Scene of the Brine

Scene of the Brine

by Mary Ellen Hughes

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Scene of the Brine by Mary Ellen Hughes

The national bestselling author of License to Dill returns with a dilly of a pickle.
Piper Lamb has to take a break from jarring her delicious pickles and preserves to blow the lid off a poisoner....
Business is booming at Piper’s Picklings in Cloverdale, New York. But not all is sweet in the life of Piper’s number one customer and friend, local caterer Sugar Heywood. Sugar is dating wealthy realtor Jeremy Porter, but his family doesn’t approve. After their unscrupulous accountant finds some dirt on Sugar, the family quickly urges Jeremy to throw her out like rotten fruit.
Things are further spoiled after the accountant is found poisoned, and all evidence points to Sugar’s son, Zach. With the Porter family determined to avoid scandal, it won’t be easy for Piper to preserve Zach’s innocence. And after someone falls victim to a poisoned jar of some of her brandied cherries, Piper’s got a peck of trouble to deal with herself…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425262474
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/02/2016
Series: Pickled and Preserved Mystery Series , #3
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 630,639
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mary Ellen Hughes is the national bestselling author of the Pickled & Preserved Mysteries, featuring License to Dill and The Pickled Piper; the Craft Corner Mysteries, including Wreath of Deception, String of Lies, and Paper-Thin Alibi; and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries. She lives in Maryland with her husband, Terry, who has long provided her with bounties of homegrown vegetables for preserving and pickling as well as unique inspirations for mysteries. Mary Ellen is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

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Scene of the Brine 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Check out that cover and the new door to Piper’s Picklings! Handcrafted and a true work of art. Piper has a party to celebrate her new entrance and it seems almost everyone from Cloverdale attends. Thankfully new resident, Jeremy Porter and his right hand man, Dirk Unger skipped the festivities. Unger has been making life difficult for some people in town, like Piper’s friend, Sugar Heywood. Dirk, the jerk, dug up some dirt and Sugar was terribly hurt. She lost her boyfriend and a huge catering gig. When “the jerk” is murdered, Sugar’s son becomes the prime suspect but before the murder is solved, others are hurt and Piper finds herself in hot water. Trips to Cloverdale are never dull, that is for sure. Hughes introduces us to the Porter family. I hated the whole snobby bunch and that was just awesome. These characters like all my favorites were wonderfully written and totally believable. I wasn’t surprised when Dirk Unger was killed. He was a nasty man. What surprised me was the twists and turns we took to find the murderer. Just when I thought “I know who it is!”, something happened to prove me wrong. It sure was a fun as I kept trying. There is a bit of romance as Will remains patient while Scott still tries to worm his way back into Piper’s life. The man has been trouble since he showed up in Cloverdale. I think Piper may be on the verge of making a decision. Mary Ellen Hughes has written a really smart mystery delightfully flavored with some of the best cozy characters. I have liked each of these stories more than the last. The characters continue to evolve and even the mysteries get better and better and each were great already. For someone that doesn’t like pickles I sure do love these pickled and preserved mysteries.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
I’m an accountant by day, so I took note when it came to the murder victim in Scene of the Brine, the latest mystery from Mary Ellen Hughes. Accountants are good people, right? No one would ever want to harm one of us. Of course, this accountant turns out to be a complete and total jerk, which made reading the book lots of fun. The town of Cloverdale, New York, is abuzz about the Porter family who has just moved into town. Jeremy Porter is a very successful realtor, and he’s bought an old mansion on the edge of town and his mother and sister have moved in with him. Unfortunately, his accountant, Dirk Unger, has moved into town as well. Dirk is a mean man who seems to have all the dirt on people and uses it to destroy them and help Jeremy. Piper Lamb, the owner of Piper’s Picklings, sees just how devastating Dirk can be when her friend Sugar Heywood, a caterer in town, is crushed after Dirk destroys her personal life over something that happened years ago. While much of the town is at a party, Dirk winds up dead from poison, and suspicion turns to Sugar’s son, Zach. With Sugar in a panic, Piper begins to dig in to find out who else Dirk had destroyed. Can she clear Zach’s name? Since I’ve read and enjoyed the first two books in the series, I was a bit surprised to find that it took me a few chapters to fully get into the book. It has a bit of a slow start with a sub-plot that is used to introduce new characters, and Piper is told about some things that happen off page instead of witnessing them. However, when the murder does happen, this information is used in the rest of the book. Looking back at the book, it doesn’t take too long for the murder to happen, and once it does, things really do pick up. In fact, it got so interesting I read almost half of it in one day – I just had to know what in the world was going on. There were some nice twists I didn’t see coming that kept me confused. I did figure out the killer before the end, but I had missed several logical clues. The climax was creative and kept those pages turning while tying up all the red herrings. The characters in the series are good, and I enjoy spending time with them. We see some nice growth in a couple of the regulars, and the new characters are fleshed out with some secrets of their own. They are a great group, and it’s hard not to root for them to have a happy ending. Well, all except the murderer, or course. And for those wondering, a plot thread opened in the last book in the series appears to be wrapped up successfully here. At least I hope it is. That’s all I will say on the subject to avoid any further spoilers. Of course, we get two recipes at the end of the book, Brandied Cherries and Spicy Carrot Pickles. I’ve got to admit, I still haven’t tried any different pickled vegetables, which I always say I’m going to do after reading a book in this series. I guess I’m just not adventuresome enough. In the end, any complaints I have about the book are truly minor. For those who have been enjoying their visits with Piper and her friends, Scene of the Brine provides another fun trip. And if you’ve missed this series, pick up one today. You’ll find it well worth your time. NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Scene of the Brine is the third book in the A Pickled Preserved Mystery series. Piper Lamb is all excited as she has commissioned expert woodworker, Ralph Strawbridge, to create a new door for her shop. But the joy of the new door is somewhat dampened when Piper's good friend and one of her best customers, Sugar Heywood, is suspected of killing a business associate, Dirk Unger, of the man she is dating, Jeremy Porter. Also suspected is Sugar's son, Zach, a botany student, and one who is seemly aware of the properties of bloodroot, the use of which killed Unger. Then when Mrs. Tilley, an elderly lady and good customer of Piper's Picklings, becomes extremely sick from bloodroot that was in a jar of Brandied Cherries that she had purchased from Piper. Business has been severely effected at Piper's and she needs to get herself out of this pickle, so that she can enjoy her beautiful new door. So with the help of her Aunt Judy and Ralph, she sets off to learn the identity of the murderer. This is a delightful series, with very enjoyable and believable characters. Ralph Strawbridge is a new character and would like to see more of him in future books. Delicious sounding recipes are also included with the book. Will definitely be looking for the next book.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
SCENE OF THE BRINE is the best thing since sliced bread and butter pickles! Author Mary Ellen Hughes is such an amazing writer, and SCENE OF THE BRINE is proof to back up that statement. She knows exactly what cozy fans are looking for, and she delivers it time and time again. I wouldn’t have thought possible, but this installment is even better than the first two! Stellar writing combined with a killer plot made this book impossible for me to put down. Once I started reading I was propelled into the storyline right alongside Piper Lamb, and the other fantastic characters that make up the wonderful town of Cloverdale, NY. It was an amazing ride straight through the exciting reveal! When I read the first book in the Pickled and Preserved mysteries, THE PICKLED PIPER, I declared it one of my three most favorite mysteries of that year. Here I am a few years later, having just finished book three, and I have to say this series is still on my top favorites list! Thank you, Ms. Hughes. SCENE OF THE BRINE left me pickled pink. ;-) Make sure to check out the back of the book for some tasting canning recipes!
Debb23 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Piper's friend Sugar is crushed when the man she is dating drops her because his family doesn't approve. When his co-worker ends up dead fingers are pointed at Sugar's son. Piper and friends jump in to help to try and figure out who did it. I love the characters and especially the addition of Tammy and Ralph, I hope that we see more of them in future books. The further you get into this book the more you are going to have a hard time putting it down. There are twists that popped up that I didn't see coming. I had an idea who did it but kept thinking I was wrong, I could not figure the why. It all came to a satisfying conclusion which had me flipping pages quickly. I don't think that you would have any trouble reading this as a stand alone, but I recommend the other books in this series. I will definitely continue on with this series. There is the added bonus of some pickling recipes that sound really yummy. I won a copy of this book and this is my honest opinion.
Joycereader More than 1 year ago
Scene of the Brine is the third and best of this series! The loved seeing how the regular characters have developed, and the mystery was great. Piper led the investigation, but it was also a team effort, which was a lot of fun. I recommend this!
PeggyEMI More than 1 year ago
It's time to return to Cloverdale for the third installment of the Pickled Preserved Mystery series by Mary Ellen Hughes. With this series, Ms. Hughes provides readers with a well written mystery, wonderful characters, a charming small town and a unique food themed series that proves to be a winning combination. And it is certainly a combination that I am enjoying. In my opinion, this series just keeps getting better with each installment and has filled a space for me in the cozy genre left by the ending of Paige Shelton's Farmer's Market Mystery Series. I love that the theme in this series is pickling. It is unique and for me interesting. Sure I can follow a recipe but anyone who knows me knows that I can only claim to be competent in the kitchen. This unique theme makes me wish I had more talent to try some of the wonderful and interesting recipes found at the end of the book. As for the story and plot itself, as with the previous two books this is well written with a solid mystery that keeps the reader turning the pages to the end. I've come to expect nothing different from Ms. Hughes in the short time I have read her writing. She has the ability to weave a wonderful mystery leaving you just enough clues so you think you have figured out the culprit only to surprise you with a twist at the end. I love Piper and all of the residents of Cloverdale. These are great characters and they all have depth and dimension while each providing their own contribution to helping Piper solve the mystery. Cloverdale and it's resident's are written with such charm that it is a shame that they are only fictional characters and a fictional place. This is definitely someplace that I would like to visit. I also like how Piper and Will's romance is progressing and that Ms. Hughes seems to have resolved the potential love triangle. Although I have to say Scott is growing on me and I would like to see him stick around and find someone of his own. This series is charming and well written with great mysteries. I have enjoyed is so much that the next installments will automatically be added to my buy/to be read list when they are released.