, I was happy with the way things turned out. This book, like the others in this series I have read, is well-written with characters I care about and interesting situations. I like the plot turns and how well everything comes together at the end. Sophie and her friends have done it again for a fun, entertaining mystery. Those who like to cook will be pleased with all of the recipes at the end for dishes mentioned throughout the book.