Saturday, April 7, 2018

ARC Review: Lord of the Pies by Nell Hampton

Lord of the Pies
Author: Nell Hampton
Series: A Kensington Palace Chef Mystery
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (April 10, 2018)

Description: When Carrie Ann Cole bakes a lemon meringue pie to die for that actually kills someone, she must find out who the real killer is before her time at the Kensington Palace expires.

The elegant Orangery at Kensington Palace is the perfect setting for the bridal shower of Carrie Ann Cole’s best friend’s sister. Personal chef to the royal family, Carrie Ann’s pie theme is naturally winning. But a waiter later keels over dead into the lemon meringue pie she leaves as a thank-you to the staff and Carrie Ann realizes that somebody slipped a mickey into that meringue.

Her floury fingerprints are all over that pie and the authorities suspect her distress is a cover-up for murder. Carrie Ann must set out to clear her name if she wants to stay at her dream job any longer. But all too soon, another body drops in the Orangery. This time, it’s the Orangery chef.

Murder won’t crimp her style, and as bodies pile up, Carrie Ann uncovers palace intrigue, London nightlife, and British pies scouring for the killer in Lord of the Pies, the witty follow-up to Nell Hampton’s Kale to the Queen.

My Thoughts: Chef Carrie Ann Cole fears losing her job as a personal chef to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when a waiter at a wedding shower she catered is found face down in her lemon meringue pie - a victim of poisoning. She needs to clear her name and prove that she is not a murderer.

When Chef Butterbottom, a rival who doesn't think Carrie Ann is worthy of working for royalty, is poisoned at a pie cook-off for charity where Carrie Ann is also a contestant, suspicions rise again. And when another Kensington Palace chef - Chef Wright - is found stabbed to death in the walk-in freezer of his kitchen, Carrie Ann becomes even more determined to clear her name.

As she investigates, she discovers a lot she didn't know about the denizens of Kensington Palace. Married Chef Wright seems to have made a habit of having affairs with the various personal assistants who work there and seems to be targeting Carrie Ann as his next conquest which makes two of his earlier conquests jealous of her. Another personal assistant, who may or may not have had an affair with Chef Wright, is caught selling recipes to a visitor who has a contract to write a cookbook showing the famous dishes he's eaten at Kensington Palace. And it turns out that the waiter may have been planning a second career as a blackmailer.

Between investigations, Carrie Ann is also juggling her friendships with a handsome gardener and the head of palace security. Oh, and she is cooking for her employers too. The story does end with a couple of recipes for pies that sound tempting but a little above my skill level.

This was a lovely cozy with a great setting and interesting characters. I can't wait for Carrie Ann's next adventure.

Favorite Quote:
"I don't want things to be awkward between us." I stepped back while he worked. "I happen to like your fresh veggies."

He sent me a smoldering look and a wicked grin. "There's more to me than my fresh veggies."


A blush rushed up my cheeks and I found myself take a step back before I held my ground. I'm a grown woman. It wasn't my fault I've never been seriously seduced. Was it?
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.


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