I really love the idea behind this book--that is the old cliche of "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!" While we may smile at the old-fashioned wisdom of it, I would bet that most women might secretly agree! Though I really enjoyed many of the stories in this book, my favorite had to be Victoria Houseman's, "The Pumpkin Pie Murder."
I especially loved that this story was set in the gracious environs of Charleston, SC, where we find our murder committed in a bakery. Sara Stone, gutsy detective, & our hero, Silas Edwards, sweet shop owner & baker, meet at the scene of the crime where a wealthy man (wanted by the NYPD) is executed while eating a slice of pumpkin pie. Silas is upset & furious that the crime has happened in his place of business, with a patron he liked.
Sara is passionate about her career due to the motivation of her brother's abduction years before. Silas grew up learning baking from his Grandmother, his guardian, after his parents were killed in an auto accident.They are both pretty "closed-in" people due to the tragedies of their past. Despite their instant mutual attraction, neither seems willing to make the first move to get together. Silas has a rep around town as the gorgeous baker who is quite the run-around, and Sara wants no part of that scenario.
Finally, Sarah's sister takes matters in her own hands & sets up an "accidental" meeting between the two. Barriers fall, & this couple finally admits they are falling in love.
I really appreciated Houseman's skill at introducing her characters as people whose past clearly motivates their actions in their later lives, and she gives us reasons to appreciate these characters as people. For instance: Silas is pictured as the gadabout around town, but we see by his actions of his protectiveness to his sister, as well as his caring about his patrons (he always made sure his regulars had the "treats" they wanted on hand when they visited his establishment) that Silas was a caring & concerned man. I will look forward to reading more of this talented author's works in the future.
By Ellen Stucker