While One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon is the first in the series, I really do feel like I should have read the novella, Chili Cauldron Curse, that came out about 5 months before this one. I know 2020 was a weird year for publishing, but I really wonder why they decided to put out a novella to introduce the series.
In the novella it looks like Mia comes to town to help out grandma and she must have decided to stay in town by the end of the book. I can see how it is a prequel, but I think it would have been better to make it into a full length book and start the series with Chili Cauldron Curse. While I didn’t feel lost while reading One Poison Pie, I did feel like I was missing parts of the story.
I really enjoyed getting to know the characters in One Poison Pie. Mia and Christina make a wonderful pair of roommates and sleuth/sidekick, and Cahoon has already primed the pump to have two emerging romances by the end of the story. Although I can see some readers of the cozy genre not enjoying all the mentions of sexual feelings that Mia is experiencing. Grandma is a wonderful matriarch and I’m glad that Mia has someone there to help her with her powers and that she’s not stumbling around blind trying to figure out more about them.
On the note of magical powers, I wish they were more incorporated into the book. There was so much potential for more magical spells, recipes, and herbal concoctions to be added to the story. I’m hoping Cahoon will go deeper into the traditions of kitchen magic and benefits of various herbs in future books.
I am interested to see how this series progresses (especially since there is a cliffhanger) and would be willing to read the next book since the characters are so enjoyable and to see if the magic is expanded upon.
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