Title: Gourd to Death
Author: Kirsten Weiss
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Page Count: 320
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
This Halloween, pie shop proprietor Val Harris must patch together clues to solve a murder by pumpkin . . .
As the owner of Pie Town, Val’s been tapped to judge the pie making contest at the annual pumpkin festival in the coastal California town of San Nicholas. Things could get sticky though—her boyfriend, cop Gordon Carmichael, is entering the competition with his “special” family pumpkin pie recipe. But Val’s got bigger problems than a conflict of interest when she and her flaky piecrust-maker Charlene discover another contestant crushed under an enormous pumpkin.
When grudge-holding Chief Shaw comes up with a half-baked reason to toss Carmichael off the case and onto the suspect list, it’s up to Val and Charlene to find the tricky killer. But as they dodge lethal pumpkin cannons and follow the clues into a figurative and literal maze, the pie pals are in for the scariest Halloween of their lives—and it may be their last . . .
Gourd to Death by Kirsten Weiss is the fifth book in the cozy Pie Town Mystery series. Each book of the series contains it’s own mystery that is fully solved so they all could be read as a standalone or in any order if choosing to do so. However, those that follow from the beginning do have character development that carries over book to book.
In the first book of the Pie Town Mystery series readers were introduced to Valentine “Val” Harris who had moved to San Nicholas along the coast in California thinking she was going to be starting a whole new life by opening up her own business and marrying her fiance. Six months later all Val had left was her business when her fiance had called off their wedding and after putting all her money into her dream, Pie Town, she knew she had to do whatever it took to make the business a success.
However, Val and her pie crust maker, Charlene, seem to have the worst luck when it comes to finding dead bodies but the duo are becoming better and better at finding the murderers. This time Val has been asked to be a judge in the pie making contest at the annual pumpkin festival where she is doing her best to stay neutral even though her boyfriend is entered and another contestant is trying bribes. But the contest becomes the least of Val’s worries when she and Charlene stumble on a dead body that under one of the huge pumpkins.
The Pie Town Mystery series is another one of my favorite cozies that has that combination of quirkiness and fun that I enjoy. I’ve followed this one from the beginning and have absolutely fallen in love with Val’s sidekick Charlene, she is absolutely hilarious. You just never know what kind of hijinx the pair are going to encounter making chasing a killer something to laugh about and I will keep reading as long as the author keeps adding books to this series!
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.
Now based in Colorado Springs, CO, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.
Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com