Cover Image: Pie Hard

Pie Hard

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

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?
Thank you Netgalley, publisher, and author for an advance copy of this book.

There was...a whole lot going on in Pie Hard.  Admittedly, I have not read the first two in this series, but luckily Kirsten Weiss was mindful enough to catch us newbies up to speed with the gist of the past two books.  

Pie Hard follows Val and her landlady/employee/friend Charlene as they tackle yet another mysterious death when reality show Pie Hard comes to town to film their bakery.  People are dropping like flies, everyone is a suspect and no one has alibis.  This story would have been enough without the convoluted ending, throwing in family secrets / sketchy careers / skeletons in closets / blossoming romance / unnecessary plot lines.  There just became too much of everything and unfortunately it really put a dent in my enjoyment of this book.
Was this review helpful?
3.25 stars

This third entry in the Pie Town mysteries is diverting and zany fun. Pie shop owner Val Harris is still struggling to get her fledgling bake shop on a successful course, so she reluctantly agrees when her crazy co-worker Charlene manages to snare a spot on a reality TV show for the business. 

But several dead bodies later, it's clear that Val and her bakery are in peril. Charlene brings a great deal of wackiness to the setup, including a narcoleptic cat she wears as a boa, a goddess circle temporarily set up in her front yard, and an otherworldly interest in UFOs.

Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I adore this series and have read the previous books in the series. What could be better then a small town in coastal California with a fabulous pie shop! The descriptions of the baking of the pies in this series will make every reader run to their closest pie shop.  I recommend that all readers read the beginning two books as you will not want to miss the introduction to this fun series. I love that the author has incorporated great charcters, funny repartee and always a good sleuth . This is the third in series. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity to review this new release. My opinion is my own. 

 Valentine “Val” Harris lives in San Nicholas a fictional small town on the coast of California . She opened her own business called "Pie Town". It is soon popular with the locals and a town favorite.  Val has a partner Charlene who is a skilled crust maker and good friend . Between the two of them they have a habit of finding dead bodies and solving murders . 

 When quirky Charlene decides to allow a reality television crew from the show Pie Hard to film the shop Val  has trepidation about being involved. When another body has been found Val thinks it’s the end of the series for her but the producers decided to continue it. Val and Charlene are on the case once again as a skilled crime solving duo. 

The Pie Town Mystery series is one of my favorite new cozy mystery series. I enjoy the descriptions of the shop, the sleuth is always well crafted and the charcters are quite enjoyable and funny. I look forward to the next in series.  I highly recommend all books in this fun series. Its the perfect escape with delicious pies and a murder to solve.
Was this review helpful?
This is kind of a surreal little cozy mystery, but I liked it. Val's life is in chaos with a reality TV show, goddesses, her tiny house, her bakery, and a figure from her past. And, of course, a dead body. There's no fluff in this plot because there isn't room for any. The author keeps all the strands of this story going and then ties them up neatly at the end. I don't think I'd want Val's life, but it's a fun escape for a couple of hours.

Review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Pie Hard is the third book in the Pie Town Mystery series! We meet up again with Val Harris as her and her restaurant are in the spotlight! They’re going to be on a cooking reality show, but when the TV producer plunges to her death, Val thinks that something doesn’t add up, and she starts looking for the murderer. 

I LOVE this series! It’s definitely a favorite of mine. The characters are delightfully likable and really entertaining, especially Val. I really like her! I think she’s down-to-earth and relatable as heck. 

The mystery itself was very engrossing and really gripping. It really kept my attention until the end and left me very satisfied. The pacing was spot on, and the writing was really good as always. 

Overall, a great addition to an amazing series! If you liked the first two books in the series, you’ll love this one!
Was this review helpful?
Reality TV, oh my!  Don’t think I would want to be on one of those shows, especially if folks are going to be dying.  What I would like though, are some of those yummy pies that the folks at Pie Town baked up.  What a cast of characters!  That Charlene is a mess!!   Valentine certainly has her hands full.  I really don’t know how she kept her senses between the goddess gals and the TV show.  Let’s not forget her maybe, but not quite sure boyfriend.  How’s a girl suppose to function with all these things in her life, especially 2 out of 3 being a “surprise”.  Oh, let’s not forget the 2 strangers that show up in Pie Town.  As they say, timing is everything.  Would you want to be a part of the Baker Street Bakers?  I’m glad they accepted some help.  This is a great story with great characters.  Can’t wait to see what happens next.  I received this book from NetGalley, but my opinion is my own.
Was this review helpful?
This was the perfect escape from the winter doldrums. Spending time in the California town of San Nicholas and the crew of Pie Town - Val and her sidekick, Charlene is great fun - even when the bodies start to pile up, again. Business hasn't been stellar and Val is talked into letting a reality show film her bakery. The producer dies day one and things go down hill from there. Val and Charlene are in the thick of it, investigating in their own fashion. If this keeps up, Cupid can pack up and leave town. Her budding romance with the investigating cop may have hit the skids. 
Val and Charlene are a great duo both as co-workers at Pie Town and as amateur sleuths. Read as a stand alone or in order, no matter. Just take my warning and, if you have just found this series, be ready to get your hands on the previous two mysteries and settle down to enjoy the show.
Was this review helpful?
Pie Hard by Kirsten Weis
Book #3: Pie Town Mystery Series
Source: NetGalley and Kensington Publishing Company
Rating: 4½/5 stars

Val Harris loves owning her own business even if it eats up most of her time, life, and energy.  Baking pies, filling bellies, seeing happy faces, and working with her staff brings Val such joy.  What would bring her even more joy, the bakery bringing in a larger profit and sustaining itself financially.  As ever, Val keeps her worries to herself and her crust maker, Charlene interferes. 

As far as interfering goes, Charlene has really outdone herself this time!  With no input or even consent from Val, Charlene has signed Pie Town up to participate in a reality show.  To that end, the producers, cameras, and stars will come into the shop, assess Val, her staff, and her products, and (hopefully) not make her out to be a fool on national television.  Oh, and if Val is really lucky, the entire production will help her find new and inventive ways to improve her products and her shop.  Unfortunately, Val has yet to be really lucky 😊 

Before Val knows it, she’s committed to the show, her kitchen is filled to capacity, one of the “experts” is kind of mean, and another one ends up dead.  Just as fast as everything else happens, Val is drawn into yet another murder (or two) investigation and her limited free time is spent not sleeping, worrying about her shop and her safety, and what shenanigans Charlene is going to get up to next.  There’s also the matter of her kind of boyfriend, the sexy police officer who may not be her kind of boyfriend much longer since Val’s involvement in the current case got him kicked off the case.  Yeah, there a lot of crazy in every one of Val’s days and nights. 

The Bottom Line:  I’m just going to put this out there right now, the Pie Town Mystery series is getting stronger with each additional book.  This time through, Val is more confident in her investigative skills, Charlene is even crazier, they have an investigative intern (YAY!), and the plot is the strongest yet.  In point of fact, this particular plot seems to be intended to set up the continuation of the series for the foreseeable future.  Without giving anything away, the use of and the results of the Pie Town participation in the reality show sets Val and Charlene up for a very nice and successful indeed.  In addition to professional evolution, there is also evolution on the personal side and I so love that for these characters.  In completely cheesy fashion, I am ready for another slice of pie 😊
Was this review helpful?
Pie Hard is the third installment in the Pie Town Mystery series featuring Valentine "Val" Harris set in San Nicholas, California.  Unbeknownst to Val, her pie crust maker, Charlene submitted an application for Pie Town to appear on the reality show Pie Hard, and now the celebrity cast has descended on their shop to evaluate, critique and film for an upcoming episode.

The Pie Town regulars are excited to have the cameras in their midst including Ray Mactaggart, the  head of the gamers group that claims a booth in the pie shop every afternoon.  Val is stunned when later that evening she receives a call from Ray stating that he witnessed the show's producer, Regina Katz get pushed to her death over the cliffs surrounding the crew's hotel.

Despite the objections from Detective Gordon Carmichael, Val joins forces with her friends to track down a killer.  Tension was running high between the cast of Pie Hard and the suspect pool includes head bakery consultant Nigel Prashad, pastry chef Ilsa Fueder, the two men making up the sound and film crew, a mysterious stranger who arrives to take over for Regina and the furtive, long haired man that seems to be stalking Val.

Readers of this series will not be disappointed with this latest installment.  The quirky cast of characters are engaged in their usual madcap adventures right from page one, this time joined not only by the narcoleptic cat, Frederick but a group of yurt dwelling goddesses who have landed in Val's yard.  The shocking identity reveal of the two strangers will definitely have you reaching for the next addition to the series -

I received an advanced copy of Pie Hard from Kensington Books via NetGalley.  While not required to write a review I am more than happy to offer my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This is a fairly standard cozy, but it has an OK plot and the pace is good. Something is happening most of the time. The last part is very good, with some fun action, the traditional big meet and some suspense and romance.
Was this review helpful?
Pie Hard is a delightful cozy mystery.  I loved the well written plot and the quirky sleuths.  Mystery fans will love this book.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun humorous book, third in the Pie Town Mystery series. The story goes thus, landlady Charlene signs Val and herself up for a reality based show Pie Hard, and the producer soon falls to her death followed by an episode of arson and another death on the golf course. And Val and Charlene start their investigation along with their pie baking.

My first book by Kirsten Weiss, initially, it took me time to really understand and love both Val and Charlene. But once I got into the rhythm of their shop Pie Town and pie making, it became quite easy to start rolling into the fun of their antics.

The characters were all different, eccentric or quirky would be a better description. The suspense and mystery were well weaved between the camera shooting. Strangers entered their lives who soon became friends and lost relatives. Certain events had me rolling in laughter, including a pie fight and stopping an escaping suspect by jumping on the roof of his car.

The only niggle I had was there was so much going on in the midsection that it overwhelmed me as along with the murder mystery, there were side stories and backstories like coven of naked women dancing, alienophobia, hypnosis, psychiatric consulting. Whew!!

A fast paced whodunit which kept me entertained with lovable characters, pies, and a hint of romance. This book was a great cozy mystery.
Was this review helpful?
It's the second book i read in this series and I really liked it.
It's entertaining and fun to read.
The plot is action packed, full of twists and turns; the cast of characters is likable and it was great to meet them again.
The mystery was good and kept me guessing till the end.
I look forward to reading the next installment in this series.
Recommended!
Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC
Was this review helpful?
Pie Hard by Kirsten Weiss is the 2rd book in the Pie Town Mystery series, and I loved it. Pie Hard is a perfect blend of mystery and humor. Val owns the restaurant Pie Town.  Charlene her elderly crust maker, signs the  restaurant up for a make over on network television.  When the shows producer gets murdered, thrown over a cliff, the mystery begins.  Not only is this book really funny, I often found myself laughing out loud a lot, the mystery kept me guessing until the end. I found this book to be a quick read, I read it in one day, with a well developed plot and unique characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love humorous cozy mysteries, I strongly recommend this book and series.

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?