The Pickled Piper  - Mary Ellen Hughes

The Pickled Piper begins a new cozy series and I think it's going to be a good one.  Piper, who moved to the small town of Cloverdale to start over after a romance goes bad is a smart, engaging sleuth and the other characters are just as interesting. 


Piper has moved to Cloverdale to be near her aunt and uncle after her fiance, now ex-fiance, decided to travel to Tibet without her.  She decided to open Piper's Picklings, a shop devoted to everything in the pickling realm.  I personally hate pickles and can't image that a shop devoted to nothing else, especially in a small town, would survive but I'll suspend disbelief on that for this book because it's quite a solid story and mystery.


Piper had set up a stall at the fair to sell her pickles but when she comes back the second day, the most disliked man in town is dead in her pickle barrel.  One of her friends, who is also the boyfriend of her much-liked young employee, is suspected of the crime and Piper doesn't believe it for a minute.  She is determined, as all good amateur sleuths are, that the police are looking in the wrong place and she needs to find the killer.


The characters are likeable.  A big plus for me!  There is plenty of romance but it doesn't overwhelm the story and it's fun, not angsty.  And I honestly suspected the wrong character almost the whole way through. A smart, likeable heroine, interesting characters, good editing and a solid mystery.  This is a winner for me.


I received this book through the Goodreads FirstReads program and I appreciated the opportunity to read and review it.