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The Pickled Piper
Pickled & Preserved Mystery #1
Mary Ellen Hughes

Berkley Prime Crime
May 2014/ ISBN 0425262456
Mystery – cozy

Reviewed by Cheryl Green


Piper Lamb has a booth at the Cloverdale Fair. She can sell her delicious products and gain some new customers for her shop called Piper’s Picklings. You name it and she probably pickles it or will sell you the spices to do it yourself. In addition, she also makes wonderful preserves. Piper’s dill pickles sold so well the day before - she is bringing another big batch with her. She gets help carrying her supplies from Ben Curry who is an auxiliary police officer.

As they approach the booth, Piper sees something is not right with her huge dill pickle barrel. The lid is not secure. Finally, as the near the booth , Piper sees two legs and part of a kilt sticking out of the barrel. Finding a dead guy in your pickle barrel can’t be good for business. Piper had better be careful solving this mystery, or she could very well end up canned.

Things to ponder: Why wasn’t Tina Carson’s coffee shop open on time? Why was Ben Schaeffer really at the fairgrounds so early? Why did the police immediately question Nate Purdy’s alibi?

I love finding a new series by an author I have read before. The Pickled Piper is the debut of the Pickled & Preserved Mystery series. If the first book is any indication of the direction this series will take, I say the author has a winner on her hands. It is a well-plotted, page-turning mystery. I liked the protagonist and the cast of supporting characters. They made for a fun read. The author has also included some recipes and pickling tips. So if you like your mystery spicy, then you should be reading The Pickled Piper.

Reviewed 2014