Cover Image: A Good Day to Pie

A Good Day to Pie

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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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A Good Day to Pie by Misha Popp is a cozy mystery novel that follows Daisy, a baker who adds a bit of murder into specific pies she bakes. She and her dog Zoe deliver these pies to people in town who deserve a little punishment. When she enters a televised baking competition with a chance to win $100k, she must continue her deadly hobby while keeping up with the show’s demands. However, she discovers that one of the judges is her intended next victim and when he ends up dead before receiving his pie, Daisy must solve the murder and avoid getting caught before someone exposes her secret.

As someone who enjoyed the first book in the series, I found this second installment lacking in comparison. The unique elements that made the first book stand out were overshadowed by the generic baking competition plotline that seemed recycled from other cozy mysteries I’ve read recently. Additionally, many beloved characters from the previous book were absent here, leaving me feeling disconnected from the story’s emotional core. That being said, I still plan on reading book three in hopes that this author gets back to what made this series so enjoyable for me initially. On a positive note, A Good Day to Pie features an eye-catching cover design and includes some bonus recipes which are always fun to try out!

**ARC Via NetGalley**

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I knew from thr first book that I was going to love this series and this book did not disappoint honestly so in love with everything this book does.
Also give me one of these pies - probably not one of the murder ones but literally any other would be amazing.

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I wanted to love this, but it felt underdeveloped. I may have been at a disadvantage given I haven’t read the first book in this series, so I’m not sure why the friend/boyfriend/dog are relevant. (Although I did love positive representation of a pit bull type dog!)

What I wanted — and again, I would have known I wasn’t getting this had I read the first book — was actual poison in the pies, not sorcery.

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Same wonderful dark humor and magic as the first in the series. This series pushes the cozy mystery conventions in ways that I think are very good for the genre. Plus the televized baking competition setting was a lot of fun, as was the large cast of suspects. Brings together two of my favorites: Great British Bake Off and Pushing Daisies.

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Let me just start by saying, thank you for the gifted copy.

Now, I really reallyyyyy wanted to like this but I really didn’t at all. It was too social/political for a pie baking book, it was a not so good knock off of GBBS and it wasn’t good, and honestly when you go into this thinking it’ll be like the first and spends more time with the baking competition you tend to get a bit disappointed.

The recipes sounded good and that was the saving grace for me.

Overall, it just wasn’t for me.

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This book took me by surprise in the best way! A cozy mystery full of queer characters on a fictional version of the Great British Baking Show and a tad bit of magic!

Daisy has a business where she bakes a little magic into pies that, uh, takes the lives of the terrible people they’re intended for. She finds out right before the baking competition she is in begins that the recipient for her current magical pie is one of the judges. But he’s ended up dead before the pie has gotten to him and this leads Daisy on a race to find out what really happened and to protect her secret!

This was so fun and it had a great Asexual side character who dubs themself the Ace of Cakes and finds a way to bake the Ace flag colors into many different confections.

4 stars!


Thank You to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the E-ARC in exchange for and honest review.

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Great book by Crooked Lane Books! A book about cooking show, food and murder! I look forward to more from this author!

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Daisy is a baker and her specialty is pie - murder pies! When Daisy arrives on set for the filming of the American equivalent of the Great British Bake off she certainly isn't expecting one of the crew to wind up dead.

This was a really fun read and I loved seeing behind the scenes of the baking show - we definitely need more justice for Chloe though!

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3.5 stars
Fair warning: This book will make you want to binge cooking and baking shows.
Right after finishing it, I went and re-binged Zumbo´s Just Desserts, haha. So if you don´t enjoy having a bunch of desserts described in detail (and how to make them), you will probably struggle through some of the scenes. Luckily, I do.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I haven´t read the first book in the series, but that didn´t stop me from understanding what´s happening in this one. I would have liked to learn a bit more of how the magic in the pies works (I don´t know if that is touched upon in the previous book).
The mystery part of the novel was done well as well, I really liked how it was all resolved. You do kind of have to suspend your disbelieve when it comes to people being over people getting killed around them without heading for the door, but all in all I had a great time reading this cozy yummy mystery.and I will definitly read the first book in the series.

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I loved this book as much as the first one, although it was very different in style. It was fun to see the main character have to solve Mysteries, instead of just creating them. The wide cast of characters was well differentiated and there was a good balance of info about the baking competition and the mystery.

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This was a great mystery with a foodie theme! Loved the twists and turns ~ didn't expect that ending at all! Can't wait to read the first book in the series though. I wish I had picked that one up before starting this one.
4/5 ✨

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3.5 stars rounded up. I thought this was going to be a cute, culinary cozy mystery, and boy was I wrong lol. This was bonkers. Daisy is a diner pie baker by day, proprietor of Pies Before Guys by night, a service that connects desperate women with magically laced murder-pies to off the very bad men in their lives. Daisy is all set to kill two birds with one pie, so to speak, when she competes in a British Baking Show style competition down south and is set to deliver one such pie on her way back home. As bad luck would have it, her intended target ends up being one of the judges on the show, and has the audacity to die before she gets a chance to deliver vengeance via pie.

This was a zany concept, but also left me with a lot of questions, since I went into this second in series without reading the first, because, ✨time✨. It could technically be read as a standalone since this story focused on the baking competition setting, but no background information was given about the side characters back home or the origins of Daisy's abilities. Is she a kitchen witch, is it hereditary magic? Not sure if this was addressed in book 1, but I want to know. Given the nature of the baking competition plot, there was a wide cast of characters between the contestants and judges/producers, so it was a little difficult to keep everyone straight. This was definitely a more modern, saucy, feminist spin on a culinary cozy mystery, full of all the representation I like to see. A solid read that I'll consider going back to when I'm in the mood for a mystery.

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What a fantabulous, completely engrossing and entertaining mystery. I haven't read the series debut but I didn't have trouble following the side stories of recurring characters. We have our protagonist Daisy who bakes pies for a living. She's also a serial killer and operates her darker side of business via the dark web. She bakes 'special pies' with a dash of magic and hand delivers it to women who are in an abusive relationship.

When Daisy reaches the baking show venue and there's a meet-and-greet the contestants and judges, she's shocked to see one of her intended victims is a judge on the show. The competition is fierce. Though the competitors get along well, there's an underlying current of jealousy - not amongst all though; just a few nasty ones.

At the baking show, contestants are asked to bake delicious goodies - cookies, cakes, pies and whatnots. Presentation is important too, not just flavor and texture. The elimination rounds are quite strict too. Speaking of which, there's this one contestant who gets to the bottom two always and isn't sent off. Well, there's an interesting side story here. (No spoilers though. )

As I was reading through, it felt like a movie playing in my head. The contestants are filmed walking down the stairs, prepping for their baked goodies, and at judging. A scene straight out of them reality TV shows.

I loved Misha Popp's writing. Fantastic character and plot-to-story development. Likable characters too. The mystery behind the murder kept me guessing till the end. The venue where the shooting happens has secrets of its own. Apart from Daisy, the other contestants whom I liked include Derek, Vic, Nell, and Natalie. Nell is the first person Daisy meets at the venue and they soon become friends.

The ending is fantastic. Three contestants make it to the finale but the killer is yet to be caught - it's pretty clear one of the contestants or judges is the perp. Oh, the scene where Daisy asks the cameraman to keep rolling because she's going to announce the name of the killer - I LOVED IT!!

A Good Day to Pie by Misha Popp is a must-read mystery of the year. Go on, buy your copy today and be prepared for a murderous pie with an extra sprinkling of mystery and spice.

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4.5 stars - I loved it! Would re-read.

Book one in this series was my favorite read of 2022, so I was really looking forward to this sequel. And I was not disappointed! I loved Daisy, and the baking contest was really engaging. I have read several books with baking contests, and I was concerned this might feel overdone, but this one was a lot of fun to read. I never got bored with the challenges, and I loved the other contestants. The mystery was solid, and all of the pieces were woven together so well. I was captivated from start to finish! (Language)

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Book 2 in the series but completely different from the first one, so feel free to read it as a standalone.

While in the first book we met Daisy and learnt about her family background and way of living, there was romance and lots of magic-infused baking, all centred around Daisy, the sequel is more like a locked room mystery where Daisy plays Miss Marple. The entire book is one big baking competition, so if you like the TV show (I do!), you will enjoy the endless challenges and various cakes, pies and cookies. I am just sorry that Daisy was downgraded to one member of the team, instead of being the main character. I badly missed Noel and Daisy's dog Zoe, and all the other characters we met in Book 1.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an Advance Review Copy.

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Daisy is a sought after baker but she also has a secret. Her pies can kill...literally. Now she finds herself in a televised baking competition tasked with delivering one such pie. However, what she wasn't expecting is for said intended victim to be one of the shows' judges; and for him to turn up dead before she can complete her job. Now, can Daisy solve the murder before someone exposes who she really is?

I had a lot of fun living out this competition alongside Daisy. I don't normally read cozy mysteries, but if they're normally this cute and incredibly clever, I need to read more. It feels as though since Ms. Popp isn't relying on suspense/shock value murders/etc the dialogue and banter was that much more important to keep the reader engaged. I am happy to say it worked on me 100%. I loved the range of characters, how it didn't feel forced or that anyone was chosen (or written) to fill a necessary gap. It all felt really organic and it was a nice surprise to have some genuine laughs thrown in. This is the first of the two so far that I've read and I do feel like it mostly works as a stand alone. There's some references to the first book, but nothing too involved to affect my enjoyment of "A Good Day To Pie". I really enjoyed this journey and now I can't wait to go back and read part one.

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A cozy mystery where the protagonist is not only a crime solver but also a baker who infuses murder (magically, natch) into her pies. A cozy killer mystery. Is that an actual genre? Should it be?

Daisy has entered into a televised baking competition while also trying to find time to deliver her murder pie. In a twist, the soon-to-be murdered is also a judge of the competition and turns up dead before she gets a chance to kill him. It’s up to Daisy to figure out who killed him first.

This is a funny and quirky book with mostly likable characters. I was rooting for Daisy and her murder pies. There’s a diverse cast of characters in the book and I liked the LGBTQ+ representation. While this book is in a series, I don’t think you need to read the first one to get the gist of the books. It’s a nice palate cleanser.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this eARC. A Good Day to Pie is out now.

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What a fantastically fun book! I started out with book one in the series, and I have to admit I wasn’t really sure what to think of it. I did like it, but the main character is definitely something different. She’s likeable, fun, a fantastic baker and a murderer. How do you root for someone like that? I’m still not sure how, but Ms. Popp has succeeded in getting me to love a complete sociopath.

In this second book, Daisy has entered into a British Bake Off type show, and as a major fan of that show I was delighted! It’s like having a behind the scenes look but with more murder. The baking descriptions are delicious and the side characters are varied. It is an excellent cozy mystery. I’m sure I will be coming back to read it again, which says a lot because I usually don’t come back to mystery books once the mystery has been solved. It’s just too fun to miss out on reading this book again. I’m looking forward to any new books in the series to come.

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