Cover Image: A Good Day to Pie

A Good Day to Pie

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The latest entry in one of my favorite series, where you root for a confirmed murderer who is actually ethical and working some deadly magic for a good cause.

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This book just wasn’t for me. I know some will love it but I struggled staying interested in the story and got bored.

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A huge thank you to the author, Misha Popp, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book! I received a copy of this novel for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily!

This is the second installment of the Pies Before Guys murder mystery series, and I absolutely loved it! This centers around our main character, Daisy, entering a televised baking competition. During her two weeks away to film the show, two murders occur. It is up to Daisy, and magic, to figure out who is responsible.

The thing I loved the most about this book was the baking competition and the similarities it had to ALL the baking shows I’ve ever watched. It reminded me of a cross between The Great British Baking show and any American televised baking competition. I absolutely loved this!

In addition, the mystery and whodunit aspect of the book was… good.. unexpected.. but it wasn’t my favorite part.

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As someone who loves murder mysteries and the great British bake off, this book was the absolute perfect read for me! The main character has a side business making murder pies for people, and when she is at a hotel to compete in a baking show, someone on her list turns up dead and was killed by someone else. I finished this book in one sitting and loved every second of it.

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"Here's the scoop: this book's a mix of baking brilliance and mystery that's seriously addictive. Popp's got this writing style that's just magic, spinning a tale where baking meets sleuthing. The characters? Oh man, they're so real you'll feel like they're your pals. Daisy and Zoe? Best duo ever. Their bond adds this extra layer of 'aww' to the whole story. You'll be hooked by the writing, the plot's twists, and the way everyone connects. It's like a cozy mystery that's also your best buddy – totally irresistible!

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As someone who loves watching holiday cooking competition shows, I LOVED seeing that setting get to be the back drop for A Good Day to Pie. In the first book, we see how Daisy's magic* works through pies to help women in dangerous situations but in this installation it feels like we're really seeing how talented Daisy is as a baker and how dedicated she is to helping others, even without her magic to rely on. Secret pathways, murders, reality TV, and a whole cast of suspects - A Good Day to Pie has it all. I think I somehow managed to love A Good Day to Pie even more than the original and I'm excited to see what comes next for Daisy and her pies.

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Thanks to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books, and Dreamscape Media for the ARC. It hasn't affected the content of my review.

I need to rewind and read the first book, but honestly, this sequel works great as a standalone too. Prepare for a diverse cast and a juicy mystery with lots of mouth-watering food thrown in the mix. Daisy, a murder dealer and magic wielder, is on a mission to figure out what the heck happened, all while keeping the show going (because even death can't stop the capitalist machine).

What sets this book apart is its laser focus on the baking competition. Finally, a Bake-Off inspired TV show that gets it right! While I love other baking books, like Battle Royal, they don't quite hit the sweet spot like this one. You'll feel like you're watching the show yourself with all the baking details packed in. Some may not dig it, but I sure did.

As for the series, I have two hopes. First, more books, but not so many that it overstays its welcome. Second, please shake things up and don't get stuck in a cozy rut. Traditional cozy mysteries can feel too samey to me, but this series manages to be both cozy and progressive. Keep the growth coming, Daisy!

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This was fun! British Bakeoff meets cozy mystery. I liked the characters, the premise, and how it all played out. While it was somewhat predictable, it felt good in this book. I could have benefited from reading the first book in the series I think but overall it still worked well as a standalone. I'd recommend as a good vacation read.

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𝚊 𝚐𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚍𝚊𝚢 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚒𝚎 🥧 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This was just the most perfect read for me. I love whodunits. I love baking and the great British bake off. I just loved the entire thing.

"A Good Day to Pie” takes the delightful world of competitive baking and sprinkles in a healthy dose of mystery and mischief. Daisy, the charmingly unconventional protagonist, has a secret recipe for pies that goes beyond flavor - they carry a hint of vengeance. Her mission to serve justice in the form of pies to the town's undesirables sets the stage for a cosy yet edgy tale.

Popp's narrative captivates from the first bite, delivering a rich blend of humor, intrigue, and mouthwatering descriptions of Daisy's delectable creations. As Daisy competes in a televised baking competition, the tension rises when she discovers that one of the judges is her intended victim. The sudden death of the judge before her pie's delivery sets the stage for a thrilling culinary whodunit.

The book's unique premise merges the world of competitive baking with a sprinkle of dark humor, offering readers an enchanting story of suspense and charm. Daisy's determination to solve the murder, even if it means employing a touch of magic, keeps the plot engaging and unpredictable.

For anyone who has ever fancied the drama of a baking competition, or harbored secret fantasies of revenge, "A Good Day to Pie" delivers a delightful and entertaining escape. Popp's witty storytelling takes the concept of 'a dessert to die for' to a whole new level, leaving readers craving not only the next page but also a slice of Daisy's enchantingly dangerous pies.

Also the recipes at the end of the book were an absolutely fantastic touch and I am going to be having a go at one or all of them!!!

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I really enjoyed this book! When I first started reading I didn't realise it was a part of a series, however this did not effect the read, it could definitely be read as a stand alone story.

It was a fun, lighthearted, mysterious read! I would definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys The Great British Bake Off, or murder mystery books.

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This was a cute story mashing up a cozy mystery, a cooking show procedural, and a strong feminist bent. The recitation of each baking challenge became a bit tedious as the story went on and I would have liked to see more character development. I had read a synopsis but not the full story from the first book so that might have helped provide more context. Overall a cute and fun story.

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Everyone loves a good pie. But how about a pie that’s as deadly as it is delectable?

This started off as a pleasant and fun 3 star read. Stayed this way. Story was enjoyable but wasn't anything special. Cosy and if you're into something fast and easy I recommend this one.

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my review from Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books

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So if you are looking for a culinary mystery set on a TV baking competition with magical baking, this is the book for you. This was the second in the series and I haven’t read the first, but it was easy to catch up on the basics of the story to follow along. It started a little slow, but by the middle of the book I was really into the mystery of it. I will be grabbing the first book of this series so I can catch up.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for allowing me to read this ARC for my honest opinion.

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There is just something about cozies that are centered around food/baking that I cannot get enough of. The latest installment of the Pies Before Guys did not disappoint.

I loved the competition angle that Misha gave us in this second book- I'm sure it's difficult to keep things fresh while maintaining a storyline that's following the same pattern, I'm still IN LOVE with these murder pies, I think it's brilliant.
Mixing revenge, baking, & a food competition were the perfect ingredients for the coziest book hug!

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Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my review.

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Entertaining cross between "Knives Out" with "The Great British Bake-Off"... "Pies Out?" I may have enjoyed this book a little bit more if I had known that there was a first book, but this can be read as a standalone without missing anything crucial.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Honestly chose to review this just because of the title. I thought it was funny and that is what drew me in, and I made the final decision based on the description because who wouldn’t like pie and murders. What I didn’t realize until later in the book was that it was not the first book, this is book number 2. Although I didn’t read the first book, I was able to follow along. I could see this book as one of those cute murder mystery episodes on tv where it was on like a reality tv show and someone was killed. Daisy being a contestant on the show was great. It was super cute, and I liked reading how everything pulled together. Would recommend.

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3.5 stars. After having never really read a book based on a cooking show, I've now read a few and I've really enjoyed all of them. This one was a great addition but I did love a lot of the things that make this story unique.

First, the MC. I love her old-fashioned dressed and her sweet and yet sassy personality. She's trying her hand on a baking show and, of course, murder and mayhem ensues. It was fun to be back with the murder pies and to see the stories advance. I still really like the sidekick and her addition to the story, even though she was only over the phone. I found the mystery cute and I didn't even try to solve it, I just enjoyed the contests, interesting baking challenges and each unique character.

I did this one as an audio book and the narrator did a great job of really making the story feel engaging and entertaining. I really liked this one and hope we have more from this series coming soon!

A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

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I was intrigued to read this book with the idea of someone who bakes murder pies given to guys who have been deemed deserving of one, entering a televised baking competition and the very man who was going to be given the next murder pie turns out to be one of the judges who ends up being murdered by someone having to do with the show. I really enjoyed this story and found it to be a creative, original and fun read. I didn’t realize that it was the 2nd book in a series but it can definitely be read as a standalone.

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This started off as a pleasant and fun 3 star read for me, and then in the second half it really lost its wheels.

A note: I didn’t realize this was part of a series when I started, and while I think it did fine as a standalone (the very beginning and end have some characters that presumably are dealt with in the first book) the majority of it is self-contained. It’s possible some of my complaints would be dealt with in the first book, <i>however</i> as I will note when they come up, they should have been addressed in this book anyway.

<b>This reads a lot like a script for GBBO</b>

I mean this very strongly. While the GBBO is lovely, and I enjoy watching it, this dominated the book to a degree that it lost it’s shine. It was fun in the beginning and could make a good framing device, but the sheer amount of detail ended up making it feel more like a recap of the show or a recipe book. It lacked balance here, I think.

<b>The magic</b>

This is one of those things that maybe was addressed in the first book, but I strongly feel should have been explained in this book anyway. It’s good to remind readers about this kind of plot-critical mechanic. It was frustrating to be wondering what she could do to the point it felt a little like deus ex machina at times. 

My gripe here is that I never quite understood what the heck she could do with her magic. She can use it …in baking. Only in baking? Can she infuse anything into it? It reads like she bakes compulsions, which I am …iffy about on a moral level here. I understand the whole mission of murdering horrible men (we will ignore the problems of ignoring female abusers for the sake of plot) to rescue women in need, always a fan of poisoning terrible people, but the way she uses it during the contest made me less a fan. It’s a shotgun approach and she manages to take out several innocent bystanders with it (makes one of the judges brutally honest and he then absolutely shreds another contestant unfairly) which I do not respect. If it was targeted that would be one thing, but she hits everyone and everything without seeming to care much.

The concept was intriguing and I liked parts of it, but the haphazard collateral damage approach was less admirable for what is a more fluffy book.

<b>Her innate suspicion of men to the extent of being blind</b>

Ok, this one is hard to phrase. It works well as a character flaw - it makes perfect sense given her side business, but it was very frustrating to read how completely biased she was. It was most notable between Nell and Tony after the police interviews. Suddenly the implications that Tony killed someone (no details!) means that he went from shy man to lethal threat with zero proof. (And as we learn later, she is horribly wrong about him. bitch.) On the other side, when the cops insinuate <i>the exact same thing</i> about poor little Nell, she is immediately on her defense, no question about it. That level of blindness made me distrustful of her ability to judge her murders to be honest, which …yeah. Distracting.

<b>Her abject failure as an amateur sleuth and the nonsensical justifications for it</b>

This one is a major flaw in the book in my opinion. There is zero reason - she is reassured by her magical hacker friend or whatever - for anyone to connect her to the dead judge. And yet she continues to pry into the crime for…reasons? The blurb suggests that she’s under threat of discovery and that’s why she does it, but she never is. It has nothing to do with her. Less than nothing considering the reveal!

<b>general plot notes</b>

More of a summary of the issues: this failed to balance the baking and the crime mystery and her side business. It felt scattered and jumpy at times, and that feeling really increased for me as the book continued.

I was also zero percent a fan of how self-centered she was. She was already a right bitch to Tony earlier, and then she ruins his moment of happiness by jumping on a table to solve the crime like a total loser. It was just so cheesy and rude. I don’t know. It really rubbed me the wrong way.

<b>Overall,</b> while the start was interesting, the concept kind of cute and something I was curious about, this did not deliver on any front for me.

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