Friday, October 21, 2011

In A Word: Delectable

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Why would Polly Portman, the most generous woman in Ipswitch, Pennsylvania, leave a recipe worth millions to her cat? That's the question on everyone's mind when the beloved baker's shocking bequest becomes public knowledge. No one's more disturbed by the news than Polly's sister, Ruth Anderson, who had big plans for the money she'd make auctioning Polly's secret recipe off to the highest bidder. Ruth's daughter, 11-year-old Alice, couldn't care less about being a millionaire - she just wants her aunt back. Like everyone else in the small town (excluding bitter, jealous Ruth), Alice adored Polly, who showered her with the kind of affection she never got at home. Now, all she's got left of her aunt is Lardo, Polly's fat, cantankerous cat.

As the annual Blueberry Award baking competition creeps closer, Ipswitch buzzes with excitement. With Polly Portman, winner of 13 consecutive Blueberrys, out of the way, someone else has a chance to be crowned Pie Queen. Everyone's baking like mad, but one person wants a leg up on the competition, the kind of advantage than can only be had by finding and stealing Polly's secret recipe. When a series of strange events shows Alice just how far that someone's willing to go, she knows it's up to her to catch the would-be thief. With her friend Charlie by her side, Alice puts her detecting skills to the test. And winds up making some big discoveries - about family, about friendship and about herself.

As warm and sweet as its title suggests, PIE by Sarah Weeks is a light, funny mystery that will appeal to readers of all ages. Whether you're after heart, humor, or just some mouth-watering pie recipes, you'll find it and more between the covers of this uplifting middle grade novel. It's a fun little mystery with a solution I should have seen coming, but didn't - a situation that always delights me. An all-around treat, PIE is, in a word, delectable.

(Readalikes: Hm, I can't really think of anything. Can you?)

Grade: B+

If this were a movie, it would be rated: G

To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of PIE from the generous folks at Scholastic. Thank you!

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