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Authors: Ellery Adams

Pies and Prejudice

BOOK: Pies and Prejudice
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Praise for the novels of Ellery Adams

Pies and Prejudice

“Enchanting! The Charmed Pie Shoppe has cast its spell on me! Ellery Adams brings the South to life with the LeFaye women of Havenwood. This new series is as sweet and tangy as a warm Georgia peach pie.”

—Krista Davis, author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries

A Deadly Cliché

“A very well-written mystery with interesting and surprising characters and a great setting. Readers will feel as if they are in Oyster Bay.”

The Mystery Reader

“This series is one I hope to follow for a long time, full of fast-paced mysteries, budding romances, and good friends. An excellent combination!”

The Romance Readers Connection

A Killer Plot

“Ellery Adams’s debut novel,
A Killer Plot
, is not only a great read, but a visceral experience…Visit Oyster Bay and you’ll long to return again and again.”

—Lorna Barrett,
New York Times
bestselling author of the Booktown Mysteries

“Adams’s plot is indeed killer, her writing would make her the star of any support group, and her characters—especially Olivia and her standard poodle, Captain Haviland—are a diverse, intelligent bunch.
A Killer Plot
is a perfect excuse to go coastal.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A fantastic start to a new series…With new friendships, possible romance(s), and promises of great things to come,
A Killer Plot
is one book you don’t want to be caught dead missing.”

The Best Reviews

“[An] exciting new killer of a series…It’s one of those ‘don’t bug me, I’m reading’ books you’re going to savor from the first page to the last.”

Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Berkley Prime Crime titles by Ellery Adams

Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries


Books by the Bay Mysteries




Pies and


Ellery Adams



Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) • Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.


A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author


Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / July 2012

Copyright © 2012 by Ellery Adams.

Excerpt from
Peach Pies and Alibis
by Ellery Adams copyright © 2012 by Ellery Adams.

Cover illustration by Julia Green.

Cover design by Diana Kolsky.

Interior text design by Laura K. Corless.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

ISBN: 978-1-101-58110-0


Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”



For Leann and Lorraine:

Friendship is the breathing rose,
with sweets in every fold.

—Oliver Wendell Holmes

Promises and piecrust are made to be broken.

—Jonathan Swift

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20


Chapter 1

Ella Mae LeFaye Kitteridge slammed a ball of dough onto the countertop, sending a snowstorm of flour into the air. With angry fingers, she worked pinches of flour into the moist dough and then flattened it with her palm, her hazel eyes flashing a dangerous crocodile green.

“And then what happened?” asked a tiny woman sitting on a stool at a safe distance. She had eyes and hair the color of wet tree bark and always smelled of strawberries.

Smoothing a film of flour onto the surface of a scarred wooden rolling pin, Ella Mae paused in her work. “After class, I stopped by Whole Foods and bought organic lamb and an eggplant so ripe I could still smell the sunlight on its skin. All the way home, my mind was already in the kitchen, humming as I slid the Moroccan lamb pie into the oven, the pecans and maple syrup waiting to be made into dessert, Chewy gnawing on a bone instead of my new leather gloves.”

“But you never made it to the kitchen….” the pixielike woman prompted and bit into a red licorice twist, her expression a mixture of avid curiosity and genuine worry.

Ella Mae pressed the rolling pin against the dough, crushing it mercilessly, forcing it to thin and stretch, thin and stretch, her arm muscles made taut with the effort. When the dough was nearly translucent, she put the implement aside and gently lifted the buttery crust into a ceramic pie dish. She laid it down tenderly, as though putting a small child to bed.

Smoothing away minute wrinkles using the tip of her pinkie, she sighed, covering the dough with a breath of wretchedness. “I never made it to the apartment, Reba. I pressed the up button and waited for the elevator, but when it came…”

Ella Mae stopped speaking and pulled a mixing bowl filled with plump, freshly picked blueberries toward her. Closing her eyes, she scooped up the berries in her hand, inhaling their crisp, tart scent as they fell between her fingers into the pie pan. A single tear rolled down her cheek, dropping onto the last blueberry. It shimmered for a second, like a diamond catching a ray of sunlight, and the sparkle swept over the other berries like a wave of fairy dust. And then the glimmer disappeared as though it had never existed, like a star being rubbed away by the dawn.

The woman named Reba blinked in surprise. She leaned closer to the pie, shrugged dismissively, and took another bite of her red licorice twist.

Ella Mae drizzled the blueberries with a blend of lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, sugar, and a touch of salt. Finally, she coated the glistening fruit with a crumb blend of butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. She put the pie in the oven and turned back to Reba with a sigh. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

Reba nodded and joined Ella Mae at the sink where she was washing her hands. “Why don’t you mess about with your mama in the yard while this is cooking’? Maybe the two of you can catch up a bit.”

Ella Mae gave a dry laugh. “Reba,
the one who
raised me. You and my aunts. My mother was too busy with her garden teas and Derby parties and Junior League events. If I can’t talk to you about what happened in New York, how will I find the words to tell
? She already thinks I’m a failure. Thirty-two, childless, and within the year I can add divorcée to that fine list of accomplishments.”

“Listen, sugar. Those city folks don’t need another bakery. But the good people of Havenwood, Georgia, do! A person can only stand so many sticky buns from the Piggly Wiggly. They go down the gullet like the
.” She curled an arm around Ella Mae’s slim waist. “I remember the magic you used to work in this kitchen. You’ve always had a way with food, child. Why, just smell that pie! It’s fillin’ the whole room with—”

“Melancholy,” stated a female voice in a low alto. A handsome woman in her late fifties removed a wide-brimmed straw hat trimmed with a pink and green plaid ribbon and patted a rebellious curl—black with filaments of silver—back into submission beneath her headband. Chewy, a young Jack Russell terrier, followed at her heels, his russet ears perked excitedly and a gardening glove secured between his jaws. He raced over to Ella Mae, caressed her with his black nose, and then trotted off to tear up the glove beneath the kitchen table.

BOOK: Pies and Prejudice
6.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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