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Never Say Pie

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A Food Critic?s Review to Die For

Everyone?s trying the food fair serrated knife, perfect for slicing, serving, and . . . murder?

Hanna Denton has a lot to prove after taking over The Upper Crust, her grandmother?s California pie shop. And the Crystal Cove Food Fair is the perfect place to entice new customers. When local food critic Heath Barr serves up detestable reviews of Hanna?s pies?not to mention his burning comments about other vendors,...

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Never Say Pie

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A Food Critic’s Review to Die For

Everyone’s trying the food fair serrated knife, perfect for slicing, serving, and . . . murder?

Hanna Denton has a lot to prove after taking over The Upper Crust, her grandmother’s California pie shop. And the Crystal Cove Food Fair is the perfect place to entice new customers. When local food critic Heath Barr serves up detestable reviews of Hanna’s pies—not to mention his burning comments about other vendors, too—she’s outraged, but she never imagined he’d be murdered. Now Hanna is drawing the worst kind of attention from police chief Sam Genovese, her former high school flame. Can she work through the doughy mess and discover the true killer, or will Hanna do all her future baking behind bars?

Includes scrumptious recipes you’ll love, from Double Chocolate Cream Pie to Butterscotch Pecan Pie.

"Foodies will eat up Culver's second Pie Shop mystery."—Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Foodies will eat up Culver’s second Pie Shop mystery (after 2011’s A Good Day to Pie). One Saturday, pie baker Hanna Denton joins other vendors for a food fair in the parking lot of Crystal Cove (Calif.) High School. The following Monday, the local newspaper publishes a scathing review by food critic Heath Barr, who has nothing nice to say about Hanna’s pies (“Crust pale and insipid.... The Chocolate Pie dull and listless”). Hanna and the others Barr savaged are furious. To make matters worse, Barr goads them into holding a pie contest. Who then silences the nasty critic by slitting his throat? Hanna, herself a possible suspect, is determined to find out, despite warnings from the attractive and available Crystal Cove police chief not to meddle. Charming characters, including an organic chicken farmer and a French cheese maker, enliven the sleuthing. Agent: Jessica Faust, BookEnds. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
Making consistently fabulous pies is the least of a local baker's problems when a critic who gave her a thumbs-down is murdered. Now that Hanna Denton has gotten settled running her Grannie's old pie shop in Crystal Cove, Calif., she's doubling her duties by pushing her pies at the local Food Fair. It's a great opportunity to encourage more folks to buy products, like the yummy-sounding butterscotch pecan pie (recipe included). And Hanna enjoys getting to know her fellow local-food purveyors. Bill and Dave claim to have the best sausage in town, cheese vendor Jacques has a personality that sells his wares, and even Nina, Hanna's old high school chum, has gotten in on the action with a stand selling sweets. When a man comes by offering Hanna a free knife perfect for slicing pies, Hanna is happy to take one off his hands and promises to showcase it as an advertisement for him. In spite of the success of the pies at the Food Fair, critic Heath Barr pans the pies, along with those of several other vendors, in the local paper. The review turns out to be Heath's last; he's found stabbed to death by the knife given away at the Food Fair. Not only does that make Hanna a suspect, it raises police chief Sam Genovese's suspicions about everyone who was given a promotional knife. Culver's latest charts new developments in Hanna and Sam's relationship, though it provokes fewer laughs than A Good Day to Pie (2011).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738723792
  • Publisher: Midnight Ink
  • Publication date: 8/8/2012
  • Series: A Pie Shop Mystery , #2
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 914,797
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Culver has published more than 35 books for Harlequin/Silhouette over the past 18 years as well as two single titles for Pocket—That’s Amore and An Accidental Greek Wedding. Culver is also the author of the young adult Best Friends Forever series (Penguin/Putnam), the Pie Shop Mysteries (Midnight Ink), and recently launched the first book in a new mystery series for Berkley: Shoe Done It. A former staff member of KQED San Francisco, she lives in Woodside, California. For more information, visit

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Read an Excerpt

Open publication - Free publishing - More baking

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 10, 2012

    This was terrible....

    ....and I really tried to muddle thru this one but I couldn't do it. Gave up on this story halfway thru.

    The main character owns her grandma's pie shop and is trying to get more involved in the community so she sells her pies on the weekends at the farmers market. This is a good setting but we are hardly there. The main character wanders around visiting other vendors and all she can talk about is past history with someone or how attractive they are. Really?

    Then she is obsessed with what the town sherriff Sam thinks of her. What would Sam think? Will Sam be mad at me if I intefere in his investigation of murder? sam, sam, sam.....ugh ....enough! who cares. not this reader.

    The author is too distracted to put the story together in this one. We get a murdered man that no one knows what he looks like but is nasty on the phone? what? We have a market full of suspects since the murder weapon is passed out to every vendor. But none of these ideas go forward. What is this author doing with this story?

    I just finally got fed up and closed the book on this one...I'm done.

    I won't be reading any more by this author.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book picked up real quick when local pie maker Hanna and a

    This book picked up real quick when local pie maker Hanna and a bunch of local of folks of different abilities, a cupcake maker, a chicken grower, meat grower and cheese maker to say the least are all ripped apart by Heath Barr a local food critic, there are so many suspects and finding out who did it will take a lot of detective work. Many people were hurt by the local critic’s opinion of their work. Was it the local merchants who were insulted? Or someone who paid off the food critic? Many possibilities. Add to the mix Hanna’s relationship with the local chief of police. Hanna finds herself in hot water everything from a toss into a pool, to breaking and entering, what’s a girl to do? This was a great new mystery series that I definitely will be following. Can’t wait to see what Ms. Culver bakes up next!

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