4.5 stars! When I read the first book in the Kensington Palace Chef mystery series, I was immediately hooked by author Nell Hampton‘s style and characters. In this second book, Lord of the Pies, I’ve found another fantastic winner. American transplant Carrie Ann Cole is chef for the Duke and Duchess of York in Kensington Palace. Everything points to them being Will and Kate, but you’re never 100% certain. It’s really not important who they are as much as the fact that readers know it’s English royalty.
Carrie Ann runs one of the 4 separate palace kitchens and finds herself often in competition both in and out of the kitchen with her colleagues. In this caper, someone spying on her is found dead after apparently eating one of her pies. When she’s tossed into a televised competition for charity purposes, another mishap occurs leading to someone’s eventual death down the line. Carrie’s just trying to keep her job, but someone seems to want her gone from the palace. Luckily, the sexy chief of security and the hunky head of gardening protect her in the background as she tries to decide which ones she really wants. Unfortunately one has a serious girlfriend, but something’s about to change there soon. Throw in some affairs, rogue reporters and crazy colleagues looking to get ahead in the game, Hampton’s got another fine story for us to devour.
The two dicey concerns… I absolutely need to make a pie right now as there were too many references throughout the book. (I’ll get you for that, Hampton!) The other — the ending was too quick. The story was driving closely to reaching 5 stars because it was just so intricate and well-paced, but then there was a rush in the last 20 pages to push through finding the culprit(s) and backstory. It was good, but it could have been a bit more evenly covered, as well as a total wrap-up on what happened with a character who seemed in the midst of things and then disappeared. That said, I adore the main character. She may be in my top 5 of cozy sleuths. The background and setting are well-developed and I like the intrigue behind her boss and the royalty she rarely interacts with… you know one day they will beg Carrie Ann to help them solve a crime for someone close. And I can’t wait to read about it… many thanks to the publisher, Crooked Lane, for sending me a copy of this book, as they know I love my cozy mysteries!
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.