Pie Hard

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

The third book in the Pie Town Mystery series by Kirsten Weiss is Pie Hard.  Val is surprised when a reality television crew shows up at Pie Town to film and critique her pie shop.  When the show's producer falls to her death, Val and her crust maker Charlene find themselves in the middle of another mystery.  Soon the killer turns his/her sights on Val.  This book has a few surprise twists in the form of sub-plots but keeps the same zany cast of characters.
Was this review helpful?
Story number 2 for Pie Town and Valentine Harris, or Val as she prefers to be called. Many things will be revealed when a reality bakery make over show shows up thanks to Charlene and her internet fueled feud with Marla. In addition to the crew of Pie Hard there is also Val's MIA father who walked out on her and her Mom 20 years ago plus a ninja kid who keeps popping up in unexpected places and then disappearing. The only mystery that becomes less of a mystery is how detective Gordon feels about Val as he makes his intentions definitely known and publicly known ( I do like a good bit of romance with this sweet as pie story line). Through in some Goddess Girls, a Yurt, the fear of UFOs, and a couple of deaths and Val is at it again with the Baker St. Bakers taking on a few new recruits or at least jr. associates.  Great story line with some interesting twists and turns with fingers being pointed at each character until the true murder is revealed in a very Agatha Christie sort of way. Looking forward to the next story and some more of those excellent pie recipes!
Was this review helpful?
I was unable to finish Pie Hard. It was a cute story to begin with, but I lost interest about 35% through. Maybe because it is from a series I haven't read so I have no connection to the characters. I didn't feel like there was any character development in the book and maybe that is because the characters have been previously established in prior books. I did feel like the book could stand alone, but for me personally it just didn't hold my interest at all.
Was this review helpful?
Pie hard is the third book in the Pie Town Mystery and I am still enjoying this series very much. Val Harris owner of Pie Town, a bakery specializing in pies in San Nicholas California, has more than one surprise in store. First she finds out that a group of "goddesses" are having their yearly retreat in a yurt that has been dropped off on her property, then that her pastry chef, friend and landlord, Charlene has submitted her name to be featured on an episode of Pie Hard. Pie Hard is a reality-based show that promises to turn businesses into instant successes. When the TV producer plunges or is pushed to her death, Val can’t help but suspect foul play. The second mystery is regarding the mystery man, who is now the new producer for the show. There is something about him that Val thinks is familiar, but she can't put her finger on it. When a second murder involving Pie Town occurs, Val knows she needs to get to the bottom of things fast, before it affects her business. 

This is a solid cozy mystery with quirky, likable characters and a dash of suspense. I really enjoyed the various mysteries within this story. Val has plenty of clues to sift through along with several suspects. The story is well-plotted with enough twists and clues that I was left guessing right up until the reveal. The family storyline was really interesting and I am curious to see if that will impact future offerings in this series. I would be remiss if I did not mention Charlene. She is not the MC, but I love every appearance of her in the stories. She is quirky, humorous, and jumps right into everything with both feet. Val has no choice but to follow along. I highly recommend this fun, light, entertaining book to cozy mystery fans.
Was this review helpful?
Pie Hard is a delightful cozy mystery.  I truly love the characters and the mystery was satisfying.   The writing style was funny and interesting.  I loved  everything about this book and can not wait for the next one!
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely one of my favorite series. It was the first series I’ve read by this author and I’m hooked. The characters are fun. The writing is well done. It was a quick read and I loved it!
Was this review helpful?
A good cozy mystery in the tradition of Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson with their own cast of unforgettable characters.  Take one struggling pie shop, add in unique characters, a reality show and what do you get?  Why a  murder of course!  As Val and Charlene work hard to save Val's pie business, they must also solve the murder and figure out why these things keep happening to them.  I've added Kirsten Weiss"s series to my reading watch list to make sure I don't miss the next episode of life at Pie Town.
Was this review helpful?
A great murder mystery!
Love the dynamics of the main characters and how the plot keeps getting better and better as the story develops. 
There are laugh out loud funny moments and unexpected twists. 
Definitely recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
Princess Fuzzypants here:  No one in their right mind would willingly volunteer to have their business torn to shreds in a reality show.  That is where Charlene comes in.  Without Val’s knowledge she signed Pie Town up for a makeover and when the crew descends, she is caught off guard.  Little does she know this is but the first glimmer of the revelations that are coming her way.  But first, she has to figure out who killed the producer of the show the first night they are in town.  There is enough chaos for Val to wonder if she might be the target too.
Val has far more patience than I would with Charlene and some of the other characters but the reader cannot help but like her.  She has this dream and she is making it happen.  So what if she is thrown a series of events that put it all at risk.  Val is going to survive.
It will be interesting to see how the new characters both Val and the reader discover during the book will play out in future stories.  Four purrs and two paws up.
Was this review helpful?
Val (for Valentine) Harris is the owner of Pie Town, a bakery specializing in  pies, both sweet and savory. Like many new businesses getting established and starting to turn a profit are goals, so far, not a reality. Speaking of reality, reality shows, in particular, Pie Town is going to be the featured on one. Unfortunately, murder is on the menu too. Filled with zany characters and a pie safe full of suspects, Pie Hard is another fun read with all sorts of twists to keep you guessing..
Was this review helpful?
Val goes to work one morning and is surprised to find people in Pie Town. Charlene has invited a reality TV show called Pie Hard to film at Pie Town. Val isn’t so sure about this development and then the producer, Regina is murdered. 
Chief Shaw takes over the investigation because Gordon is involved with Val. Shaw isn’t really interested in investigation so Val, Charlene and Ray look into what happened. Then another crew member dies. 
There are several other strangers in town and Val’s not sure why they are hanging around Pie Town.
Charlene was a bit less annoying in this book than past books.
Gordon finally lets Val know he likes her. 
Val has a lot of emotional stuff to deal with in this book. Although it is book 3 in the series, there is enough backstory that this could be read as a standalone.
Was this review helpful?
OK, admittedly I am joining this series late in the game.  I saw this book pop up and who could refuse the title “Pie Hard” (especially when you’re an avid Die Hard and pie fan)?  I don’t think it was too hard to catch up and join the series already in progress.  It could easily be a standalone story.

So what is “Pie Hard”?  It’s apparently a reality TV show that goes into failing pastry shops and uses an expert pastry chef and TV personality to make things all better.  Val, an owner of one such shop, is surprised to learn that not only did her employee lie to the production company about them being co-owners, but she also signed them up for this!  The camera crew surprises Val on an early morning, which just so happens to be the same morning that a crew of goddess worshippers show up on her property for a retreat (involving a yurt).  

Val’s life is obviously crazy, but is made even crazier when people involved in “Pie Hard” end up getting murdered.  As the resident, un-licensed detective, she feels compelled to help solve this mystery.  I was completely sucked in and absolutely did not guess the correct murderer.  Maybe I’m a crappy detective, but this made me feel even more involved and gave this story extra credit for stumping me.  I really enjoyed the story, the characters, and the overall mystery and would definitely check out other books in the series.
Was this review helpful?
Pie Hard
(Pie Town Mystery #3)
by Kirsten Weiss (Goodreads Author)

Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation


Goodreads synopsis:
Will Val pie hard on national TV? 

Business at the bakery may have slowed down, but Val Harris isn't about to eat humble pie--not until a reality cooking show decides to whip the struggling Pie Town into shape. If Val can tolerate criticism from an abrasive pastry chef during filming, the free publicity might turn the unusual opportunity into the sweetest deal she didn't know she needed.

Except no one in San Nicholas has an appetite for dessert once murder steals the spotlight. When the show's bossy producer gets pushed to her death, Val and her flaky, septuagenarian pie crust expert, Charlene, follow crumbs in hopes of finding the killer. But with cameras still rolling and the shocking identity of the victim's replacement a guaranteed recipe for disaster, Val needs to stay cool long enough to solve the crime and keep Pie Town from falling apart--or else she just might go up in smoke before she ever graces the small screen.

***

4 Stars

Pie Hard is the third book in the Pie Town series of cozy mysteries but it totally reads like a standalone. The book starts with Val Harris being awakened to what seems like an earthquake and then a blinding light. At first she thinks it is a UFO since she has a phobia about them. But soon she realizes that a huge truck has driven onto the property and her tiny home was shaken due to its sheer heaviness. Her abode isn’t the most stable place to live. 

It is 4am and a yurt is being delivered into her front yard. Come to find out, Val rents her tiny home, more like a fancy storage container, from her next door neighbor Charlene. Charlene has invited a group of metaphysical goddess types to hold their annual retreat in her yard and she had forgotten to tell Val about their arrival. 

And that wasn’t the only thing Charlene failed to tell Val about. She had gone behind Val’s back and requested that a reality TV show, Pie Hard, use Val’s business, Pie Town, as a guinea pig for their television antics Pie Hard was known for really bashing new businesses and Val’s business had only been open for less than a year. It wasn’t doing great but it wasn’t in dire straights either.

And so starts the roller coaster ride that is Pie Hard. It was truly an excellent cozy mystery that I recommend highly. So many great antics happen in the book that I don’t want to spoil anything for you. Trust me. This is a must read. I am putting Kirsten Weiss on my must read author list for sure. Kensington Books sure has a lot of great authors in their cozy mystery line up. I feel truly blessed to be able to read them and relate these great books to you. Definitely read this one. 

BTW, I read Pie Hard on Pi Day (3.14). I thought that was not only funny but pretty ironic. I was driving home and heard on the radio it was Pi Day 3/14/19. I laughed out loud. The funniest thing was… I hadn’t done that on purpose.

A delicious mystery with a super sweet conclusion. The Baker Street Bakers had done it again

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
Was this review helpful?
I have come to adore cozy novels in recent months, so I jumped at the chance to read this delightful little mystery. What could be a better setting than a beautiful, picturesque little town in coastal California with a gorgeous pie shop! This is the third book in the Pie Town Mystery series by Kirsten Weiss, the first book being ‘The Quiche and the Dead’ followed by ‘Bleeding Tarts.’ 

Valentine (Val) Harris’ pie shop, ‘Pie Town’ is struggling, however, when Val’s quirky business partner and pie crust expert, Charlene, allows a reality television crew from the show Pie Hard to film the shop, it seems that things might be about to change. If Val can tolerate criticism from an abrasive pastry chef during filming, the free publicity might turn the unusual opportunity into the sweetest deal she didn’t know she needed.
 
When the show’s bossy producer, Regina Katz, gets pushed to her death, Val and Charlene, once again, turn crime-solvers in the hope of finding the killer. Val needs to stay cool long enough to solve the crime and keep ‘Pie Town’ from falling apart, or else she just might go up in smoke before she ever graces the small screen.
For anyone, like me, who hasn’t read the first two books of the series, Kirsten Weiss, without being too overt, provides plenty of back-stories. Written in the first person, the characters in this novel were a scream and I particularly liked Val and Charlene’s interaction. I really enjoyed the easy-to-read writing style, the plot and the pace of the book.

All in all, “Pie Hard” is a light-hearted, lovely read, that combines mystery, thrills and murder and mayhem.

I'm looking forward to reading the first two books of the series with, hopefully, more to come!

[Thanks to #NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for the ARC of #PieHard in exchange for an honest review]
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book, I have read the other books in the series and I think Val is one of my favorite sleuths. There was so much good stuff in this book . From a surprising  Yert delivery, A film crew, andlong lost father. With mob ties. I loved the pace of the book and was guessing until the end about who the killer was. I also liked what happens with Val and Gordon. I highly recommended this book and series
Was this review helpful?
This is the 3rd book in the Pie Town Mystery series.  Val Harris owns Pie Town in San Nicholas, CA and her friend Charlene signs her up for a reality TV show called Pie Hard where a crew comes in, critiques the restaurant and suggests improvements.  When the producer is killed and then the star turns up dead, Val knows she has to help solve the crime.

This is a great cozy mystery with fun and quirky characters and a solid plot.  I recommend it.

Thanks to Kensington Publishing Corporation and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pie Hard, a reality cooking show has come to Pie Town courtesy of Charlene and as a complete surprise to Val. The camera and crew arrive along with Regina Katz, the show’s producer. Val is nervous because she knows what type of show this is. They will bash her shop and everything she does to get the high ratings. The show’s pastry chef, Ilsa Fueder, is already muttering “don’t like” about every pie she looks at.

After the first day of taping Val gets a call from Ray, one of the gaming regulars telling her that show’s producer has died in an “accident” he sees more like murder. Soon the Baker Street Bakers are into a full-blown investigation with Ray as an associate member, (he is not a baker). Shocked that show is continuing Val uses the opportunity to get to know all the suspects on her list. She also has a connection to the show’s new producer. The death has again slowed Pie Town’s business to a crawl. Hard to be a success when Val keeps finding dead bodies. She just knows she needs to find the killer before she is bankrupt and baked to a crisp.

This is a fun series and this is a great addition. Murder with a lot of mayhem fills these pages. Charlene is quite the instigator and to start with Val just has to go with the flow. Right from the beginning when a yurt is dropped within feet of Val’s tiny storage container house and the “goddesses” arrive for their yearly retreat. Something Charlene forgot to mention to Val. Then continuing when Val arrives at Pie Town to see her shop filled with strangers, holding cameras and tacking a microphone to her shirt. And on to Charlene’s several unbelievable and impossible theories about who killed the producer and why. It takes a little time, but Val gets her bearings and juggles all these balls in the air while trying to find out more about a certain new member of the crew. The author has done so well developing the recurring characters and introducing the new batch as well. Charlene’s cat, Frederick continues to make his appearances and is always good for a giggle.

I really enjoyed all the facets of the mysteries within this story. Val has plenty of clues to sift through along with plenty of suspects. The story is expertly plotted in a way that had me guessing right up until the big reveal. The family dynamic that was woven into the murder part of the story really added depth. It will be interesting to see how it impacts future stories. I was intrigued about how the goddesses were going to evolve into the story. I will say I was surprised at the role one of them played, but it was absolutely perfect.
Was this review helpful?
Pie Hard is the first of the Pie Town Mysteries I've read, despite it being the third book in the series. However, I don't feel like I'm really missing anything by starting in the middle. There's enough recapping in this book to cover any questions you may have about previous books. 

In Pie Hard, Val Harris is spending her entire day being ambushed: first by a semi truck delivering a yurt to her yard in the predawn hours, then by a television crew in her kitchen when she arrives to work at Pie Town. Surprise! Her landlady and pie crust expert, Charlene, has signed them up for Pie Hard, a reality show reminiscent of Kitchen Nightmares that specializes in bakeries. After spending half her day being scared out of her wits, Val settles into working around the crew- until the inevitable murder occurs after the workday ends. Who would have it out for the producer? One thing is clear: the locals would have no reason to kill her, so it must be one of the crew members they're surrounded by at work. Will Pie Hard turn Pie Town into a massive success? Will Val ever get to spend a day without someone surprising her at home or work? And will a cold-blooded murderer be caught?
Was this review helpful?
To be honest, I had no idea this was a series, until I started reading. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to go back and read Kirsten Weiss's other books: "The Quiche and the Dead" followed by "Bleeding Tarts." When I saw the title Pie Hard - which I thought was an obvious homage to the best Christmas movie in the world - I was sold. I love a good pun, and couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. 

At the beginning, I was somewhat lost, not having ready the previous two books, but was able to catch on quickly. Weiss does a great job giving a summary of what happened, and how it impacts the current book's events, without being too overly obvious. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Val and Charlene are a hoot - I would love to see more of Charlene, if she hasn't been given more of the spotlight in previous books. I'll find out soon - going to read the other two books ASAP! Anyway, I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy Weiss's style of writing - first person often loses me - but I found myself getting comfortable reading along.

If you're looking for a lighthearted, easy read, that also combines mystery, thrills and murder - this is the book for you!


Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for the ARC!
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely adored this cozy mystery by Kirsten Weiss. Pie Hard is the 3rd installment of the Pie Town Mystery series, and once again Weiss has delivered an enjoyable cozy. Val Harris, owner of Pie Town is shocked to discover her best friend and "business partner" Charlene wrote to have Pie Town featured on a television program called Pie Hard. Where a cast of celebrity chefs and personalities attempt to take a bakery in need of help and turn it into a winning business. Although reluctant at first, Val can see how being featured on a nationally broadcast show could be good for business...at least until one of the crew members is murdered. 

Featuring a cast of lovable characters, Pie Hard is an excellent addition to this series. It has the perfect balance of mystery, action, and romance to want me to return to the series for the 4th book in the series.

The pace of the book was perfect. Sometimes with cozy mysteries there is a significant portion of time spent on developing plot and character that can be long winded. That is not the case with this. The story continues to move and keeps you intrigued until you finally learn the solution to the mystery.

Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?