The Pickled Piper

The Pickled Piper

by Mary Ellen Hughes

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After her dreams of romance are crushed, Piper Lamb decides to pursue her dream of opening her own shop of pickles and preserves, called Piper’s Picklings, in the idyllic small town of Cloverdale. But she isn’t in town long before she encounters a barrelful of trouble…
The Cloverdale fair offers Piper a sweet opportunity to promote her business. With her new assistant, Amy, she sets up a booth centered around an eye-catching display of the ever-popular dills in an old-fashioned barrel of brine.
But things soon turn sour when fairgoers witness a fight between Amy’s boyfriend, Nate, and town council blowhard—and bagpipe player—Alan Rosemont. When Rosemont is found floating in Piper’s barrel, Nate becomes the prime murder suspect. With Amy’s boyfriend in a pretty pickle, there’s no time to dillydally. But as Piper searches for the real killer, she needs to be careful to preserve her own life…or she may end up a pickled Piper herself.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425262450
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Series: Pickled and Preserved Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mary Ellen Hughes is the author of the Craft Corner Mysteries, including Wreath of Deception, String of Lies, and Paper-Thin Alibi, as well as 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. 

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A one-of-a-kind mystery with homemade food, small-town secrets, and winsome characters.”—Ellery Adams, New York Times bestselling author

“This warm-hearted mystery…had me turning the pages late into the night. Encore!”––G. M. Malliet, Agatha Award–winning author
“A charming new sleuth in a peck of pickles and murder.”––Connie Archer, national bestselling author

Customer Reviews

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The Pickled Piper 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Debb23 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, of course it had me at "pickled". The characters are realistic to the point of I would love to meet them. There seems to be a romance brewing, and it seems like a nice pace.The investigation was handled great, not with obnoxious questioning but various people picking up info by chatting. There were enough twists to keep me guessing, although I had an inkling, I was never positive. If you like small towns, this is the book for you, The shops and people give you the feel of being there. Great start in a new series, I eagerly await the next.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
A fun read. I wasn't sure what to expect with a mystery centered around pickling. Would those details be too much? No. They add just the right touch of character to Piper. Enough to be interesting without being too much. It's a fun idea with a blow-hard (sorry, couldn't resist) found dead in a pickle barrel with his bagpipes nearby. So many possible killers and then the body counts starts increasing. I enjoyed trying to sort through the suspects
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
The Cloverdale fair offers Piper a sweet opportunity to promote her business. With her new assistant, Amy, she sets up a booth centered around an eye-catching display of the ever-popular dills in an old-fashioned barrel of brine. But things soon turn sour when fairgoers witness a fight between Amy’s boyfriend, Nate, and town council blowhard—and bagpipe player—Alan Rosemont. When Rosemont is found floating in Piper’s barrel, Nate becomes the prime murder suspect. With Amy’s boyfriend in a pretty pickle, there’s no time to dillydally. But as Piper searches for the real killer, she needs to be careful to preserve her own life…or she may end up a pickled Piper herself. INCLUDES RECIPES Dollycas’s Thoughts I am not much of a pickle eater but I remember going somewhere as a child that had a big pickle barrel at the end of the counter so I could easily picture Alan Rosemont stuck in Piper’s pickle barrel. What a way to die, just plain pickled. He wasn’t the most popular guy around town so Piper has her work cut out for her finding the real killer. I really liked Piper. She is a strong woman that decided a change was definitely in order and had the guts to follow her dream. Cloverdale seems like a wonderful small town and because of the fair the author was able to introduce readers to quite a few members of he community. I was really drawn to the friendship between Piper and Amy. Amy works part time for Piper and part time for a local restaurant. They worked on the canning and recipes together and were so in sync one could immediately pick up where the other left off. I also enjoyed the relationship building between Piper and Will but I just know Scott, the former fiancee, is going to throw a monkey wrench into it and put Piper into quite of a pickle. Mary Ellen Hughes is off to a great start with her Pickled and Preserved Mysteries. I am excited for the next installment.
LegoDinolady More than 1 year ago
I do not think based on the title that I would have normally picked this book up, but since I was trying to read it for a book club I had decided to give it a try. It was a little slow starting but it did pick up towards the end. For me it was a little too obvious to who the killer was. I could see the trail. It was an interesting end and I may pick up the next one. Overall an interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good mystery. Although some of the things in the story are unrealistic, it was good. Some people mght give this less stars because of this, but realistically, I know this is just a story and not real life. It has the 'take me away from real life' factor for 90% of the story. I would say this is a light read with no smut or swear words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
YvonneReviews More than 1 year ago
After Piper Lamb breaks off with her fiancé, she packs up and moves to the small town of Cloverdale, where her aunt and uncle live. Piper opens her own store, Piper’s Picklings, where she creates and sells her own pickles and preserves. Things are looking great as she even opens a booth at the Cloverdale Fair with her assistant Amy. Then Amy’s boyfriend, Nate, gets into a shouting match with Alan Rosemont, a member of the town council and a man hated by most of the small town, and things begin to go downhill fast. When Rosemont’s dead body is stuffed into Piper’s pickle barrel, Nate is arrested for the crime. Amy is devastated and Piper promises to help. Neither of them believe a sweet musician like Nate is capable of murder. As Piper investigates, she discovers that there’s a long list of people with a reason to want to see Rosemont dead. It doesn’t take long when Piper’s snooping leads to some really dangerous situations of her own. She’s determined to find the real killer before someone else turns up dead. This book grabbed me right from the start. It combines mystery, a small town, and romance into one delightful cozy package. It’s fast-paced with characters that are well written and realistic. Piper seems like a neighbor we would all want to live near. There’s a possible romance with one of the locals and I’m looking forward to seeing where the next book takes us. It’s the first book I’ve read by Mary Ellen Hughes, but won’t be my last. FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
TessT More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a brand new series, A Pickled & Preserved Mystery. The small town of Cloverdale in New York welcomed Piper back to town. Piper had spent summers there, with her Aunt Judy and Uncle Frank. Cloverdale seems the perfect place to put her old life and her old fiancee out of her mind. She has come to terms with it, but Scott, the ex, can't seem to get it through his head that it's over, and continues to call and send gifts. Piper soon finds her place in town and open a small store called, Piper's Picklings, specializing in , (guess what?) all things pickled. Not just cucumbers, she also pickles watermelon rind, green beans, zucchini, even okra! As time for the county fair to open comes around, Piper decides to take some of her stock, and her right hand girl, Amy, and set up  booth there for a few days. Day 1 goes relatively smooth, sales are made, more contacts are made, and a disagreement between a council member and Amy's boy friend Nate occurs. Hoping that day 2 goes the same way, Piper doesn't even get to open the booth, because she finds a body head down in her large pickling barrel. Unfortunately, for Nate, it's the body of the council member Alan Rosemont. Of course Nate is the main suspect and Piper and  Amy and their friends decide to take the investigation into their own hands. Friends and neighbors pitch in to help find the real murderer. This was another book that kept me up way past my bed-time. Mary Ellen has created a small town that I would love to live in, she has spun a story that was easy to lose myself in, and isn't that what books are for?
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Mary Ellen Hughes brings readers the first book in her new Pickled and Preserved series, The Pickled Piper. With a unique pickling hook, this new cozy series will appeal to those who love to pickle, freeze and can, as well as, cozy mystery enthusiasts. Engaging characters, a great small town setting and a bag-piping councilman combine to make this cozy an uncommon treat for readers. You don't have to be a pickle lover to love a good amateur sleuthing adventure! What I liked: Piper Lamb is taking her dream of pickling and preserving to a whole new level, when she starts her own business based on the craft, Piper's Picklings. She is a smart and intuitive young woman, who has tried life from a different angle and found herself wishing for something more. I liked the way that Piper took a good hard look at her life after a failed engagement and decides to make a change. Change is difficult and she takes it in stride. I also liked she took something she loved and enjoyed as a child and turned into something she could do as a career, that's how some really great businesses have started over the years... have you seen that started in a garage commercial? Hughes gives readers a likable heroine with a very inquisitive nature. The town of Cloverdale is full of interesting inhabitants and Hughes introduces readers to several of them in this first book of the series. When Piper decides to promote her shop by setting up a booth at the local fair, she doesn't expect to find a councilman, face down in her pickle barrel. But she does, and the mystery is on. Cloverdale is one of those towns where everybody seems to have a stake in everybody else's business. I liked learning about the secondary characters, like the cranky candystore owner and the eccentric librarian. Hughes draws the reader in with some great characters and doesn't let them go until the end. The mystery was well paced and didn't let the reader get a chance to figure out who might have killed the ornery councilman who played his bagpipes at all the wrong times. There wasn't a ton of evidence to follow, and this mystery wasn't really a puzzle, it had an usual way of coming full circle until the killer is revealed. There were just several suspects who could have had a good motive and who could have been in the right place at the right time to kill the victim. It was a matter of figuring out which one. Very interesting way of going about it. What I didn't like: Now I like to follow the clues and let the evidence speak for itself. I like following the bread crumbs the author leaves until I just about have it figured out. There wasn't a whole lot of that in this book and I missed that. But I did enjoy the fact that Hughes used a unique way to find the killer. Bottom Line: This was a good book. It started the series out on solid footing and gave the reader plenty of unique and different aspects of the cozy to ponder on. I loved the Watermelon Rind Pickle recipe in the back and I think going forward we are going to see a lot of good books come out of this series.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
I have to start by saying, this is one of the best new books I have read this year! I couldn't put it down. THE PICKLED PIPER hooked me on page one and just kept pulling me in! Piper Lamb has opened her dream store, Piper's Picklings in the small town of Cloverdale where she sells not only the multitude of delightful items that she has pickled and preserved herself, but also pickling spices, supplies, and cookbooks.  And she can't think of a better way to promote her business than setting up her wares at the Cloverdale fair. Well, it was a great idea until Alan Rosemont, a local town councilman is found head first and dead inside her old-fashioned pickle barrel with Piper's assistant's boyfriend the prime suspect! Right away I felt Piper, her Aunt Judy and Uncle Frank, her assistant Amy, and the rest of the cast of characters were close friends. Like I had always spent my days in Piper's shop.  Author Mary Ellen Hughes writes with a simple flair that makes reading a real joy. Her characters are very likeable and fun, the setting enjoyable and the mystery first class. I thought I knew who did it, but I was wrong. Then I suspected someone of something else...I was wrong. When the reveal of the killer came, it all made prefect sense.  Another sweet and spicy surprise was how interesting I found the process of pickling. It's not something I've ever had an interest in, but as I read this treat of a book I found myself wishing I had paid more attention to my mother when she made and canned her pickle relish.  Congratulations to Ms. Hughes on this wonderful first book of what is sure to be a hit series! My appetite has certainly been wetted for more! Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Murder at the Fair Piper Lamb has settled into the town of Cloverdale, New York, and opened a new pickling and preserving store.  What better way to help spread the word than to set up a booth at the fair in town, right? Unfortunately, Piper gets more publicity than she bargained for when, on the second day of the fair, a man is found floating in her pickle barrel.  Even worse, a friend becomes the chief suspect since he had a very public fight with the victim the day before.  Can Piper find the real killer? This was an utterly charming series debut.  I really liked Piper and her friends and enjoyed the time spent in their company.  Cloverdale was a great setting as well.  The pacing of the plot was a bit uneven, but the ultimate solution was masterfully done with clues and red herrings that made sense.  I'm interested to see where Piper's love life will go because that is obviously set up here for future books in the series. And I will definitely be back for more.  I enjoyed this debut and can't wait to see where the author takes the characters next. NOTE: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
The Pickled Piper is the first book in the A Pickled & Preserved Mystery series. After breaking up with her boyfriend Scott, Piper Lamb moves to Cloverdale, NY to be near her Aunt Judy and Uncle Frank. She has opened a shop, Piper's Pickling, catering to pickling and canning people. As Piper and her part-time employee, Amy are getting the P & P booth set for the opening of The Cloverdale Fair, they witness a heated argument between Alan Rosemont and Nate Purdy, that almost comes to blows. The next morning, Ben an auxiliary cop, and Piper find the body of Rosemont in Piper's pickle barrel at her booth. Based on the confrontation the night before, Nate becomes the prime suspect, but, Amy, who has been dating Nate, is sure of innocence. Piper and some of her friends begin their own investigation, Ben has the sheriff ear and appears that the police are looking at any one else. It is soon learned that between his abrasive personality and his bagpipe playing the are quite a few suspects that the police should be looking into. The local librarian, Lyella Pfiefle and her overprotective husband. Rosemont had the library repainted a bright pink, which Lyella was quite upset about. Rosemont didn't have the best of business ethics and cheated Dorothy Taylor out of some items that she had in her attic. Her son Robby was in town the evening that Rosemont was killed. And the plumber, Ralph Farber, who lived next door to Rosemont and had to endure Rosemont's bagpipe playing all the time. And there is also Charlotte Horsch, who owns Charlotte's Chocolate and Confections, who goes out of her way to drop hints that Nate is the killer, maybe she is covering her tracks. Piper has the front of her shop defaced with white paint, the air let out of her car's tires and somebody has started a fire at the back of her store, so she needs to get busy and find the murderer before she is the next victim. I'm really looking forward to reading more of this series. The book has a wonderful cast of characters, who one would love to have as their friends. And for those who love to have a character to hate, there is of course Charlotte. Plus there is Will Burchett, the attractive owner of a Christmas Tree farm, who might be able to bring Piper out of her doldrums from her last relationship.